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16 February 2009

Do you Understand the Index?

A few things worth remembering:

  • Indexes to courthouse records are not always strictly alphabetical. Sometimes they are indexed only the first letter of the last name.
  • Some indexes are partially by last name and then by first name.
  • The Mc and Mac names can be at the front or the end of the "M" section.
  • Not every party in a lawsuit appears in the defendant or plaintiff index.
  • Indexes can be incorrect or missing.
  • Courthouses may have indexes to records that were not filmed by the Family History Library.

A good idea is to ask a local person from the area who is familiar with the records. These people can be an excellent resource.

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