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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Best to see the Original Document

For the researcher, it is far better to examine the original document rather than something extracted. For one thing, a visual makes for better understanding of any transactions going on. Lots of incomplete transcriptions of documents appear on the internet, but some things are not fully comprehended unless the entire document is available.  This is why I am always stressing the importance of county records. Granted, you are not going to have access to original documents (most of which were lost) except in the modern day of copying machines, but you will see  it word-for-word in the handwriting of the clerk as he copied it into the official records. Notations in the margin, seals,
remarks and symbols of the times, are all part of the record. Old wills contain names of witnesses, the seal of the testator or the court, dates of probate, information from surrogate courts and other probate data.

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