Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Tuesday's Tip: Floyda's Hidden Past Proves the Power of Please and Patience
First tip: Ask nicely. I called the probate court, explained that I was doing genealogical research, and asked (pretty please) whether the marriage documents for 1903 were available. The answer was yes. Next, I asked how to apply for a copy and what the cost would be. Answer: Write a detailed letter, include a SASE, and include a dime for each copy. However, I was told to be patient, because genealogical requests have to wait their turn while more pressing business is attended to. I thanked the clerk for her time, hung up, and immediately wrote out my request.
Second tip: Be generous. I put two bucks into a small envelope and wrote "payment for processing" on the outside, and included that with my letter and SASE. It's a bargain, IMHO, when you consider the convenience.
The bottom line: One month later, my SASE showed up in the mail, with a certified copy (well, photocopy) of the log book where Floyda and Brice's marriage info is kept. Not only did it show their parents' names (spelling is still a question mark), it revealed that Floyda had been married before, to Mr. Gottfried. That's an intriguing development I'm going to investigate. Thank you, Wyandot County!
PS - Crawford County, Ohio, is just as friendly as Wyandot. I called to ask about Floyda's parents' marriage documents (from 1851) and they said to go ahead and send a SASE and 50 cents for a copy. Of course I sent more--what a bargain!