Sunday, April 22, 2007

Finding Recent Court and Property Records

I was browsing through the San Diego County (CA) USGenWeb site maintained by Sheila Larson this morning, and ran across some links to the San Diego county Assessor Index and the San Diego County Court Index systems.

These have fairly current information in them. For instance, the County Court Index system lets you search for records between 1974 and 2007. You have to choose between Party Name, a Case Number or a DA (District Attorney). I chose Party Name, and then had to enter in the form one or more of the Case Type (civil, criminal, domestic, mental health, probate), the Case Location (North County, South County, East County, San Diego, Kearny Mesa, Ramona or Unknown-All), the Last Name or Business Name, and the First Name.

Using this, I checked out the Probate records for my grandparents and my parents, and all Seaver people. There is a link that tells you where the record can be found. I could print out a summary of each case, but could not order the file online. On the Domestic Case Type, I looked for my brothers' divorce records - yep, now I have the date it was filed. On the Criminal Case Type, I found that neither of my brothers have had a case filed. Hey, this is fun!

The other major public record here is the County Assessor's Office, which handles land transactions. The online record index covers 1982 to 2007. I input the surname Seaver, and there were 583 hits. I input my name and there were only 4 hits - all of which I knew about. I input my brothers' names, and there were a lot more! I could have purchased any of these documents for a fee.

The Assessor's Office also had a Parcel Map Search, so I put my address in and the parcel map for my subdivision popped up. I tried my old 30th Street address, but no map was available (probably not digitized, since it was laid out in 1894).

What about your county of interest? Are there recent records that you could find for distant relatives who may have died, or sold their property, or - shudder - were taken to a civil or criminal court. You might check the USGenWeb site for these records, and if you don't find them there, then Google the county or state of interest.


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