Citations— Court Records
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Court records provide a vast array of genealogical information. Records include vital records for birth, marriage and death, coroners’ records, probate records including guardianships, wills and administrations, land transactions, tax records, naturalizations, and divorces. For the most part, court records are created at the time the event occurs. Courts also heard civil and criminal matters. Court records may be found on the municipal, county, state, and federal levels. These records will need to be evaluated to determine who provided the information and their relationship to the principal in the record. An additional consideration is the provenance of the record. Was the record book copied more than one time? Were errors made when the record was read and recopied?

Land records, naturalization records, probate records, and vital records are included in their own sections of this chart.

Elements of the citation could include: the name of the court, the location of the court, the type of record, the name of the office creating or holding the record, the names of the participants, the date of the record, the case name, the volume and page(s) of the record, the Web page title, the URL, the date the record was accessed, the microfilm or microfiche number and item number, the repository for the film, and repository address.


First Footnote or Endnote Subsequent Footnote or Endnote Bibliography
Court case Online [City or County of jurisdiction], [State of jurisdiction], [Series] [case File number], [Case name], [court term], “[item of interest,]” [record date]; digital images, [Web page owner], [Web page title] (URL : accessed [date]). [City or County of jurisdiction], [State of jurisdiction abbreviation], [Series] [case file number], [Case name], [court term], “[item of interest].” [State of jurisdiction]. [City or County of Jurisdiction]. [Series]. [Repository], [Repository location]. Digital images. [Web page creator]. [Web page title]. [URL] : [year accessed].
Example City of St. Louis, Missouri, Circuit Court Case Files, Case No. 26, Molly Rector, a free woman of color v. John Bivens, November Term 1827, “Petition of False Imprisonment for Molly Rector,” 14 September 1827; digital images, St. Louis Circuit Court and Washington University. St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project {http://stlcourtrecords.wustl.edu] : accessed 25 September 2011). City of St. Louis, Mo., Circuit Court Case No. 26, Rector v. Bivens, Nov. Term 1827, “Petition of False Imprisonment.” Missouri. St. Louis, City of. Circuit Court Case Files. Office of the Circuit Clerk, City of St. Louis. Digital images. St. Louis Circuit Court and Washington University. St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project. http://stlcourtrecords.wustl.edu : 2011.

 

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Criminal Case microfilm [Jurisdiction], [State], [Series], [page or arrangement]; [item of interest]; [Record Repository], [Repository location], [Film creator abbreviation] microfilm [number]. [Jurisdiction], [State], [Series], [item of interest]. [State]. [Jurisdiction]. [Series]. [Record Repository], [Repository location], [Film creator abbreviation] microfilm [number]. [Film repository], [Film repository location].
Example St. Louis County, Missouri, “St. Louis City Circuit Court Records, Criminal Cases, 68 Emile O Sasse–27 Patrick Murphy; 1873 November–1875 July,” case number 11; Invoice for Boarding and Keeping Prisoner Henry Schneider 17 May 1875 to 15 July 1875; Circuit Clerk’s Office, City of St. Louis, Missouri State Archives microfilm C45433. St. Louis Co., Mo., “St. Louis City Circuit Court Records, Criminal Cases, 68 Emile O Sasse–27 Patrick Murphy; 1873 November–1875 July,” Invoice for Boarding and Keeping Prisoner Henry Schneider 17 May 1875 to 15 July 1875. Missouri. St. Louis County. “St. Louis City Circuit Court Records, Criminal Cases, 68 Emile O Sasse–27 Patrick Murphy; 1873 November–1875 July.” Circuit Clerk’s Office, City of St. Louis, MSA microfilm C45433. Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.
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Guardianship record [City or county of jurisdiction], [State], [Title of record], folder: “[Name of case], [year of case];” [specific item], [full date of item]; [Agency that microfilmed the record] microfilm [film number]. [County name] Co., [State abbreviation], [Title of record], folder: “[Name of case], [year of case,]” [specific item]. [State]. [City or County of Jurisdiction]. [Series title]. [Repository]. [Repository city]. [Film number or film series of numbers or number of microfilm rolls if too large to list]. [Agency that microfilmed the record]. [City of filming agency], [State of filming agency].
Example St. Louis County, Missouri, Guardianship Case File, folder: “William Dougherty, 1825;” appointment of guardian, case 2 on film labeled as 1/2, FHL 2,231,265. St. Louis Co., Mo., Guardianship Case Files, folder: “William Dougherty, 1825,” appointment of guardian, case 2 on film labeled as 1/2. Missouri. St. Louis County. Missouri Guardianship Case Files, 1825–1900. Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City. 510 microfilm rolls. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Coroner’s Records
Microfilm
[City or town], [State], [Title], [arrangement]; see [date] account of [Name of deceased]; [Record office name], [City or town of record office]; Missouri State Archives microfilm [microfilm number]. [City or town], [State abbreviation], [Title], for [date or item description]. [State]. [City or Town]. [Title of series]. [Agency that microfilmed the record]. [City of filming agency].
Example City of St. Louis, Missouri, “Coroner’s Inquests,” Folder 17, Box 31; see 1882-1116 account of John Kranz; Coroner’s Office, City of St. Louis; Missouri State Archives microfilm C31279. City of St. Louis, Mo., “Coroner’s Inquests,” for 1882. Missouri. City of St. Louis. Coroner Inquests, 1830–1900. Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City. 40 microfilm rolls.
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Voter Registration [City or town], [State], [Title], vol. [number], p. [number] for [Name of registrant], age [number], [date]; citing [specific content]; [Record office], [City of Record Office]; Missouri State Archives microfilm [microfilm number]. [City or town], [State abbreviation], [Title], vol. [number], p. [number] for [Name of registrant], age [number], [date]. [State]. [City or Town]. [Title of series]. [Agency that microfilmed the record]. [City of filming agency].
Example City of St. Louis, Missouri Voters Registration, 1928, unpaginated leaves for each letter of the alphabet with names entered semi-alphabetically by first letter of the surname, for Elmer Fagyal, age 21, Board of Election Commissioners; City of St. Louis Microfilm Department microfilm DA-463. City of St. Louis, Missouri, Voters Registration, 1928, for Elmer Fagyal, age 21. Missouri. City of St. Louis. St. Louis City Register of Voters, Voter Affidavits, Canceled Voter Affidavits, and Abstracts of Votes. City of St. Louis Microfilm Department. City of St. Louis.

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