Today we had a discussion about Court Records, where you can find them
and how they can be beneficial to your research.
You will find the following documents in the county Probate Court or at the State Vital Records.
Birth Certificates and Birth Indexes
Birth Certificates are a primary source for date of birth and mother's maiden name. (though we did discuss how some people had an incorrect date on their birth certificates...there are always exceptions to the rule!)
Birth Indexes are secondary sources.
Death Certificates are primary source for date of death only.
Wills: give you names of children, spouse, or other family members.
You will find the following documents in the county Superior Court
Real Estate Deeds and Plats
Registrar of Practicing Attorneys
Divorce cases may give you the marriage date, names of children and place of residence.
Civil Cases such as estate or will disputes can give you names of family members
Criminal Cases can give you interesting information on your ancestors. (or in the case we were talking about, may help some people find their birth mothers!)
Real Estate Deeds and Plats can give you the history of a property and possible names of family members.
DD214 are military discharge papers. You usually can only get a copy if you are an immediate member of the family.
Other interesting information you can find in Superior Court is
The Registrar of Practicing Attorneys
Trade Name Books
What to know before you go:
Call first. Some records are not on site and may have to be retrieved from storage or the county archives.
Bring small bills or change. Please do not pay for your one 50 cent copy with a $20.00 bill.
Remember: you can (usually) attract more flies with honey...be polite and courteous.