1...If you want to get more respect and help from the courthouse clerks, always dress in business attire. Carry a briefcase and NEVER head straight for the marriage and will records. ALWAYS look at all land records first! (Don't laugh, I tried this in three N.C. County courthouses and the clerks nearly fell over one another trying to help me!) Months before, it was hard to get a answer from anyone while wearing jeans and sneakers. Must have thought I was an attorney instead of a researcher?
2...If you are in a "burned county" check to see if any reconstructed records remain, search surrounding counties for any info.
3...When you are reading any deeds, wills, estates, etc., always check out at least five pages before and after your record for ones that were recorded the same day as your ancestors. This often shows relationship or near neighbors that came to the courthouse together.
4...When checking census, ALWAYS record at least one dozen neighbors that resided on either side of your family. These are the families that your subject married into!
5...If a child was bound out, it was almost always on the FATHER'S side of the family. Many times it was an illegitimate child.
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http://jefferson.nygenweb.net/tid4.htm updated March 7, 2009
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