I was able to spend Friday doing some research on my paternal family lines. Took the day off from work and headed out early for the Jay County, Indiana courthouse in Portland - about an hour away. Friday was my birthday, and recently I've made it a tradition to spend it doing on-site genealogy research.
My goal was to examine the criminal and civil court records in the time period of the 1920s-1930s to see if there were any mentions of my ancestors, the LeMaster line in particular. I'm still trying to piece together as much information as possible about my grandfather, Ord Wehrly LeMaster, and his brothers and sisters.
Arriving at the Clerk's office, I was directed to the spot where the "big books" were that contain civil and criminal records from the Jay County Circuit Court. These are the types of records that are not computer indexed, let alone microfilmed. If you've never spent time searching court records in person for your ancestors, you could be missing a wealth of information.
Often when I get to a record repository, such as a courthouse, I get so excited making discoveries that I lose track of my end goal and try to 'shotgun' my approach to genealogy. On this trip I was determined to stay focused on these family lines: LeMaster(s), Haley, Metzner, Chew and Wehrly.
Searching in the General Index to Civil Papers, Jay County Circuit Court Book 1, which covered the time period of the late 1870s through 1890s, I found the following records of interest: (Plaintiff, Defendant, Type, Date, Box #)
Metzner, Wm. F., Exparte, Ditch, November 12, 1886, Box 264, Record No. 5230
Haley, George, Richard A. Green, Foreclosure, October 1, 1872, Box 184, Record No. 184
Haley, Samuel et al, Lewis Oswalt et al, Partition, September 6, 1875, Box 195, Record No. 1298
Wehrly, William P., Elisha C. Shepherd et al, Foreclosure, September 9, 1890, Box 290, Record No. 6634
Searches for the Lemasters and Chew were negative in this book of records.
The records were indexed by plaintiff only, but in scanning the defendant's side I did come across a few records of my ancestors that jumped out at me wanting to be discovered:
Citizens Bank, John P. Wehrly et al, Note, March 19, 1884, Box 240, Record No. 4091
Citizens Bank, John P. Wehrly et al, Note, December 18, 1884, Box 247, Record No. 4361
I was intrigued by the number of suits filed by Citizens Bank of Portland against so many people during this time period, until I remembered that our country had gone through a series of financial panics. Perhaps my ancestors were caught up in the one of 1884.
Searching in the General Index to Civil Papers, Jay County Circuit Court Book 2, which covered the time period from the late 1890s through 1930s, I had much more success.
Lemasters, Luman W et al, Joseph W. Polley et al, Injunction, December 12, 1896, Box 339, Record No. 9601
Lemasters, Luman W, Francis M. McLaughlin, Account, February 2, 1901, Box 365, Record No. 11055
LeMaster, Arthur, McKinley Polling, Judgment, July 20, 1925, Box 614, Record No. 772
LeMasters, Floyd et ux, Exparte, Adoption, October 8, 1928, Box 614, Record No. 20263
Lemasters, Arthur, Bert Ropp, Transcript, June 30, 1933, Box 724, Record No. 865
LeMaster, Luman C., James F. Eley, Replevin, June 7, 1930, Box 724, Record No. 20867
LeMasters, Opal C, George Freemyer estate, Claim, April 13, 1933, Box 724, Record No. 21996
LeMaster, Floyd, Freemont Barber, Note, July 15, 1933, Box 728, Record No. 22098
LeMaster, John et al, Ord LeMaster et al, Partition, February 15, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 21928
LeMaster, Floyd, Freemont Barber, Contribution, July 15, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 22097
LeMaster, Mary Marie, Exparte, Riley Hosp., June 12, 1933, Box 746, Record No. 22059
LeMaster, Arthur R, Beulah S. Rockwell et al, Partition, February 27, 1933, Box 760, Record No. 21943
Metzner, John A et al, James Orcutt et al, To Show Suretyship, March 25, 1893, Box 306, Record No. 7841
Metzner, Wm F et al, Board of Commissioners, On Road, April 7, 1894, Box 315, Record No. 8367
Metzner, Wesley et al, Thomas Fields, Ejectment, October 6, 1898, Box 349, Record No. 10545
Metzner, Wesley F, William F Metzner, Affect Title, April 28, 1899, Box 355, Record No. 10545
Metzner, Ervin, Harvey A Meyers et al, Claim, November 21, 1907, Box 416, Record No. 13158
Metzner, Wesley T, Ara Smith, Poss. of Real Estate, December 30, 1909, Box 432, Record No. 13814
