Reece or Reed

Have you ever used an Ancestry record hint to locate a record on Family Search? If so, did locating that actual record help document your ancestor or bring confusion?

I recently was working thru Ancestry hints for my ancestor, John Reed who married Mary Buckles Rogers. I already had several sources for their 1822 marriage. However, there was an Ancestry hint in the ‘Indiana, U.S., Marriages, 1810-2001’ database for an 1822 marriage in Indiana between Mary Rogers and John Reece. While the date and place matched what I already had, the spelling of John’s surname did not match.

Fortunately, this database included the Family History Library film number. Thus, I could search the catalog on the FamilySearch website for the film number to hopefully find an image of the marriage record.

The search for the film number took me to the page for ‘Marriage records, 1818-1888’ for Jennings County, Indiana. Towards the bottom of that page is the list of available film containing these marriage records.

Since the results includes the magnifying glass icon, an index has been created for the film. Thus, I can search the index versus scrolling thru the film to locate the marriage record. When I entered Mary Rogers in the name fields and 1822 in the field for a marriage year, two entries were found. The first entry as a ‘bride’ included a link to the image and the information in the index for this marriage (record details).

Checking the record details, I find similar information to what was in the Ancestry database.

Clicking on the image, I can see why someone might index it as Reece.

This record came up as a hint for John Reed (not Reece) and fits with everything I know about John and Mary Reed. Because the handwriting could be interpreted as Reece or Reed, this record has been attached to two different Mary Rogers.

  • Mary Buckles who married John Rogers before marrying John Reed [KLVH-CVM]
  • Mary Rogers of Columbiana, Ohio [LWZP-J9D]

Of course, I think I’m right in interpreting the record as John Reed. However, I need to build a ‘proof argument’ before trying to convince those working on the profile of Mary Rogers that the record does not apply to their Mary.