17 April 2013

Don't Be Indifferent About Transcriptions

Several years ago, I wrote about a 1922  baptismal entry from a Roman Catholic church in Chicago, Illinois. There were several conclusions based upon the transcription of that entry that I received from the church, along with other information I had from the family. Those conclusions were partially based upon the belief that the transcript (shown below) was complete:

The conclusions will not be stated here in their entirety, but essentially I concluded that Theodore Hoontes (an uncle of Anna Apgar by marriage) had traveled from Clinton County, New York, to be at the baptism and that the baptism had been performed in 1922 in preparation for the mother's marriage later that year in the Roman Catholic church.

Not exactly.

The transcript that I received was not complete.The records of this church were some that were recently released by FamilySearch on their website in their collection of Roman Catholic records from the City of Chicago.

Anna was baptized on the same day as her older siblings, Elizabeth, Lillian, and Louis Apgar. That detail was not on the transcription. And, the notation in the baptismal entry(made by the priest) indicated that the children had been attending school when it was discovered they were not baptized and that "the Sisters" had encouraged them to be baptized. The notation continues to say that the godfather Theodore Hoontes was not present at the baptism and that "Mrs. Esther McCasland," sister of the mother of the children, acted as sponsor. Mrs. Apgar is referred to by the priest as an "indifferent Catholic." She and Mr. Apgar were married by a Justice of the Peace in 1909 and he left the family in 1916.

Based upon this statement, my theory about the timing of the baptism will need to be revised. My theory that Hoontes was visiting Chicago at the time of the baptism is incorrect as well.


Transcriptions can be incomplete and any conclusions that are based on transcriptions are always subject to revisions.

The Genealogy Proof Standard indicates that any "fact" is always subject to revision--particularly if additional information comes to light.