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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jewell County Kansas Research Review

This is my research review for Jewell County Kansas that I went up to last Friday.  The courthouse was probably built in the 1940’s or 1950’s.  It was an old brown brick building with 2 stories.  When I go into a courthouse I always check for a directory when I enter a courthouse to see where the offices are that I want to visit and to the right as you walk in was a directory of where I need to go.  Very helpful and always a welcome sign.  Headed straight for the 2nd floor to begin my research.

The clerk of the court was there and she was a one woman office.  She was very helpful and very knowledgeable about what records she had in her vaults and assisted me whenever I had a question.  She also showed me how to use their copy machine and even assisted me when I needed to make copies of documents.  This is the kind of service that you expect when you travel to a courthouse from a county employee.  Only this clerk wasn’t a county employee but an employee of the state of Kansas I learned while talking to her.  In her office I obtained a probate and  a marriage record.  The costs of the copies were a little over priced at .25 Cents per page. 

My next stop was the record of deeds.  The woman who helped me originally, I assumed was the recorder.  She was not very helpful at all and was actually obstructing me in finding the information I was looking for.  She asked if I knew what years I was looking and if I already had the land description.  I wouldn’t need the records if I already had the description.  She suggested at first that we look at the old county registers by year and then locate the property name using the old plat books to locate the individual. She mentioned using the indexes but decided on a different course. I of course told her I preferred to use the Indexes because it would go a lot faster.  After about 20 minutes of screwing around she finally capitulated and let me look on my own in the indexes.  Of course they had bring out each book to me at first.  I guess they didn’t trust me in the vault to go through the books myself.  I mean really, like I’m going to cart off a 25 pound book that is too big to hide anywhere on my person.  So finally they let me get the books myself and go through them. I managed to find 5 land records in the indexes but when I checked their page and book numbers against the indexes 2 of the records didn’t match up.  After I had written  up the Book and Page numbers a different person took over and in assisting me and she was more comfortable to work with and even took the pages out of the books and made the copies for me.  She was very helpful and I appreciated her assistance.  So I bought the 3 that did match.   Again in this office copies were .25 cents per page.  Again I felt over charged but at the same time it’s still cheaper than some and more than other counties charge.

Overall I’d rate this as a successful trip.  I would not hesitate to go back and research for future clients.  Although I would be more assertive with the recorder and let them know ahead of time that you’re coming.

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