Metzner, Wesley F, Exparte, Drainage, April 5, 1911, Box 451, Record No. 14193
Metzner, Wesley T, Homer Teeters, Allotment for Clean Out, November 5, 1917, Box 499, Record No. 14193
Metzner, Wm. F et al, Exparte, Drainage, September 24, 1920, Box 589, Record No. 17179
Metzner, Irvin G, Mary E. Chapman et al, Claim, February 16, 1926, Box 624, Record No. 19404
Metnzer, Irvin G, Mary E. Chapman et al, Claim, February 16, 1926, Box 624, Record No. 19401
Metzner, Irvin G, Sally Barlow estate, Claim, May 20, 1927, Box 674, Record No. 19771
Metzner, Irvin G, B.F. Benge estate, Claim, July 26, 1927, Box 674, Record No. 19812
Metzner, Irvin, Gause estate, Claim, November 24, 1928, Box 687, Record No. 20303
Metzner, Irvin, Grover C. Wheeler estate, Claim, December 18, 1928, Box 687, Record No. 20325
Metzner, Irvin, Estate of Abraham DeHoff, Claim, February 5, 1930, Box 687, Record No. 20745
Metzner, Irvin G, Mary D. Heistand estate, Claim, October 30, 1930, Box 693, Record No. 21015
Metzner, Irvin G, Ernest Wolford, Judgment, June 11, 1931, Box 696, Record No. 830
Metzner, Irvin G, Anderson Pence estate, Claim, November 9, 1931, Box 715, Record No. 21471
Metzner, Irvin G, Jacob Miller estate, Claim, October 28, 1932, Box 715, Record No. 21842
Metzner, Irvin G, Elizabeth Montgomery estate, Claim, September 1, 1932, Box 728, Record No. 21763
Metzner, Irvin, Russell Luttman, Note, December 20, 1933, Box 733, Record No. 22267
Metzner, Irvin G, Barbary E. Hart estate, Claim, May 2, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 22019
Metzner, Irvin G, Addie DeHoff estate, Claim, September 21, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 22176
Metzner, Irvin G, Sarah J. Albertson estate, Claim, November 18, 1930, Box 743, Record No. 21027
Metzner, Irvin G, W.H. Leonard, Note, August 13, 1934, Box 745, Record No. 22490
Metzner, Irvin G, Caroline V. Houser estate, Claim, October 30, 1934, Box 745, Record No. 22567
Metzner, Wesley T, Benjamin Arnold et al, G.T., June 25, 1934, Box 762, Record No. 22454
Metzner, Irvin G, Emily White estate, Claim, December 30, 1935, Box 771, Record No. 23027
Metzner, Irvin G, Mary E. Benge estate, Claim, February 1, 1936, Box 772, Record No. 23059
Metzner, Irvin G, Mary E. Benge estate, Claim, March 20, 1936, Box 772, Record No. 23106
Metzner, Irvin G, Chalmer B. Gross, Note, March 7, 1942, Box 882, Record No. 25549
Haley, Cynthia et al, Samuel S. Straube et al, Injunction, April 25, 1893, Box 311, Record No. 7855
Haley, William et al, Exparte, Adoption, December 30, 1893, Box 311, Record No. 8180
Haley, Samuel, Cynthia A. Haley, Divorce, May 9, 1894, Box 316, Record No. 8396
Haley, Samuel, Jerome Doty, Account, May 21, 1895, Box 324, Record No. 8874
Haley, Mary C, Harvey Haley, Divorce, February 18, 1896, Box 331, Record No. 9205
Haley, Samuel, James G. Van Rerah, Seduction & damages, October 6, 1898, Box 348, Record No. 10339
Haley, Samuel, Carrie Haley, Divorce, November 15, 1898, Box 352, Record No. 10378
Haley, Clara, Andrew Haley, Divorce, March 15, 1900, Box 362, Record No. 10790
Haley, Samuel, Anna Figle, Transcript, September 21, 1912, Box 445, Record No. 583
Haley, Frederick, Anna A. Haley, Divorce, January 2, 1917, Box 488, Record No. 16018
Haley, Lester L, Clyde B. Money, Note, November 17, 1925, Box 634, Record No. 19314
Haley, Harvey, Reafy Haley, Divorce, May 27, 1927, Box 668, Record No. 19777
Chew, C.A.W. et al, Fred Wagner et al, Note, March 8, 1901, Box 367, Record No. 11034
Chew, W.A., Susan Money estate, claim, November 21, 1907, Box 415, Record No. 13166
Chew, Charles A.W. et al, S.B. Fifer, Trustees, Appeal from assessment, September 11, 1916, Box 523, Record No. 15899
Chew, Hazel May, Exparte, Insanity, July 17, 1940, Box 857, Record No. 24650
Wehrly, Lisle E., Assignment, Assignment, November 11, 1926, Box 645, Record No. 19620
Wehrly, Nettie, Amanda Whipple et al, Partition, November 13, 1934, Box 773, Record No. 22575
Wehrly, Blaine, Exparte, Assignment, October 24, 1923, Box 799, Record No. 18514
Again, these were only indexed from the plaintiff side. However, I did find one ancestors name in the defendant side again while doing a cursory glance:
Weiler, Abe et al, John A. Metzner, Notes, May 21, 1894, Box 314, Record No. 8428
Searching in the General Index to Civil Papers, Jay County Circuit Court Book 3, which covered the time period from the late 1930s through 1950s, I focused only on the LeMaster and Haley surnames.
