Stumped in your search for ancestral answers at a distant courthouse? Here are some of the most common problems family history researchers run into, and some possible solutions.
Problem: In some counties, courthouse personnel won’t search indexes for genealogists (although they will make a photocopy if you give them an exact citation for a record).
Solution: Rent a microfilm index or hire a researcher to look for your records
Problem: Most states have closed recent vital records to protect living people’s privacy. To request these documents, you must be either the person named in the record or a close relative or legal agent.
Solution: If you have the person s consent to get the record, write a letter in that person’s name and have the person sign it.
Problem: Some courthouse employees respond to genealogists immediately; others take several weeks.
Solution: Don’t send requests around election time! Before and after primary and general elections, clerks are busy, and requests pile up.
Problem: A repository that should have a record doesn’t find it.