Saturday, March 2, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: AT THE COURTHOUSE, Confessions of a Researcher

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I completed ’52 Ancestors’ in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for this week is ‘AT THE COURTHOUSE’.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: AT THE COURTHOUSE, Confessions of a Researcher

I have traveled to libraries in several states. I have traveled to historical societies, city halls and archives. I have visited relatives in other states to hear stories and see photos of our family’s past. And when I saw this topic I thought it would be easy to pick a research trip to write about but then I looked through old notes and saw that I have never researched AT THE COURTHOUSE. 

I have books full of court records: tax lists, deeds, wills, etc. and those records are full of information that has taught me about the past. Court Records are important and valuable. I have even gone to lectures at Genealogical Conferences to learn about Courthouse records. But I have never researched AT THE COURTHOUSE. 

This topic has shown me that I need to expand my research parameters. I will continue going to libraries, archives and city halls but will also start visiting courthouses. Maybe tomorrow…!


Marian B. Wood said...

I visited a courthouse a few years ago and was amazed that boxes of old legal info were on the shelf, available for the public to open and read. One was even tied with the red ribbon used in the British legal system. On the other hand, my usual method of "visiting" is to call and ask if the court has what I need and then send a check for photocopies ;)

Nancy said...

Like you, Colleen, I've never been to a courthouse to research. There are so many records online, including court records. I guess, when we can't find what we want online, then we head to the courthouse?

Colleen said...

I order documents from courthouses as well. And I have visited our local courthouse for copies of birth certificates for our own family. I need to expand that to other states & older documents.

Colleen said...

Marian, I have visited City Halls where old records are available for anyone to handle. I was surprised they are not protected.