records come in a myriad of types. We have always been a litigious country, and
genealogical gems can often be found lurking in the records. It takes a little
skill to wade through the court system and you may need help. Court records
include items as diverse as naturalization, criminal acts, land disputes,
raising money for the poor, probate, church attendance, taxation, licensing,
building roads, setting moral standards, libel, property damage, defense,
guardianship, lunacy, adoption, courts martial, and debts.
the proper court can be tricky. There are city, county, district, circuit,
state, and federal courts. There are criminal and equity, inferior, common and
superior courts. Some have strange names like surrogate, ordinary, exchequer,
assize, prothonotary, chancery, and admiralty. The different names are due to
the locations and time periods of the courts; for example, names of courts in
New England may differ from the ones in Louisiana.
what courts have jurisdiction in my area for my time period.
the address for a court clerk in my research location.
out if court records have been published for my location.
a legal term.
To ask these or
similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill
out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.