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Courthouse Research for Your Genealogy

The genealogy societies in my area put on some terrific programs. The Highlands Ranch club came through with another one this week.

Dina Carson of Boulder, CO spoke on records one can find in courthouses and city halls.

I have visited many courthouses. My visits have been limited to stops at the courts and the Clerk and Recorder offices. I have collected vital records, divorces, guardianships, and land records during these visits.

Dina opened my eyes to many sources housed in these facilities that I had never thought about looking at.

She provided a page full of other city and courthouse offices that might hold records of interest. She suggested these:

  1. County commissioner
  2. Sheriff
  3. Assessor
  4. Agriculture
  5. Coroner
  6. Elections
  7. Parks and Open Space
  8. Public Health
  9. Treasurer
  10. Roads
  11. Surveyor
  12. Artwork
  13. Maps

I realized I could find additional information on some of my ancestors in these offices if I only looked.

For example, I wonder if my rural people would be mentioned in the agricultural records of their counties. I might be able to locate their livestock brands or see if they ever participated in a county fair. I know of one relative who did rodeo trick riding.

Another option for me would be to search sheriff’s records for some of my less law-abiding ancestors like those in Illinois who believed in homemade money.

This valuable program made me realize that I have endless research possibilities in local records.


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