06 February 2013

Illinois Marriages are Not Court Records

[note: Ancestry.com  is aware of the problem with the titles of the sources for this material]

Knowing where things come from is good. Realizing that indexes are finding aids to the actual records is even better. The problem is that many researchers may not be familiar enough to know when the "sources" are incorrect.

Ancestry.com recently released or updated (sometimes it's difficult to tell which) it's Illinois Marriages 1851-1900. There is even a source listed for the information:

"County Court Records"

The problem is that in most of the Illinois counties in which I have done research, marriages are not court records. They are typically in the County Clerk and Recorder's office. Ancestry.com includes the Family History Library microfilm call numbers that were used to make this index--those appear to be correct but my analysis of those numbers  was only superficial.

Those with Illinois ancestors would be well served to search the marriage index on the Illinois State Archives website.

Stay tuned...there's another problem with this database as well.
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