|Ancestry.com. "Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913," database online. Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Oct 2015), indexed entry for Harman Ryckman, 1886.|
This is a big NO-NO. Indices are NOT records. [Tweet this.] An index is a guide directing you to where the record is located. It is not the same as the actual record. Why? An index is a transcribed document containing abstracted information from the record. It does not contain all the information in the record. Furthermore, an index is subject to error because it was transcribed by a human. Humans make errors.
Ancestry.com. "Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913," database online. Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Oct 2015), entry for Harman Ryckman, 1886.
I think the reason people are using the index instead of the record is because the index often contains a source citation. This is poor methodology. This is not acceptable for a lineage society application or even you own family history. Take the time to obtain the document either in hard copy or digitally. Then, record a proper source citation on the document. The book Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Third Edition will help you do that.
No matter the lineage society, when submitting your application, be sure to include the actual records for documenting your lineage. Doing so will help ensure your application is processed and approved as quickly as possible.
Updated 23 Aug 2016
Copyright by Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2016.