Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Try Court Records

There's been a brief discussion of this on the Facebook page, so I thought I'd post something about it here. The vast majority of people who appear in court records are pretty ordinary people. Was your ancestor a small landowner who had a boundary dispute with a neighbor? Was an ancestor a hothead who occasionally got in trouble with the law?

People sometimes assume incorrectly that court records won't hold any information about their ancestor. That's not necessarily true. I've found court records on quite a few of my "average" ancestors, including:
  • disputes over building a fence
  • accusations of selling alcohol
  • failure to pay wages
Even if you ancestors weren't well-off, consider searching for them in court records.

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