I received several emails asking for another example of a document vs. a record group. You can see the original post HERE.
Let’s say you are looking for a marriage that occurred in Marion County, Mississippi in 1825. What kind of background information would you want to know?
- What were the laws governing marriages in Mississippi in 1825
- Which court handled marriages
- How did that court organize their marriage records (loose papers, registers, books, separate books for bonds vs. licenses vs. certificates, etc.) and did the organizational system change over the years
- Is there any records loss
- Are you looking at the original records or are you looking at official abstracts/indexes created by the clerk at a later date
- Can you identify different clerks and analyze their style during the time period you are interested in
Here are two books that discuss analyzing the record group as a whole when you do your analysis of the actual document:
Anderson, Robert Charles. Elements of Genealogical Analysis. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014.
Osborn, Helen. Genealogy: Essential Research Methods. Ramsbury, Eng.: Robert Hale, 2012.