Are You Courting the Loose Papers?

If you find a relative in a court record, do you know how to search for transcripts of testimony, petitions of plaintiff, responses of defendant, and other original court documents? Entries in journals and ledgers may only be part of the record and are a great place to start, but there may be more. The difficulty is that in some cases these records were never kept in the first place or they are no longer extant.

But it is worth your while to find out. The local courthouse that houses the court record you’ve found is the first place to look. Local historical/genealogical societies may be able to give some guidance in addition to locals familiar with the records. Older records may have been transferred to the appropriate state archives.

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