Before You Make that Trip to the Courthouse

There are several things you should do while planning that research trip to a distant courthouse. This list is not all-inclusive, but will get you started on your planning:

  • what days and times is the courthouse open?
  • is it closed for lunch?
  • are there days of the week I should avoid (is court in session on certain days?)
  • what are the copy costs for various records?
  • can I take cell phone in the courthouse?
  • what other restrictions are there on things I can bring in the facility?
  • can I take digital pictures of records?
  • is there a local society who may be able to assist?
  • does the local library have materials that may help?
  • where is the nearest motel?

Connect with a local person or organization before you go (perhaps via a historical society, library, etc.–they may have a Facebook page). They may have additional suggestions.

If the first time you interact with a local person is when you cross the county line, there may be opportunities you missed because you didn’t pre-plan.