Re: Trying to decipher names

A. E. Jordan

Werner HIRSCH askedL

It seems obvious that there was an error in transcription or in an OCR reading of the original.  Does anyone have any ideas of what these names might be, or where I could find a copy of the original document?  (referring to information he saw online from a New York City marriage certificate.)

I answered Werner directly for what he needs but this is a good example of how to make New York records work for you.  The issue of names is a common problem due to handwriting or problems with the certificate.

The original certificate is at the NYC Municipal Archives in Manhattan or it is also visible if you can get to a Family History Center,  You can check the transcription and hopefully find the error and things like the spelling.

But there's a trick to double check the information and that is the NYC Marriage Licenses from this time frame.  Between 1908 and 1937 it is likely that there are actually two documents:  the marriage certificate that the Health Department issued but also the Marriage License issued by the City Clerk's office.  The clerk asked largely the same questions so you have a second place done within 60 days of the marriage ceremony where the names would be recorded.  If there is a handwriting problem or mark obscuring details on the image of the certificate the license if a good double check to see the same information.

Problem of course is the license is only available on the microfilm at the Municipal Archives but don't forget it as a second chance to see the information and hopefully solve a problem like what Werner is encountering right now.

Allan Jordan

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