How to Write a Birth Index Reason Statement

Writing reason statements for actual documents can be fun. But what do you do when you have an index that does not link to an original source? What would you write in your reasons statement boxes on FamilySearch?

Remember to follow the Guiding Principle to record as much information to help you remember why you attached a particular record to the family tree.

This Birth Index Needs a Reason Statement

When working with FamilySearch, the hinting system will serve up every instance of name preservation. You can have multiple ‘entries’ for a birth event for your ancestor when in actuality, it’s really the various preservation attempts of the same record.

To say it a different way, the original images have an entry in the FamilySearch record system, as well as any index entries created to simplify the research process in the past.

Many researchers would say, “Why attach an index to the original image to your profile. It’s not really a source, but a finding aid.”

On the surface, this may be true, but sometimes these index pages are the only surviving source for a vital event in your ancestor’s life.

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How do I write a reason statement for this birth index entry?

Index to birth record for Esta Heffley, daughter of Charles and Delia (Cartzdafner) Heffley, born in June 1881 in Madison, Ohio. Index mentions birth date and place and parent’s names.

The index is one of a series of sources based on Esta being recorded in Madison County records twice. The first entry was because she was born without a name. The second entry was the recording of her selected name was with a name. She’s not a twin, She’s the only daughter born to these parents on this date.

Now, is this the most solid proof statement around?

Probably not. But, can I remember why I attached a record to Esta and her mother Fidelia? Absolutely.

Will someone else understand why I attached the source. Certainly. And that, my friends, is how this reason statement fits my guiding principle. Stay tuned for more examples.


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