Go to the Original SOURCE!?

Diane Gould Hall wrote a wonderful post on her blog Michigan Family Trails on FamilySearch’s Photo Duplication Service in July 2014. I put off trying out the service until the end of October. Bad move on my part as FamilySearch has decided to discontinue this service.

Living overseas I don’t have easy access to libraries and archives in the USA. I was really looking forward to sending in 5 requests per month and planned to be very selective. I’ve requested five duplications and received replies within about a week to 10 days (one is still pending).

The reply to my fourth request came late last night. In my 52 Ancestors: #46 Zachariah PETERS of Franklin County, Virginia, Father of a War of 1812 Veteran I wrote:

Mr. Webb suggested that as a young, single man, Zachariah may have found work outside of the county of his birth, returning to Amherst County to marry and settle down, at least until he moved to Franklin County, Virginia. This could in fact be a good possibility as I recently received this listing of marriage bonds of Amherst County in which the groom was listed as being from Bedford County. I submitted a photo duplication request for the marriage record found in  “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940″ on FamilySeach.org. Will it have more information? I’ve only used this service a few times and so far all requests were received between 7-9 days. At this rate I should have it in time for 52 Ancestors: #47 Kesiah LIVELY, wife of Zachariah PETERS.

Courtesy of Sylvia Peters Rogers received per email 14 Nov 2014.

The request did not come, as I had hoped, in time for
52 Ancestors: #47 Johnny CASH’s 1C5R – Kesiah LIVELY.
And it wasn’t what I expected!

18 Nov 1794 Peters-Lively Marriage record  007578824_00382
Image received from FamilySearch per email on 25 Nov 2014 for this record: “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR77-9B7 : accessed 26 Nov 2014), Zacherias Peters and Kesiah Lively, 18 Nov 1794; citing Amherst County, Virginia, reference 97; FHL microfilm 30273.

In a close-up of the entry for the marriage of Zacharias PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY we see that both the bride and groom were of Amherst Parish in Amherst County, Virginia.

Close-up of entry for Zacharias PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY

This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen this handwriting! Another ancestor married in Amhert County in 1829 and that ledger page is in the same handwriting. On the old Rootsweb mailing list for Amherst County I found a post by from 2000 which explains the handwriting being the same. About 1998 or earlier the old bonds were copied to a ledger before being sent Richmond for filming. This appears to be a page from that ledger.

I was hoping that the image I received from FamilySearch would answer my question about where Zachariah PETERS was living at the time of his marriage. However the first list of bonds indicates that he was from Bedford County while the ledger says that he was “of Amherst Parish.” Both of these are secondary sources and conflict.

The trail to the original documents – bond, permission, minister’s return – appears to lead to the Library of Virginia or perhaps Amherst Courthouse if a copy of the microfilm is kept there.

As the best form of evidence is the original record, I may have to rely on the kindness of a cousin to look up the microfilm at the Library of Virginia and send me an image of the record(s).

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

4 thoughts on “Go to the Original SOURCE!?”

  1. Cathy – thanks for the mention. It is beyond disappointing that we will no longer have access to this service. Even if they would have asked $5 per record, I suspect many of us would have still ordered. I did not use my full 5 per month since I discovered this service. My bad too. I have one more I’m going to squeak in today and hope they will fulfill it. If I was you, I’d just send any many as you can before December 1st and hope for the best. Best of luck in getting your records. I hope you are able to obtain the ones you want.


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