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I’ve been itching for a chance to do in-person research at the courthouse where my
ancestors lived ever since an archivist researcher recommended research there.
My great-grandmother spent two years in the Cleveland State Hospital before her death
in 1926, and I requested a search of hospital admission and discharge records at the Ohio
state archives (the hospital registers are closed to the public, so I couldn’t
view them myself). The archivist sent copies of the records (all names obscured except
my ancestor’s) with a suggestion to check the Cuyahoga
County probate court for a commitment hearing.
The probate court handles wills and estates, marriages, guardianships and adoptions.
When I contacted the court, I was told the staff doesn’t fulfill research requests,
but I was welcome to go in person to look for the record.
So my chance is coming up with the Ohio
Genealogical Society conference April 12-14 in Cleveland! I’m super-excited—it’s
been awhile since I’ve done hands-on research.
I figure while I’m there, I also can look up some other records: a great-uncle’s marriage
that’s just a hair too recent to be on Family
History Library microfilm, as well as some relatives’ probate files.
I looked up the courthouse
website and called to verify research hours and find out about any special requirements.
I also searched for case file numbers in the probate
court online Case Records Search System an index that provides information including
names of parties, dates and case numbers. (Not all courts have this type of index,
but a web search on the county and court should find one if it does exist.)
That should make most of my searching relatively easy, knock on wood.
But the index doesn’t go as far back as 1924, when the commitment hearing would’ve
happened, so I’m crossing my fingers hard that a hearing took place. I’ll keep you
updated on how it goes.