A few days ago I wrote about ordering a Marriage Record from Michigan using VitalChek. The blog post is Disappointment of a Michigan Marriage Record and summarizes the aggravation and the expense ($70.25) for this record
Julie Cahill Tarr wrote to say (in part)
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the information that's on the certificate is not even correct. First off, the "file date" is wrong, it's actually April 3, 1877. The Aug 1 date is the date that the clerk recorded the state copy for the year 1876. This is a minor mistake.
This second mistake is not so minor. The witnesses were actually Andrew H and Christine Stafford, both of Lapeer (they gave you the one for the marriage below Barney and Maggie). And there is a church listed for the pastor, which is correct (E. L. Little), I think it says "1st Bap Ch Lapeer." It also notes the Barney was a laborer.
The record can be found here (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12390-89997-9?cc=1452395&wc=990450) line 1719. It's part of the Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925 database"
Julie goes on to add "That's a lot of money for a piece of paper that doesn't have the correct information and is missing possible clues, such as the church"
I agree! So today I checked the online image (thank you Julie!!) and saw that all the errors Julie found are indeed there, and I found yet another. The age of the bride (Maggie McGinnis) is incorrect on the transcript. The image clearly shows her age as 18 but my official transcript has hear age as 16.
[ Image found at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12390-89997-9?cc=1452395&wc=990450 ]I can see that whoever transcribed the document wrote down the names of the witnesses of the marriage UNDER my Barney and Maggie. They skipped the correct witness names which Julie found.
I am less than impressed. Interestingly at the bottom of my official transcript it states
"I hereby certify that this is a TRUE AND CORRECT representation of the vital record facts on file..." The upper case letters are mine for emphasis.
So the bottom line is that I paid over $70.00 for a document CERTIFIED to be "TRUE AND CORRECT" and it is full of erros. My question is what is my recourse? Do you think it will do me any good to file a complaint? And where and to whom do I complain?
The fact that the image was online is entirely my oversight; that is not my complaint. But should not the "verified" transcript have the correct information copied from the image on file?