Local Public Records
Most towns and counties have records of which a lot of us are unaware. Below are listed just a few of them.
Record Source||Location||Information contained|
|Newspapers||Local Library or Newspaper Office||Obituaries, Will Readings, Visits of family members, weddings|
|Cemetery Records||Courthouse - Recorders Office||Birth, Death Dates, Place of Birth|
|School Records||Local Schools and Public Libraries||Addresses, birthdates and name of colleges or school information was sent to|
|County Histories||Public Libraries||Family Histories, Names of people involved in town government or happenings|
|Telephone Directories||Public Libraries||Names and addresses of family, business addresses to help locate land and tax records|
|City and County Plat Maps||County Recorders Office/Local Genealogical Society||Names of owners of town lots|
|Church Records||Local Church and Genealogical Societies||Birth, Marriage and Death Records before vital records start|
|Local Police Records||City Hall or County Clerk's Office||Names, addresses, birthdates and details of offenders|
|Local Militia Records||City Hall - Public Library - Local Genealogical Society||Names of Militia members before Civil War Era|
To begin your research make a visit to each of the following offices to find out if they have any of the above records:
- Public Library
- City Hall
- Newspaper Office
- Local School Superintendents Office
- County Clerk and Recorders Office
- Local Genealogical or Historical Society
While there, make a note of the dates covered by the records and whether or not they are complete. Also note the author,
to make certain the records are reputable, and any printing dates. Use a blank piece of paper for every SURNAME, list all
the information you find concerning EVERYONE by that surname. You may find later they are related and won't have to go back
and research the records again. You may as well get all the information on every surname on your
pedigree chart that comes from that local area. That way you only have to make this trip one time.
We suggest that you make a copy of the front page of the source as well as copying the pages that contain the information
you were seeking. On the back of that copy, put the title, call number and location where you found the record.
Keep a research log of EVERY record searched, the date you searched it and the names for which you searched.
Label each piece of blank paper you've written information on and file it in the correct surname folder for
When visitiing a cemetery and checking tombstones, draw a picture of the cemetery layout with each row marked and numbered
to help you if you ever need to find that exact tombstone again.
Public records searched and recorded, you're ready to move on to the
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