How to write a Marriage Record Reason Statement

After reading the plea to fill in the reason statement box and reviewing some basic tips for what to put in the box, do you still need a more concrete examples. Well, you're in luck. I will be sharing various examples of reason statements that I have left behind. Use these as idea generators for how you will write your statements.

"Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch (, Henry H Banta and Hazel E Byers, ; citing , county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1,665,896.

I found a marriage record for Henry Horace Banta to Hazel E Byers and I want to attach the record to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I want to provide as much information that I can remember why I attached this record, including as many of my 5 Dos for writing a statement as possible.

Joseph Geissler: An American Father

Naturalization of Joseph Geissler

When we left off, Joseph and Caroline had married and purchased property in Prairie Township in 1856. Their land neighbored James Kinnaird and Caroline's father Heinirch Mack. Additional neighbors included the Puseckers, Strunkenbergs, and Tinappels, all from the Mack's village in Hanover.

After over year and a half of marriage, Joseph and Caroline welcomed their first of four children to their family.  Charles “Carl” Geißler was born  17 November 1857, mostly likely in their home in Prairie Township.  Joseph was 21 years of age while Caroline was 19.

What was the origin of this child's name?  In jumping ahead, we discover that the couple's second son would appear to honor Caroline's father and Joseph, himself. Their first daughter's name origin is uncertain but has the same middle name of Caroline's step-mother. Was she thus named in honor of the mother that immigrated with Caroline? Finally, the fourth child bares the of Caroline. With this tradition of honoring their after family members, who was Karl named after?

Wanting Wednesday: Can You Help Find the David Kinnaird Diary?

In the post Joseph Geissler: Planting Roots in Prairie, I mentioned that my 3rd great-grandfather, along with two other families purchased property from James Kinnaird of Prairie Township, Franklin County, Ohio in 1856.

In researching James Kinnaird, I learned that he was born 10 August 1825 in Ohio, United States. I find that he marries Melissa Deans on 13 June 1849 in Franklin County, Ohio. In 1853, James Kinnaird marries Jenny Gray on the 27th of October in nearby Fairfield County.ii At the time of the home purchase, James and Jenny would be the likely inhabitants of the Prairie property, which is confirmed by the 1860 US Census record.iii James would remain in Prairie the remainder of his life.

Easter- 80s Style

Circle tag - Connie Prince, Happy Home Body; Word Art - ABC Do The Bunny Hop; blue papers (altered)- Triple J Designs, Sun Kissed;
white paper - Lyllah Raven - Refreshing; Buckle - Hummie's World - Course 2 Lesson 31; Ribbion - Sheila Reid - That Teenage Life
(Sorry the journaling is so blurry. I'll see what I can do when I share a future post)

For my mother, Easter was a very big deal. She loved buying my brother and I new clothes and Easter baskets when we were younger. As we grew up and times got tough, the new clothes and baskets were no longer part of our yearly bounty. Even though I wasn't a girl who loved dresses, I loved this adorable dress with bonnet and matching person. I always felt so pretty in this dress and really missed it when I grew out of it.

These 80s era photos were a challenge to scrapbook because I had poorly cut two of the photos. So, I matted those photos and chose a layout that intentionally shifts your eyes. You have to work hard to notice the poorly cut photos, and that was by design.

pastel with pop 80s color scheme for scrapbooking
Pastel with pop 80s color palette

I chose papers that matched my pastel 80s color palette and matched my dress, but relied heavily on the dress for color choices.

I have rarely used a buckle on my layouts but a scrapbooking skills challenge from a Facebook group I belong to prompted me to follow the steps of a Hummie's World tutorial. I love the way Hummie makes learning PhotoShop Elements so easy. Once I saw the challenge and the tutorial, I knew I had to use a ribbon and buckle on this layout. There's a buckle on my purse and the element seemed to fit.

This was a fun layout for my personal heritage scrapbook and the overall design compliments the challenges of the photo and helps me remember one of my favorite dresses. That's a win-win.

What memories do you have Easter when you were a child? Do you have photos that show case those memories?

Turn your memories and photos into a scrapbook page and then share a link to your designs in the comment section. If you finish your layout before this Easter, you could print out a single page and frame it to display at this year's Easter celebration. Think of the conversations you'll have with your family about the holiday from this fun task.

Further Reading:
Choosing the Right 80s Color Scheme
That 70s Scrapbook
Use Busy Patterns to Hide Flaws
It's Okay to Fail
Collage With  a Purpose

5 Dos and 5 Don'ts of Writing Reason Statements

How to Write Genealogy Reason Statements
Reasons statements may seem burdensome and overwhelming at first. Having attempted to teach this to new users of FamilySearch, I know that it's painstaking. However, it's crucial to building one accurate family tree.

With that said, here are a few 5 Dos and 5 Don'ts for Writing a Reason Statement.

How far can you go back?

How far back can you trace your family tree

Oh how I love folks who are trying to engage me in conversation. They overhear me talking about family history and are bursting to join in. They have been bitten by the bug and they think they've discovered a kindred spirit. They gush as they excitedly ask, "How far have you gotten back?"

Yep. That's the first question out of their mouths.

That first question tells me nearly everything I need to know about the person and their passion in family history. Please forgive the judgement, but I have yet to be proven wrong in my analysis. The people who eagerly ask this question are name gatherers. The people who ask causally are trying to make polite conversation. Passionate family historians and genealogists ask a variety of other questions.

Then, the name gatherers display great disappointment when I say, "Oh, only about the 1850s in Ohio and a little further back in Canada."

They sigh and say, "That's too bad." Then they rapidly launch into, "I have my lines back to the 1500s and into royalty."

Yep. Name gatherers.

Joseph Geissler: Planting Roots in Prairie

Joseph Geissler in Praire, Franklin County, Ohio

Joseph Geißler was born in Baden about 1836 in immigrated to Franklin County, Ohio no later than 1856. 1856 marks the year that he went from being a single man with no other family in the county to a married man with in-laws and property.

Planting Roots in Prairie

Prior to completing his naturalization process in 1858, Joseph experienced a number of life changing events: he married, purchased property, and became a father.


Signature from Marriage License
At the age of twenty, Joseph obtained a license to marry 17 year-old Caroline Mäck dated 16 February 1856. Their differing faiths, resulted in their marriage not being performed in either's church. Joseph practiced the Catholic religion and Caroline was Lutheran which prevented their wedding from being held in either church. As such, they were united in marriage by the Justice of Peace Thomas O'Hara on 19 February 1856.i At the time of their marriage, it is believed that Joseph had already started his naturalization process. Once complete, Caroline would also become a naturalized citizen because of this marriage.
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