The Villages Genealogical Society
Facts, Tips & Tricks
 
Tips to help you discover and trace your genealogy.
 
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Listings: 1 to 9 of 9
1.  
Be aware that many documents are only available through a courthouse. Not everything is available online. If you can’t go personally, write a letter, or check with a nearby genealogical society which may provide a lookup service for a small fee.
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
2.  
Always bring a magnifying glass to the courthouse to assist with documents that are difficult to read. Also understand the rules of what you can and cannot do while in the courthouse.
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
3.  
There are three types of wills: Attested, Holographic and Nuncupative. The attested will is the most common and is prepared for the testator. A holographic will is written by the testator himself. A nuncupative will is the deathbed wishes of the testator, recorded by a witness present at the bedside. All wills must be witnessed.
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
4.  
Probate records refer to wills, inventories, letters of administration and guardianship. They are usually held at the county courthouse unless archived and they are indexed by the name of the testator.
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
5.  
An "executor" is named by the testator and is required by the court to post a bond. An "administrator" is appointed to handle the affairs of one who dies intestate (without a will).
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
6.  
Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingalls, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy offers many suggestions on Courthouse research.
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
7.  
“Land transfers weren’t always recorded. The land may have been inherited rather than transferred by deed, or deeds among family members may mot have been taken to the courthouse to save the recording fee. Diligent searching, however, should produce something, perhaps even years after the original purchase, when the land was sold out of the family.”
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
8.  
“A court clerk may suggest you need only look at the grantee index, and not the grantor index. Don’t listen! There can be a variety of reasons why the purchase was not entered in the grantee index, although later the sale appears in the grantor index. The first deed may have been a patent or grant from the state or federal government, inherited, overlooked when the index was prepared, or just not recorded. Always check both indexes." Ibid
Last Updated: 22 March 2016
9.  
“Sometimes the buyer never returned to the courthouse to retrieve the now-recorded document. The original deed of your ancestor’s property may be in that old box marked “original deeds” or “unclaimed deeds” on the top shelf, gathering dust.”
Last Updated: 22 March 2016