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.


3 thoughts on “Before You Make that Trip to the Courthouse

  1. Kat

    In addition to learning the conditions at the courthouse prior to visiting, one should take a written list of the things to be accomplished. This includes listing information about names, places, and dates. In the excitement of the courthouse research, it is easy to forget some of the basic items.

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      Very true. I was thinking more of logistical details, but not having a list can really be a problem.


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