|Marion Co., Ohio Courthouse|
A few years ago, I was researching in a county that was known to have record losses through a burned courthouse. And, I wasn't having much luck.
As I was packing up to leave, the county worker asked me if I had tried searching in the north courthouse. I wasn't sure what she meant, and she explained that there were actually two county seats in this county.
I had never heard of such a thing.
Sure enough, I found what I needed in the courthouse that hadn't burned, and one I didn't even know existed. It was in the days before information was more easily accessible via the Internet.
Here is a list of United States counties with more than one county seat:
And, here is a screenshot I use in one of my presentations:
So, when you find out there has been record losses in one of your counties that you research, be sure to ask:
- What years were burned?
- Which years were not affected?
- Where are they housed?
- There is always a possibility they may have been housed in another location, such as an annex.
- Ask how badly they were burned.
- Think about it. Have you ever tried to burn a book? It's hard. It may singe around the edges, but it really is difficult to burn the whole thing.
It was only a few years ago that two friends of mine went to research in a northwestern Kentucky county. I don't recall if there had been record loss there, or not.
They didn't find what they had hoped to find, so they left and went across the street to a bookstore. In a conversation with the owner, he asked what they were in town for.
They mentioned they had been researching at the courthouse, but hadn't had the luck they hoped to have.
He asked which records they were looking for, and when they told him, he said he had those in the back of the store!
In a bookstore!
Don't give up. Here is another screenshot from one of my presentations concerning Adams Co., Ohio.
Seventy years!!! Like I said, don't give up.