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Monday, February 25, 2013

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One of the most informative marriage records

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English: Screen capture of FamilySearch.org we...
English: Screen capture of FamilySearch.org web site (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was looking for more information on the McClure family from Birmingham, Alabama in the databases at FamilySearch.org.  You know when you notice a collection only has a few records indexed, you feel a heart drop because usually the people you are searching for are not included yet.

The Alabama County Marriages, 1809-1950 collection is only about 38% complete with 566,839 records so far.  When I have searched incomplete databases helping others, it gets a little disheartening at this point.  I start to feel guilty for not doing more indexing to help.  In the description of each collection above the search field is a link (Learn more) that will take you to an article that will tell you more about the particular historical record you are searching.

I have to say I was prompted to take a stab at searching anyway, and I was pleased to see many McClures had been indexed. Because there is a lot of information that we are unsure of, I figured I would be more successful searching the names of the parents hoping they would bring up the marriage records for the children.  This is a way around not knowing names of spouses and only having maiden names.

I was delighted to find one of the most informative marriage records ever, the marriage record for Essie and her husband, John Doyle.  According to my husband's oral history, Essie lived with her grandparents for a time.  The information in the marriage record included:

1.  The births and addresses of both spouses.
2.  The parent's names of both spouses.
3.  The certificate was signed by Essie's grandmother, Coreain, who all previously lived with her aged parents, Harry and Lula Bell Jackson after the death of Coreain's husband, Columbus.
4.  The name of the minister who married the couple.  Now we can search for the church.

Of particular interest is discovering the address where Essie was living because we can now visit this site.  We can now search previous census records for John's family too.

I am just amazed at all the information contained here.  My husband is busy now extracting all the data.

"Alabama, County Marriages, 1809-1950," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VZV1-VKN : accessed 25 Feb 2013), Columbus Mcclure in entry for John Doyle and Essie Mae Mcclure, 30 Oct 1947; citing Jefferson County; FHL microfilm 2409263.

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