Who Do You Think You Are?
Where did you come from?
Things to consider before you visit the Courthouse
Are the records your looking for city or county record ?
When was the county formed?
What are the hours of operation for the courthouse?
What records do they have?
Which office has the records you want?
Getting ready for your visit
Dress comfortably and wear flat shoes.
You may be on you feet most of the day.
Many courthouses do not allow photocopying, ask first.
Bring change for copies.
You may not have a place to set your laptop
or plug it in it’s best to leave it in the car.
Bring a pencil and lined notepad you may
not be able to use a pen.
A magnifying glass can be helpful in reading
many old records
Records found at the Courthouse
Military Bounty Land Warranty
State VS You
What can land records show you
When and where your ancestor came from.
If your ancestor was married or single.
At times family relationships.
General Index to deeds
Grantor ---- Owner -- one who sells or transfers land
Grantee --- Buyer -- one who receives property
Land given for services rendered to the United States of America
Did your ancestor leave a will?
If not, will there be any record left behind?
A will generally tells family
If minor children are involved
a guardian may be listed.
Types of Wills
Holograph Will-Handwritten by testor.
Nuncupative Will- Oral usually on deathbed
Intestate- no will written by testor but estate
settled through the court.
Will are witnessed by two individuals.
They may be witnessed by family members
or close trusted friends.
Oath of allegiance to the United States
Name of bride and groom sometimes information on parents.
List date of marriage and all minor children.
Miscellaneous Court Records
The State vs You
Bigamy, Assault, and Murder
Most birth and death records
will not be found at the courthouse.
Many New England states kept the vital
records in each individual city.
In the early 1900’s the government began
to require vital records to be kept at
the capital of each state.
For example Kansas vital records can be
located at the capital building in Topeka.