Why are there Multiple Records for the Same Event on FamilySearch!?!
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Multiple Records for the Same Event on FamilySearch!?!

While researching on FamilySearch, do you ever wonder why there are three records for the same event such as birth, marriage, or death records?

When you review a source tab on FamilySearch for an ancestor or review results on the search page, you may encounter a number of hints for a vital event. This rarely happens for census documents, so why are there so many sources and hints for a vital event?

Occasionally you’ll have multiple original documents for the same event because of the recording practices in a locality. For instance, some locations have a marriage license, marriage return from a minister, and a marriage certificate register. The event has three types of records but they are interwoven pieces of the same whole.  In other locations, one record has all three pieces of information in the same document. Thus reducing the number of sources in FamilySearch.

Sometimes an original record was filmed more than once creating duplicate entries for the same event. The sources are the same but sometimes one variation of a digitized document is more easy to read than another.

Some sources are indexes to the original record. There are no original records attached to the hint or result returned on FamilySearch. The index is usually based off an original record.

Finally, some sources are found on Personal Pages and are from the IGI collection. As mentioned in a previous post, these sources are either based on original documents or user-submitted genealogical data.

Why are there multiple sources for one event?

If you happen to have an IGI source, an index to a marriage event, and the original marriage record, do you have multiple records for a vital event? 

NO. You have one!

The IGI and index are guides to the ultimate original marriage record.

Should you detach any of the extra sources from the Source Tab? 

NO.  Keep these sources attached, just recognized you have not found extra proof for a vital event.

When you’re evaluating search results or hints, attach all instances of the record (indexes and original documents).

Why does it seem there are multiple copies of the same record for the same event on FamilySearch? #familysearch #familytree #genealogy

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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