Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Miscellaneous Books at the Recorder's Office

I made a discovery today! It wasn't concerning my own genealogy but something none the less that made me want to shout. Two years ago I discovered the Miscellaneous books at our local Brown County Recorder's Office. I had looked at them only quickly enough to check on someone elses' sources. At the time I was researching the topic "Horse Thief Detectives in Brown County." It was published in the March 2011 edition of Indiana Genealogist of the IGS quarterly. I had used the Miscellaneous Books then to get names of those involved in the creation of the organizations. I had also checked them when I was helping to compile a Church History for one of local churches that had burnt, the Grandview Apostolic Church. Little was known about the early people that had established this church and I thought I could at least get the names of the Trustees.

I started on another research topic this month, the Fox Hunts that occurred in Southern Indiana and namely the one that occurred here in Brown County in 1925. We recently had a large panoramic photo donated to our Archives of the Fox Hunt that occurred here in 1925. I was hoping to find evidence of local Fox Hunting Clubs that might have been organized during that time. I couldn't find anything easily in the index under Brown County Fox Hunters so I decided to take the time to look through the whole index to see if maybe there was a listing under any other names.

As I started in the A's I noticed the types of filings that were listed in the index. There were Elections of Trustees for churches and other organizations, Appointments of County positions, Articles of Association by cemetery associations. All this great stuff is in the Miscellaneous Books. Then I started noticing other things that I hadn't seen before such as: Guardianships, Estates, Last Will and Testaments, Survivorship Affidavits, Affidavit Stating Heirs and even Divorces. I starting taking notes to see if any these had been recorded anywhere else. I double checked my list with the Will Books and Probate Books that had been compiled years ago and are at our local library. Of my list of 17 entries in Miscellaneous Book 5 for 1924-1932 about half of these I couldn't find anywhere else. This will be an ongoing investigation to check even more sources to see I have overlooked something. But, I surmise that some of these entries refer to events that might not have occurred in our county but needed to be recorded here for legal purposes.

But what a find! Consider this as an alternate source in case you can't find a record elsewhere. Or maybe as a record "to add to" your primary source documents. Whatever your need is please be sure to check on these little known sources that are hiding in plain site.

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