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21 September 2011

Descriptions Are Not Always Correct

Don't get me wrong, I love the materials that the Family History Library has on microfilm and in digital format. But the individuals who enter in the catalog descriptions are human and sometimes are not intimately familiar with the materials they are cataloging.

Once in a while years of items will be slightly off. I've seen records that indicated the materials ended in 1915, but the index was also filmed and it went through the 1930s. I've also seen church records where the first few pages of the communion registers contained a brief handwritten history of the church.

Sometimes you'll make unexpected finds in records that the LDS Family History has on microfilm. Use the catalog descriptions as a guide, not as script set in stone.


  1. Thanks for the tip of the day. I agree and it always pays to check the microfilm thoroughly as the description may say indexed and it is not.

  2. Great advice Michael! It's wonderful when a film contains unexpected goodies, isnt it?

  3. Good advice! Researchers should keep in mind that several items may be on a roll of microfilm. The biggest mistake that researchers can make while reading microfilm is to quit looking too soon.