Court (or other) Records in Neighboring Counties?

When you find quite a bit on a relative in a certain county for what appears to be the entire duration of their life, it can be tempting to think that neighboring counties do not need to be searched.

That can be a mistake.

Deed, court, and probate records were easily located on a person of interest in Bedford County, Virginia. I thought I was done with that portion of the research. It turns out that I was not. A search of court records in adjacent Amherst County turned up a court case for him there as well.

I was not done with the research. The deeds had not been fully analyzed and I did not know where in Bedford County the person lived. Their proximity to the county line could have meant that they lived in the neighboring county for part of their life or frequently conducted business with individuals from that neighboring county.

Neighboring counties should always be searched. This is particularly true when the person lived near the county line or you do not know where they lived within the county.

Just because you’ve “found a lot,” does not mean you will not find more.

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