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Are You My Cousin?: Courthouse Research

Are You My Cousin?

Discovering My Ancestors -- One Cousin at a Time

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

I tell the stories of my ancestors’ lives. Whether they lived 20 years ago or 200 years ago, they each have a story to tell. Some ancestors tell their stories willingly. Others must have their stories carefully teased from the records. Sometimes the stories are sad. Sometimes the stories are happy. Sometimes the stories are just funny. Regardless, my ancestors’ stories shaped their lives and the lives of those that followed. Come and share in the tales!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Courthouse Research

I did something this past week that I have not done in my genealogical research yet.  I did on site courthouse research at the Halifax County, VA courthouse.  Oh, my!  This was one of the most valuable experiences in my research and personal genealogical education as of date.  I entered this historic structure (dating back to 1832) complete with "wavy" glass and walked into a room filled record books just waiting to be opened.

On Thursdays and Fridays, there is a gentleman there to assist those in their genealogy research.  He was a wealth of information and his assistance in finding the documents I needed was invaluable.  Like many researchers, I have done a lot of my research online.  I have also utilized the FHL microfilm as well as microfilm from the Library of Virginia.  Being able to search and the original documents and follow up on leads while the thought process was still fresh in my mind was not only fruitful, but thrilling as well.

This research trip primarily focused on my Haley family line.  I found lots of clues, but still no answer to who the father of Jesse Haley was.  Sometimes, what you do not find in the records is just as important as what you do find.  My research in Halifax County is leading me to Charlotte County, VA (not a surprising result, actually).  The helpful gentleman at the Halifax courthouse also assists researchers at the Charlotte courthouse.   I'm pulling out the calendar......    

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Blogger Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

I wish I could do more courthouse research. It would require traveling such distances though that I may not ever get to do much of it, boo hoo!

July 6, 2011 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Debi Austen said...

I can't wait to do something like that! I was able to visit a county historical society in Illinois last month and the volunteers were an amazing help. And now I want to go again and again and again.....

July 6, 2011 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I've yet to go to a courthouse. Like Lisa, the ones I need to get to are so far away.... Good luck with the next step in your search.

July 6, 2011 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Denise Spurlock said...

I did my first courthouse research last fall in East Texas...I had a great time and found so much information. Since I live in the Los Angeles area and all my family are from other states, it's a treat when I can research there!

July 16, 2011 at 11:41 PM  

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