The County Courthouse Book is a concise guide to county courthouses and courthouse records. It is an important book because the genealogical researcher needs a reliable guide to American county courthouses, the main repositories of county records. To proceed in his investigations, the researcher needs current addresses and phone numbers, information about the coverage and availability of key courthouse records such as probate, land, naturalization, and vital records, and timely advice on the whole range of services available at the courthouse. Where available he will also need listings of current websites and e-mail addresses.
He will also need to know whether search services are provided, the fees involved, and whether there are alternative locations for the records. And if he’s a diligent researcher, he’ll need to know something about the origins of the county itselfâ€”names of parent counties, dates of formation, former names, etc.
Such is the kind of guidebook required, and such is Elizabeth P. Bentley’s County Courthouse Book, now in its third edition, the first edition to provide websites and e-mail addresses. Besides its obvious genealogical uses, the County Courthouse Book can also be used for land title searches, legal investigations, questions of property rights and inheritance, and indeed personal searches and investigations of all kinds. But it is the genealogist who stands to benefit most from the book because it offers a concise guide to the county courthouses and courthouse records which are the main focus of his research.
This edition of the County Courthouse Book is a complete overhaul of the 2nd edition of 1995, and it is up-to-date and more useful than ever.