In the 2007 version of Evidence Explained (I can't speak to the other editions), the section 7.24, Church Record Certificates, discusses the particulars of citing certificates for events such as baptisms and marriage.
Mills mentions the likelihood of such certificates having been issued well after the event occurred. She then goes on to say, "In other cases, a family has passed down a certificate given by the minister at the time the event occurred. In that case, the certificate would be cited as a family artifact."
This was surprising to me, and prompted a number of followup questions:
- What is the benefit of using the format for an (in my usage case, privately-held) artifact over the church record certificate format?
- Does this only apply to a timespan as specific as implied in the quote, or would an item mailed to the family shortly thereafter be cited in the same manner?
- Would this be a good instance to apply layered citations? (I admit I haven't looked into learning about them yet.)
- Why is the same not applied to state-issued certificates received around the time of the event (e.g., a birth certificate mailed to the parents)?
I am a beginning genealogist who's trying to learn how to do things right.