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more about – Indices of Court Cases

 

 

If you:

          -- are a serious Monroe County, Ohio history buff

          -- are a serious Monroe County, Ohio genealogy researcher

          -- are an amateur researcher looking for good sources of information

          -- have run into a “brick wall” in your search for information about your family tree

          -- want relevant information to supplement your family history research

          -- are in need of information about an ancestor’s, friend’s, or stranger’s court case

          -- are just bored and need some exciting reading

 

                                       -- then, this is for you!

 

          If you find family history books that list “who begat whom” on tens or hundreds of pages to be boring and would like to add some history and substance to your research, there are several resources you should consider.  The first might be the newspapers that were published during the period of your research.  Second might be the Wills of the people of interest.  Third, would be the Complete Records of court cases in which the researcher’s subject might have been involved.  Fourth, must include the obituaries of the researcher’s subjects.  All of these can provide information about a researcher’s subject that may exist in no other place. 

 

The focus of material in this section is the Court Records that have been dutifully kept by the court system since the creation of the County of Monroe, Ohio.  It is estimated that less than 5% of the researchers who are interested in ancestors and former residents of Monroe County, Ohio will ever have the opportunity to look through the many volumes of records found in various locations in the County.  For the few people who can visit these resources, most will experience difficulty and slow progress researching this material.  This is due to the shear number of books, the size and weight of the books and the generally poor condition of record books, many of which are over 100 to 150 years old.  This slow, grungy, dirty, and frequently strenuous work is one of the unfortunate down-sides of the normally exciting work of genealogy and history research.

 

The magic number for most of the County’s record books is 600 – that is, many, if not most, of these books contain around 600 pages.  Pages typically measure about 11-inches by 20-inches.  Unfortunately, because of their size and volume of materials in these record books, they are too large to be put on this website.  Fortunately, the most important literature and records of Monroe County, Ohio have been photographed and put onto CDs.  These CDs are convenient for researchers to conduct their research from the comfort of their own home.  A complete list of the available CDs can be viewed on this website by clicking here or by copying and pasting the address below into your Internet browser address box and clicking “Go.”  A complete list of available CDs is at:  http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~harringtonfamilies/CD-Status.htm

 

Three Indexes to the Complete Record Books of the Court of Common Pleas

 

1)      With so many books and CDs available, it is important that a researcher have a way to identify the specific book or CD that contains the information they are seeking.  In the case of the record books of the Court of Common Pleas, there are indices in most of the books.  These indices are organized by surname that can lead the researcher to the correct volume and page.  The “Indices of Court Cases” found on this site are photographs of the index from each of these books.  They are free and provide guidance to the original material.  You can access a list of the available indices by clicking here or by copying and pasting the following address into your Internet browser address box and clicking “Go.”  http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~harringtonfamilies/CofCPleasIndexofRecBks.htm   The indices found at this address are Direct Indices as defined in item 2) below.

 

2)      In addition to the indices found on this website and described in item 1) above, there is also a “Direct Index” of all of the cases found in the Complete Record Books.  It is called the Direct Index because it is organized by the surname of the plaintiff, the party originating the suit.  This “Direct Index” is being photographed and will be posted on this website when it is complete.  It should be available by February or March of 2008.

 

3)      A third index is available for the Complete Record Books that were produced between 1815 and 1877 (Record Books # 1 through #21.  Record book #1 (1815 – 1822), however, is missing.)  This index is called the “Reverse Index” because it is organized by the surname of the defendant, the party being sued.  This “Reverse Index” has been photographed and put onto a CD.  It is also accessible on this website by clicking here or by copying and pasting the following address into your Internet browser address box and clicking “Go.”  http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohmchs/IndexA.htm

 

An example of how to use the indices found on this web site:

 

Your great grandfather, Thaddeus Smith, lived in Monroe County and you need information about him.  Reasons why you may wish to research the court records could include:

          You have hit a brick-wall with respect to information about him.

          He was married twice and you want to see any records concerning his divorce from his first wife.

          He had a child out of wedlock and you want to see the results of a paternity suit.

          He had a store and you want to see if there were any law suits regarding the payment or collection of bills.

          You understand that there was a dispute regarding land ownership or right-of-way relating to his farm.

          You just want to check to see if anyone in your family line has been involved in a law suit.

          Or, any of the other reasons that might involve the court system.

 

Go to the above indices described under items 1), 2), or 3) above.  If you want to know if Thaddeus Smith was sued, use the Reverse Index in item 3) above.  If you want to know if Thaddeus Smith sued someone, use the Direct Index in 1) or 2) above.  Look for the name(s) you wish to research.  Note the book number and the years covered by the book for each name you find.

 

Armed with the names, book numbers and years covered by the book, you can go to the records room in the Clerk of Courts in Woodsfield, Ohio and research the original record books there.  Alternately, you can go to the list of CDs available that can be found at this web site by clicking here or by copying and pasting the address below into your Internet browser address box and clicking “Go.”  A complete list of available CDs is at:  http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~harringtonfamilies/CD-Status.htm. 

 

In general, the same steps can be used for researching Wills, Newspapers, and Obituaries.  For each, the steps may differ a little, so you can click on the blue “more” hyperlink found near the buttons for Wills and Obituaries.  For newspapers, click on the button named: “Books on CDs.”

 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the author at:  Richard Harrington, 9517 Mount Vernon Landing, Alexandria, VA, 22309; telephone 703/780-9109; e-mail richardharrington@cox.net

 

Go to the Index page

Go to the list of indices of Court of Common Pleas Cases