Court Records

Ah, yes…  those good ol’ court records…  all the dirty little details about our ancestors and their friends, families, enemies, and acquaintances….  Dontcha just love ’em?

So…  for the past few days I’ve made an intensive effort to visit the Family History Center here in Charleston to work on a microfilm that I’ve had sitting there for several months now.  Back in February I ordered the darn thing, did a little work, and have left it sitting there through two renewals.  FHL Film #428857, “Rutherford County, North Carolina:  Minutes, pleas and quarter sessions, 1779-1868,” specifically “Minutes 1838-1850.”  See, my ggggrandfather Benjamin Lovelace died in Rutherford County sometime between 1844, when he helped to found Walls Baptist Church, and 1850, when he is absent from the census but his widow Nancy emerges as a head of household.  I have been searching for what seems forever to find out exactly when he died, but have never been able to pinpoint the date.  The way things appear, he died intestate, and his widow Nancy was probably allowed, by what J. Mark Lowe told me was an agreement in moiety by the heirs of the estate, to remain in the house on the land until she died, probably in the fall of 1868 when an administrator was appointed to handle his estate.

This FHL film covers the years 1838-1850, presumably when Benjamin died.  The Family History Center here has a microfilm scanner [YES!], and I have spent the past three days there scanning my little brains out.  I now have 700 pages of court records from two books saved in PDF format, with about another 300 pages left to scan.  Then I can begin to comb through them, reading page by page, looking for that needle in a haystack that might tell me when Benjamin died.  Another two days in the Center will probably suffice for me to finish scanning.

I looked around the Internet, but was unable to find a volume of abstracts of these records.  So it looks like I’m going to be slogging through 1000 or so pages of old handwriting looking for Lovelace information.  So far, on random looks while scanning, I have not seen a single mention of the surname.  But I can always dream!

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