This volume appears to be a state copy of information originally held in town registers. If you haven't done so already, place this image in context by browsing the pages around it. The controls on the left-hand side of the viewer allow you to look at thumbnails of all the pages on this film. Click on the dots to browse multiple images.
The first image after the microfilm target (image #384) identifies this book as Volume 281, Marriages 1876. Note how the next pages are from the towns of Amherst, Belchertown, Chesterfield, and so on. Someone has arranged this information alphabetically by town name, which suggests strongly that we aren't looking at an original town book.
In a case like this, I would try to find another register that covered the same time period to see what the other copies said. I might do any or all of the following (these are not listed in any particular order):
- Contact the town of Reading directly and ask for an image copy of their town records for the entries you are interested in.
- Cross-check the entries for marriages where the bride and/or groom were residents of towns other than Reading, to see what their registers said. (Vital records in Massachusetts can be recorded in more than one town because they were registered both in the town where the event took place and in the towns where the participants resided.)
- Look at historical newspapers and other types of records to find information about when & where the events happened and/or whether the marriages actually took place.
- Research the clergymen who performed the ceremonies and look for the marriages in church records.
- Look for collections, finding aids, and research guides that refer to Massachusetts amended vital records. E.g. Massachusetts, Delayed and Corrected Vital Records, 1753-1900 at FamilySearch (Wiki article).
- Look at Massachusetts state statutes that would tell me what the reporting requirements for town clerks, so I could see what procedures were supposed to be followed if records were amended.
The better we understand who created a record, how it was created, and the purpose for which it was created -- as well as when it was created -- the better we can evaluate the quality of the information contained in that record. Copy registers are especially tricky because we don't always get clues about when the copies were made, or who made the copy.
- Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, “Working with Historical Evidence: Genealogical Principles and Standards,” Evidence: A Special Issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly 87 (September 1999): 165–84. PDF download at Elizabeth Shown Mills, Historic Pathways
- QuickLesson 17: The Evidence Analysis Process Map from Mills' Evidence Explained website (Archived Copy 26 Oct 2016 via the Internet Archives' Wayback Machine)
- Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, “Perils of Source Snobbery,” OnBoard 18 (May 2012)