Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Finding the 1868 Richmond-White Marriage Record on FHL Digital Microfilm

About 25 years ago, I wrote away to the Killingly, Connecticut Town Clerk for a marriage certificate for my great-grandparents, Thomas Richmond and Julia White.  They sent one, and it said they married on 20 June 1867.  Family records said 1868.  Which was right?

Today I realized that these marriage records for Killingly were probably on digital microfilm on FamilySearch.  The only issue was if they I was required to view them at a FamilySearch Center.

To find out, I went to the FamilySearch Catalog (, and entered "Killingly" as a place name.  The list of record types for "United States, Connecticut, Windham, Killingly" opened and I saw:

I chose the "Vital records" list to open on the screen above.  The third item looks like what I want - "Records of births, marriages, and deaths v. 1-5, 1700-1903; general index to births, marriages, deaths to 1905."

I clicked on that one and the information page for the Index opened (two screens below):

It looks like I want the third "microfilm" down the list for "Births, marriages, deaths v. 1-1/2-4(p1-10) 1793-1895.

I selected the camera icon on the right side of that item, and then was faced with 821  images.  

I had to find the marriages for 1868 in those 821 images.  I knew that the images with the black background and information (like the third image on the top line of the screen above) would provide the information I needed.  All I had to do was scroll down through the images on the screen above to find more information pages that told me what the different record books included.  I found it on image 356, which told me that Volume 2 was for records between 1849 and 1881.

I found the Thomas Richmond and Juliette White marriage record on image 530, which is page 358 of Volume 2:

The Richmond/White record is at the bottom of the page (third from the bottom):

The date for this marriage appears to be 20 June 1868.  See the year entry on the top of the page (on the fourth screen above)?  1867 is at the top of the page, and 1868 starts with the 5th item down the list.

So that clears up the date issue.  Why is it important?  Because I want the dates to be correct.

That online investigation took me about ten minutes to access the database, then find, download, rename, and file the image.  That beats a trip to the local FamilySearch Library or going to Salt Lake City.

I think that being able to deal with FamilySearch digital microfilm is one of the key research skills necessary for 21st century genealogy and family history research.  Have you mastered it?  Are you chasing and finding FS digital microfilm records for your ancestors?  Try it - you find priceless genealogy record gems.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Unknown said...

I tried your work around but it still says I have to be at a family center :(

I was trying to access their California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 004667561
Digital Folder Number

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Ed,

Yes, for the "California County Marriages, 17850-1952" collection, you have to go to a FamilySearch Center. I have to also. That's the rule. It's better than having to go to Salt Lake City.

They do have it indexed and searchable at You can see the indexed information, but not the image.

Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Good luck!