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Courthouse Research for Family Historians [Paperback]

Christine Rose


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Book Description

May 31 2004
Finally--the only guidebook devoted exclusively to research in America's courthouses. Full of essentials starting with preparation, interacting with the clerks, using the indexes, and what to expect to find in each courthoiuse office. But it doesn't stop there. Evaluating the records and using them to solve genealogical problems are included. For those who can't travel to the courthouse personally, use of the Internet, microfilm, and published books of abstracts are discussed.

Tips galore from an author who has researched in more than 500 courthouses.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Rose Family Assn (May 31 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929626168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929626161
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 27.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,858,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent how-to source, expecially for "relative novices" (heh, heh . . .) June 7 2007
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Rose is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and a well-known speaker at national conferences. She's also an admitted courthouse junky. There are some 3,140 courthouses in the United States and she's poked around in more than 500 of them -- and she would be the first to tell you that every one is different, even in neighboring counties formed at the same time. (I've spent considerable time rummaging in courthouses myself, though not as many as Christine. . . .) Which county office has custody of which types of records varies from state to state, as do the names of the departments themselves. Big city courthouses are very different from small rural ones. Courthouses in poorer areas of a state do things differently, by necessity, than courthouses in comparatively wealthy counties. And that's not to mention the wide variation in personalities among county clerks and their minions, not only from place to place but even from year to year. (Every experienced researcher has run across courthouse workers who have no tolerance whatever for genealogists.) Rose approaches her topic methodically, from figuring out which county ought to have the records you're seeking (counties often have parents and offspring, too) and where to start when you arrive (with the indexes, the use of which may sometimes be arcane), to dealing with all sorts of records: Deeds, vital records, estates, civil and criminal court books, and all the rest. She goes on to discuss what's available on microfilm when your travel budget is tight, and the "strategies for success" that have worked for her. Courthouse research is a very difficult subject to generalize about, but this volume does an excellent job.
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courthouse Treasure Hunt Sept. 9 2005
By L F Sammons - Published on Amazon.com
Family historians often resist researching courthouse records because they either don't understand the records and their content or haven't read this instructive book by Ms. Rose. Case studies are used to illustrate how much information can be gleaned from exploring the courthouse where your ancestors lived or taking a look at the Family History Library films of the records if one can't visit the area of interest. This step by step guide will help the researcher glean every ounce of information from records, and then know how to intrepret and use that for furthering an understanding of his ancestors life. The helpful leads in the local courthouse no longer need to intimidate and confuse. Using this guide will help you enter into the treasure hunt for information with confidence and clarity.
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference Feb. 27 2006
By Judith Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Everything a family historian needs to fully utilize records available at the courthouse. Excellent organization and packed with clear and complete explanations of how to find the many different resources hiding in the different departments. Anyone who has ever been intimidated by a courthouse will appreciate this book.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courthouse Research for Family Historians June 15 2008
By Carolyn C. Lobb - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures Great research tool for both the beginner and more advanced family history researcher. The author writes in a very easy to understand language about what can be a very complicated and confusing process of navigating courhouses records. She also provided extremely helpful hints on how to prepare for your visit, how to locate the hard to find information, and how to deal with roadblocks.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad I bought this book! Sept. 5 2011
By Comeka - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
First, a disclaimer - I haven't yet finished the book. In fact, I'm only in the 3rd chapter BUT I've already learned enough to make the cost of the book a great investment!

I'm relatively new to 'serious' genealogy and have my first courthouse trip planned for next week. I thought it would be a good idea to learn a bit more about local records before my trip so I purchased this book. My goal is to answer a couple of very specific questions about an ancestor and I had a small inkling of what I would need to answer those questions. However, I'm barely into the book and have already discovered 2 others ways I might be able to use local records to discover what I am after. Before I started this book, I was excited but nervous about my trip . . . now I'm am SUPER excited and confident!

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