On the Road Again!
January 27, 2017
Morning all, so I got to go on a road trip to the courthouse yesterday and I forgot just how much I love being in an actual courthouse! Each has its own vibe, some are the easy going rural ones where the little lady behind the counter will ask what you are working on and proceed to tell you exactly where the property is along with the family history and gossip. There are also very urban courthouses which seem to always be busy assisting people needing various services. There is something about putting your hands on the actual index books that personally I find quite comforting, they all feel and smell about the same and have that same tattered bottom right corner from having been turned thousands of times. Most courthouses also have very old framed wall maps, which are so helpful finding old landmarks and road names, I have secretly always wanted to roll them all up and smuggle them out, I just LOVE maps.
While courthouses may look and feel very similar they all have very different methods for keeping the records, this is definitely not a one size fits all situation. The first thing I always do when I visit a new courthouse is walk around and get a visual of where stuff is, then I head to the counter and ask a few questions such as do you still mark cancellations on the face, or do you file probates in the conveyance records or do they have their own indices. This practice of getting to know the courthouse should be the same online, no two sites are the same and before beginning a search we should do a virtual “walk around”. During our virtual “walk around” notice what is available, what is the cost, see how they index, is there a geographical search option, or is there a tutorial on how to use the site? The next step is to do a trial run, for instance try running a search with last name (space) first name then try it with a comma, is there is a difference in the results? When you are confident with using the site do your search, but remember when the search is over you are not done. We have this wonderful proprietary software called PABS, maybe you have heard of it, that has a directory feature that is there and is ready for your tips on searching this new site. Please, please pass on your new found knowledge so that those who come behind you will have an easier time navigating the site for the first time. Happy searching everyone and have a great day!