Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840-1950 .
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Alabama, Sumter County Ci...it Court Files, 1840-1950.|
The collection consists of circuit court civil case files for the years 1840 to 1950 from the courthouse in Livingston, Alabama. The files include some records from the Chancery Court. The court cases include divorces and disputed estates. This collection is being published as images become available.
For a list of records and alphabetical list currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
Sumter County, Alabama, was created on Dec. 18, 1832 from the former Choctaw Indian territory. Court Records have been kept since 1840. The Circuit court has jurisdiction in cases of more than $5,000.00 but less than $15,000.00.
The records were created as a permanent copy of the court's proceedings.
The records generally contain the following information:
- Names of interested parties
- Date of court proceeding or transaction
- Details of the case
- Amount of monies exchanged or paid
- Names of witnesses
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- Identifying information such as approximate court date or residence
Search the Collection
To search this collection:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the “County” category
⇒ Select the “Record Type, Date Range and Volume” category which takes you to the images
Many of these volumes have indexes at the beginning or end. You should search these first. If your ancestor is in the index download a copy or write down the page numbers listed for your ancestor. You can then quickly turn to those pages.
If you do not find your ancestor in the index, look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example use the date and locality to search for census and church records.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
- Witnesses in court cases may be close relatives.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local historical and genealogical groups also compile indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Alabama, Sumter items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Alabama Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this county see the wiki article Sumter County, Alabama.|
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Contributions to This Article
|We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.|
Citation for This Collection
|The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Alabama, Sumter County Ci...it Court Files, 1840-1950.|
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840-1950" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Sumter County Circuit Court. Sumter County Courthouse Livingston, Alabama.
- This page was last modified on 14 August 2014, at 19:29.
- This page has been accessed 3,528 times.
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