Thursday, September 17, 2015

Well That's Weird

I love it when I come across something unusual or strange while doing my family history work. A week or so ago, I had just that experience.

While researching my ancestors Samuel West and Mary Ann Prugh of Madison County, Ohio, I found I needed a source for their marriage date.

Fortunately, FamilySearch has Ohio County Marriages online, indexed, and digital images attached. I quickly found them. Here is a screenshot of that marriage record.

Notice anything weird about that date? It is 29 Feb 1839. Twenty-nine February? That meant they were married on a leap cool! That is when I realized the problem. The year 1839 wasn't a leap year!

I wonder if they were actually married on the 28th? Or maybe it was March 1st?

Here's my theory. I noticed that the rest of the marriage book is not exactly in chronological order. It is close, but there are a few marriages recorded out of sequence. Next, I see that this marriage was not recorded until April, so several weeks had passed. Perhaps the justice of peace had just written down the 29th of February by mistake in his notes or he was trying to recall the date from memory. After all, I am always getting the dates wrong when writing a check! (As a genealogist, I probably shouldn't admit to always getting dates wrong...but you know what I mean!)

Another possible theory is the clerk that was recording the marriages transcribed the date wrong when writing it into this marriage book.

Whatever the reason for the inaccurate date, I think it is fair to say they were likely married in February and it couldn't have been on the 29th.

Several months ago, while working on Ancestry, I had another weird experience while looking at a census. I couldn't quite make out the name, so I had to zoom in on the image. When I did, the strangest thing happened! A picture of an old man with a little girl sitting on his lap just popped up right there on the page. I shrunk the image down and poof, they disappeared. I again zoomed in and there the picture was again. I knew no one would ever believe me, so I took a screenshot of the image.

See! I told you! Isn't that the strangest thing!?

Like I said, I just love running across these weird little things. Have you found an unusual or strange record lately or in the past? What has been your craziest find?

Want to read other spooky and strange genealogy readings? Try this!
Haunting Illnesses of the Past

1 comment:

  1. Amie,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!


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