LeMasters, Opal, Flora M. Snyder estate, Claim, September 10, 1935, Box 766, Record No. 22918
LeMaster, Clarence, Herman Fuelling estate, Claim, September 10, 1938, Box 833, Record No. 23969
LeMasters, John L Auditor Jay Co., Rachel Crane et al, Foreclosure Mortgage, September 30, 1941, Box 879, Record No. 25144
LeMaster, Floyd Deo, Thelma LeMaster, Divorce, July 31, 1942, Box 892, Record No. 25831
LeMaster, Ord Wehrly, Exparte, Establish Birth, January 29, 1942, Box 910, Record No. 25393
LeMaster, Arthur R., Edith Meinholtz et al, Partition Real estate, June 12, 1942, Box 910, Record No. 25755
LeMaster, Floyd, Exparte, Establish Birth, July 6, 1943, Box 910, Record No. 26258
LeMaster, John, Exparte, Establish Birth, December 23, 1944, Box 910, Record No. 26825
LeMasters, Pearl L., Mary E. Smith, Appt. of Gdn, October 25, 1952, Box 1024, Record No. 29669
LeMaster, Pearl L, Samuel E. Smith estate, Claim, April 20, 1953, Box 1032, Record No. 29803
LeMaster, James, Harold Premer, Damages, September 22, 1951, Box 1036, Record No. 29303
LeMaster, Dorothy L, William DeLauter estate, Claim, November 17, 1959, Box 1155, Record No. 31841 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Mary Louise et al, Eva M. Dalrymple, Apt. Gdn., June 7, 1965, Box 1236, Record No. 33423 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Grace, Dale W. LeMaster, Divorce, November 4, 1965, Box 1249, Record No. 33538 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Donald, Luella M. LeMaster, Divorce, September 20, 1967, Box 1288, Record No. 34134 [MF notation]
LeMaster, infant, Dept. Co. Welfare, Child Ward of Court, February 16, 1968, Box 1292, Record No. 34266 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Francis D., Bonnie L. LeMaster, Divorce, July 13, 1966, Box 1293, Record No. 33735 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Mary J., Donald LeMaster, Divorce, February 2, 1968, Box 1293, Record No. 34267 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Mary, Donald LeMaster, Divorce, March 6, 1968, Box 1297, Record No. 34284 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Donald, Mary LeMaster, Divorce, December 2, 1968, Box 1304, Record No. 34559 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Mary, Donald LeMaster, Divorce, June 4, 1968, Box 1304, Record No. 34350 [MF notation]
LeMaster, Larry D., Oscar H. Wiebush, Negligent Operation Motor Vehicle, January 16, 1973, Box 1375, Record No. 36098 [MF notation]
LeMaster, John L, Arthur LeMaster estate, Claim, July 10, 1972, Box 1390, Record No. 35918 [MF notation]
Haley, Phillip C, Lula Haley, Divorce, December 1, 1948, Box 990, Record No. 38347
Haley, Fred, Exparte, Insanity, February 2, 1945, Box I-1, Record No. 26878
Haley, Mildred A., Phillip F Haley, Divorce, September 17, 1958, Box 1136, Record No. 31479 [MF notation]
Haley, Mildred A., Phillip F. Haley, Divorce, January 5, 1956, Box 1139, Record No. 30750 [MF notation]
Haley, Angela Michelle, Wm. Darwin McAbee, Petition for Adoption, May 18, 1967, Box 1320, Record No. 34005 [MF notation]
I did not confirm, but I do believe that the MF notation on this indices means that these records have been micro-filmed.
The clerks were very helpful in obtaining copies of a few of these records. At $1.00 per page, I would very quickly have been over budget. When I get my Flip-Pal scanner, I will definitely be heading back.
I spent a good couple of hours going through the civil records, and since it was close to lunch time, I headed out without doing research on the criminal records. Those will have to wait for another day.
After lunch, I spent a few hours at the Jay County Public Library, where I searched funeral home records, city directories and tried to obtain a couple of obituaries. Unfortunately, the printer on the microfilm reader was not working, and I was unable to print out the two obituaries I discovered. Of course, this was discovered after I had deposited $0.30 in the machine for the two copies. The librarian did take my name and address and promised to send me copies as soon as they fix the machine.
I also made a quick stop at the Jay County Historical Society just before it closed, where I was able to make copies of a couple of school records from the early 1900s. I will post that information in a later post.
Overall, it was one of the most productive on-site research days I've had, and a good way to spend my birthday to boot.