JOPLIN, Mo. —
Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.
To start the search, go to cyndislist.com/us. When the site opens, scroll down to the state where your reluctant ancestors lived. Click on that state. For my search, I clicked on "Missouri," but you could click on another state.
The next site lists several topics. Scroll down the list and click on "Counties." When the next page opens, click on the county that you are researching. When the next page opens, click on "Libraries/Archives/Museums." When the next page opens, click on Missouri State Archives or other state archives. You now have access to a list of all the courthouse records that are available on microfilm for the county that you are researching. Scroll through the list to see which resources might be helpful in your search. The types of resources vary with each county.
When I checked the microfilm records for Jasper County, I learned that the county and municipal resources include voter registrations, wills, mortgages, deeds, the Children's Home, city directories, marriages, soldier discharges, taxes and school board minutes.
Those resources are listed under the offices in which they were recorded. Those offices include Probate Court, Collector, Circuit Court, County Clerk, Justice of the Peace and Recorder of Deeds.
The site provides the reel number, title of the record, subtitle of the record, date of the record, whether the record is indexed and the content. Print out a copy of any info that might be useful in your search.
Your next step will be to contact the county courthouse, county record center or the state archives to learn where the microfilm copies are located, the address of each place where the microfilm are stored, and the hours that the microfilm can be used. You should also ask about parking and other guidelines for using the microfilm.
Suggestions or queries? Send to Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168, or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.