A Successful Courthouse Visit
Yesterday, Esther, Lynne and I took a short vacation from our computers and the internet and went on a research trip into the real world of genealogy research - visiting the courthouse in one of the counties where our ancestors resided. We had not done courthouse research for some time and I had forgotten how much fun and how rewarding and productive this type of research can be.
We made sure that we had completed all of the proper preparation for our trip and headed out early Tuesday morning for the West Carroll Parish courthouse in Oak Grove, Louisiana. Upon arrival at the courthouse we found the County Clerks' office and were greeted by a very friendly staff. The clerk assistant showed Esther and Lynne where the marriage record indexes were and they began to search for the locations of the marriage certificates we needed. Meanwhile, I was directed to the conveyance and mortgage indexes to search for land and property transfer records for our ancestors.
After we had found and noted the book and page number of the records that we needed the clerk assistant directed us to the vault where all of the older records were stored. In this area we found a gold mine of information on our ancestors. We discovered marriage records, probates and wills, and even papers on a civil suit involving an accident where an ancestors' seventeen year old son was killed in a farm tractor accident. After about three hours of searching the records we decided to follow the rule for all ancestor seekers - "Take time to eat and drink while researching, remember we want to find our ancestors not to join them". So we took a break for lunch and came back to the courthouse ready to start searching again. After we found all the records we came for the clerk assistant made copies for us and we headed back home. On the way home we stopped by the Oak Grove public library to see what they had in their genealogy section. This is something that I advise doing, because you never know what treasures you will find in these small town libraries.
In all, our research trip was a success. We found many records that provided genealogical information that we had not found in our other research. There are many court records on the internet, but some of the most interesting finds are waiting for you in the local county courthouses.
Happy ancestor hunting.