Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures; by Christine Rose; 237 pp; soft cover; 8 1/2 x 11; ISBN: 9780929626161; Item # CR0003; fully illustrated and indexes.
The only guidebook devoted totally to courthouse research. From an author who has researched in more than 500 courthouses of the U.S. Christine starts with the preparation, giving advice on which courthouse to research first, how to prepare, and how to get past the clerks into the records. She then offers concrete examples of what will be found in each office, how to use the indexes in that office, and how to interpret what is found. Going beyond the location of the record, she discusses evaluation of the records, significance to your family's search, and many other facets of research. Written in a clear style, concise, and with many tips for novices to advanced researchers.
An unsolicited recommendation!
"I just finished your Courthouse Research for Family Historians book and then went to a lovely courthouse ... I had a new confidence and overview of what was available there thanks to your book ... I've done courthouse research a few times, and was on the way to becoming knowledgeable, but your book got me around the corner. Your descriptions of how the records are formed and how they come to be in the courthouse is invaluable. You are such a good, clear, concise writer. And, there is even a little nurturing in your book, for those who are a little nervous about going into the courthouse ... I will say that your courthouse book set me up well for ...[a] very efficient use of my time ... Thanks again, for a simply scrumptious book. It was like water to the parched in the desert." [Peggy Baldwin]
Table of ContentsChapter 1: Preparation is the Key
Start in a County Courthouse...or?
Counties Can Have Parents Too
Counties Formed From the Initial County of Research
Does the County Still Exist?
Will They Be Open?
Can You Handle the Record Books?
Packing With a Purpose
What's in Your Briefcase
Skills to Practice Before Leaving
Reading the Handwriting
Books and Tapes will Assist
AbstractingOther Practical Considerations
Should You Take Your Computer into the Courthouse?
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 2: You're There–Now What?
Arriving at the Courthouse
Staring the Search
Hints for Success
Differences in Indexes
Numbering of Record books
A Variety of Indexing Systems
Russell Index System
Additional Hints with the Russell System
The Campbell System and Other "First Name" Indexes
Graves Tabular Initial Indexes
Can’t Find a Name in the Index?
Did the Index Err?
Did You Miss Some Entries?
What's Missing in the Index?
Using the Index for Maximum Results
After the Index in Examined
brought Your Computer?
There was a Fire!
Those Other Records on the Shelves
Chapter Pints to PonderChapter 3: Property Matters
Importance of Land Ownership
State-Land States vs. Federal-Land States
Indexes for Land Records
Entry Book Indexes
Peculiarities of Deed Indexes in Land Records
What do Deed Indexes Include?
Indexes Prepared by Others
Types of Documents
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 4: Searching for Property Records
The Office for Land Records
Types of Record Books
Survey Books and Warrants
Plat Books and Plat Maps
Powers of Attorney Books
What a Deed Tells Us
The Recording Process
Clues in the Deeds
Sr. and Jr., Elder and Younger, 1st and 2nd
Absence of Records
Strategies for Searching Local Land Records
Connecting Families Through Their Deeds
Records Not a Part of the Local Land Records
Land Records are Crucial to Research
Chapter Points to Ponder
Deed Transcribed and AnnotatedChapter 5: Estates Galore
Which Office Handled Estates?
Was the Estate Probated?
Women and Wills
Kinds of Estates
The Probate Indexes
Understanding the Law
Naming Children in the Will
Primogeniture or Double Portion
Interstate Division Per Stripes or Per Capita
Heirs at Law, Sons-in-Law, and Others
Probate Court Minutes and Court Orders
The Estate Packets
But Keep in Mind
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 6: Estate Documents
Wills (Testate Proceedings)
Codicils to Wills
More Than One Kind of Will
The Probate Process
Other Documents Associated with Estates
Accounts of Sale and Sale Bill
Petition for Sale of Real Estate
Final Settlement or Final Distribution
Relinquishment in an Administration
Public Administrator or Other Public Official
Guardianship of Minors
Bonds for Guardians
Entailed Property in the Hands of Minors
Choosing a Guardian for a Minor
Guardianship for Incompetents
Committee (in Case of Incompetency)
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 7: Milking Every Clue from Estates
Were There Two Wills?
Wills of Unmarried Adults
Making it Fair
Gleaning Clues from Wills
More on Packets
Varied Documents in the Estate Packet (Annotated)
Transcribing a Will
Abstracting a Will
Wills are Marvelous in More Ways Than One
Is a Search Among Estates Worth the Effort?
Don't Be Content With One Record
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 8: Understanding the Court System
The Court System
Types of Courts
Our Legal System
Type of Documents
Civil Court Indexes
The File Packets: Civil and Criminal
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 9: Civil and Criminal Court
Finding Civil Court Records in the Courthouse
Your Strategy in Becoming Acquainted with Civil Court Records
The Civil Court Process
Other Records Which Might Be Found
Changes of Name
How Tax Records Help You
What was Taxed
Registrar of Voters
Locating the Naturalization Papers
Naturalization of Women
Formation of Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization
Can't Find the Divorce Proceeding?
Duties of a Criminal Court Clerk
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 10: Birth, Marriage, and Death
Registrations of Vital Records
Which Courthouse Office?
Cities May Keep Their Own Records
Are the Records Open to the Public?
Register Book Indexes and Their Organization
Transcribing and Abstracting Vital Records
Delayed or Corrected Birth Records
Other Courthouse Documents Can Substitutes for Birth Records
Local Customs Help
The Process by License or by Banns
Marriage Applications and the License
Where Did They Marry?
Substitute Marriage Records
Breach of Promise
Special Notes on Marriages
Where is the Death Register and What's In It?
When You Cannot Find the Death Record
Substitute Records Can Prove a Death
Vital Records Assistance
One Action Can Prove Birth, Marriage, and Death
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 11: The Internet, Microfilm, and Libraries
The Internet and Courthouses
Cyndi's List is Always a Place to Start
Other Cyndi's List Resource Items
County Sites Other Than USGenWeb
State Archives on the Internet
Federal Land Records Online
Local Land Records Online
Probate Records Online
Vital Records Online
Civil Records Online
Online Subscription Services
Microfilm for Courthouse Records
Family History Library (FHL) and Their Microfilm
Finding Family History Centers
Ordering FHL Microfilm
Microfilm Other than FHL
Library Genealogical Collections
Family History Library Books
Other Major Library Collections
Advantage of Library Preparation
Use WorldCat OCLC
Law Libraries for Statutes
United States Statutes
Other Finding Aids
PERSI Index to Published Articles
County Inventories and County Guides
Work Project Administration (WPA)
Original Courthouse Records Found Elsewhere
Chapter Points to PonderChapter 12: Strategies that Work
Example 1: Allow One Record to Lead to Another
Example 2: Locating the Children
Example 3: Locating Parents
Example 4: Following the Separations and Divorces
Example 5: The Will is Missing
Example 6: Widening the Search
Strategies for Letter Writing
General Rules When Writing
Stating the Request Clearly
Strategies for Finding African-American Records
Strategies for "Knowing" Our Ancestors
Keeping Us Going
The Saga of a Revolutionary Soldier
Index"Courthouse Research for Family Historians" Book Review
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