Emailed a county clerk in a rural US county yesterday and they were able to answer my question and get me a copy of the page I needed. I asked a very specific question about a specific item in a record set I had used before. I was not going on a fishing expedition.

However, to maximize the chance of success in general, remember to ask specific questions, learn about the records (as much as you can before emailing), be patient, and always ask if there’s another way to access the information other than via an email correspondence.

Keep in mind that while records may be open, offices do not necessarily have to respond to email requests. Always look and see what finding aids and other materials are online first–particularly at FamilySearch, the state archives/library, or the actual county records office in question’s website, etc.

We are taking orders for More Genealogy Tip of the Day, which is scheduled to be released in mid-to-late June. Details are on our announcement page. It’s over 400 pages!



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