Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The "Other Side" of the Courthouse: Court Records and Online Resources You Might Not Have Used

Speakers: Sandra M. Hewlett and John W. Konvalinka

As genealogists, we are probably familiar with the county court records most genealogists use: vital statistics, wills and estate files, land and property records, naturalization paperwork, perhaps even divorce decrees, tax records and records of name changes, adoptions and similar proceedings.

But what about the many other kinds of records . . .
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- those found in legislative and court proceedings - in which our ancestors (or other subjects) might be named - complaints, case files, dockets, court orders and minutes - as well as in the underlying state laws and statutes? And what about "quasi legal" records - minutes of common councils and other legislative bodies - which might contain a wealth of personal and family information?

In this session we will discuss the genealogical importance of the many kinds of courts and other records beyond the ones we are most familiar with and we will describe the finding aids and explore various ways to access these records - in print, in law libraries and archives (which might also contain case files of loose papers), and online through a variety of web sites and services.

Sandra M. Hewlett, CG
Sandi is a former National Genealogical Society Board members and currently serves on the New England Historic Genealogical Society’’s Advisory Council. She is Chair of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania’’s Technology Special Interest Group and a counselor for the GSP Summer Camp program. She has been involved in genealogy for 25 years, focusing her research efforts in New England, Quebec, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and England.

John W Konvalinka, CG, CGL
John is a professional genealogist and is a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. He is a Trustee of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and is co-Leader of the National Genealogical Society's Britain-Ireland Forum. He has taught Genealogy Courses at Rutgers University and the Princeton Adult School. John lectures at national and international conferences on genealogical topics, including the effective use of computers and the Internet in genealogical research.

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