Keen to find out more about your family? For many people, understanding family roots is a key step to finding out who they are or who they want to be. Although the internet has an overwhelming wealth of information that may be useful during a genealogical search, municipal court records also act as important resources that will help you dig deep into your family history.
Table of Contents
- 1 Search Records in Municipal Court Will Bring you Closer
- 2 Municipal Court Records have an Abundance of Information
- 3 Searching Through Many Cases will Provide an Array of Information
- 4 Indexing of Municipal Court Records Matter
Search Records in Municipal Court Will Bring you Closer
According to research, approximately 60% of couples (either the husband or wife) appear in a specific court action. On the other hand, 70% of general family members often make an appearance in court, they may be the plaintiff, the defendant and other times they are the deceased who left behind an ongoing dispute about their estate.
Information about a divorce suit can also be found in these records. Either way, municipal court records will bring you in step closer to finding the family answers that you seek.
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Here are 3 things you need to know about Search Records in municipal courts:
Municipal Court Records have an Abundance of Information
Unfortunately, these court records are some of the most underutilized genealogical resources. Many people are often challenged by the difficulty to search for these records. Although this may be true, the information on a municipal court record can shed light on your search process.
However, this information often varies from one case to another or a specific region of the country to another. Ideally, you require the right information on the place or region that your family member (s) may be from.
For instance, an individual faced with a foreclosure case is required to list all of his descendants during the period of the case. The records may also contain the postal addresses of the respective defendants. This automatically provides new information about the whereabouts of family members that you may not know of.
Searching Through Many Cases will Provide an Array of Information
When you Search Records in a municipal court, it is beneficial to go through a variety of cases. While all court cases will provide some kind of genealogical information, the following are most useful in genealogical research:
Divorce court records often showcase the place and date of marriage that pertains to the couple. Information about minor children including but not limited to their names and ages may be provided. Here, residence information about the couple can also be found. Even in cases of an uncompleted divorce action, it is still possible to find this information. Although divorce was not common before the year 1900 as it may be today, but it was still heard of.
Perhaps a legal separation took place even though a divorce did not occur. In this case, similar information like that on divorce records will be obtained. The only exception is that children who were adults during the separation will not be named.
While there are adoption records that are sealed, there are older records that could be available. There are special cases where the court may also give permission to Search Records. However, in earlier years, adoptions were informal, therefore, municipal court records on them may not exist.
Once upon a time, American women only enjoyed specific legal rights. For instance, if the husband died and was survived by the wife and his minor children, the wife was required to file an order of guardianship. These records could be filed separately, with probate records and/or with other municipal court records. Usually, guardianship records provided the children’s names and their date of birth. They also provided information about the child’s mother and also showcased details of the child’s biological ancestry.
When the heirs of an estate could not agree on how the property should be divided, court documents were filed to partition the estate among the heirs. In this case, all the information about living and deceased family members will be listed in the records.
Indexing of Municipal Court Records Matter
When conducting a physical search of the court records, the indexing matters. Usually, there are separate indices for physical records and these that can be found on microfilm. The index will make the Search Records process easy because it indicates the case that is being pursued, and, the dates of other actions along with the judgment. The index also provides references to certain court books such as court journals and a reference number to the actual court records such as the bill of complaints, subpoenas, and affidavits. The dates and all other relevant information on these documents will shed light on your family members’ history.
Municipal court records can be accessed in their physical location microfilm or in published versions. Despite your form of choice, the genealogical information provided on them is the same. However, if you choose to access these records in their physical location, you may need to hire a research to Search Records professional to do the job for you. Regardless of the nature of the record, it is significant to always research the complete family.