Vital Records Purchased Online

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chmcgee's picture
Vital Records Purchased Online

I recently purchased a marriage record from Cook County Genealogy Records ( I couldn't locate a citation method for it in EE, so I came up with this one:

Cook County, Illinois, Marriage License no. 2103807, Joseph Morien to Mabel White (1949); digital image purchased online, Cook County Genealogy Records ( : accessed 21 August 2017).

As is often the case in larger cities, the marriage record is pretty sparse. It has the couple's names and ages and the date of the license (24 Sep. 1949), then below is the certification of the marriage showing who officiated and the couple's names and marriage date (same as license date). This doesn't appear to be the original marriage record since Joseph and Mabel's signatures are in the same handwriting. Does this affect my citation?


EE's picture

You've handled the core citation well, Chuck.  You also make a valuable point. Once we learn the basics of how citations are constructed and the elements that are essential, we can adapt them to every new situation that technology devises.

Your last paragraph raises two important issues that are essential to evaluating the reliability of what you've received. 

  • The document you received is not only a "Marriage License." It also includes the marriage return.
  • The document is not an original.

EE encourages users to add a note to the citation to record these points. You are wise to recognize the importance of those issues.

The Editor