“The courthouse was burned” is one of those phrases that causes a significant amount of genealogical swearing. When you hear this phrase, remember to ask: Did the entire courthouse burn? Were all offices in the same location? Were any records salvaged? Were some documents “restored?” Were residents asked to bring any originals in to be recorded again? Would newspapers hold some of the missing information? Are there federal records that would provide the same information? Have I asked locals knowledgeable about the local records what materials might be available? etc.
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