North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers, 1712-1970
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|North Carolina, United States|
|Flag of North Carolina|
|Location of North Carolina|
|Record Type||Civil Action|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
This collection includes a variety of records, including records that sometimes state family relationships, where either adversary proceedings or ex parte proceedings. Civil actions were generally brought to settle questions of land ownership, unpaid debts, unfulfilled contracts, and unperformed agreements. They include divorces, suits concerning dower, breach of contract, slander, slave manumissions, naturalizations and legitimization of bastard children. These records are in chronological order. There are indexes to some of them and there are dockets which can be used as an index to the actual court records. The collection covers the years 1712 to 1970.
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers, 1712-1970.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
- Names of interested parties
- Date of court proceeding or transaction
- Details of the case
- Amount of monies exchanged or paid
- Names of relatives, neighbors, or witnesses
Pre-1868 County courts, sometimes called the County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, handled both civil and criminal cases. Minutes contain such matters as estate, land, illegitimacy, apprenticeships, bonds, certificates granting freedom to slaves, and more. Many of the original volumes have been lost or severely damaged. Most surviving volumes are in the state archives. In addition to having microfilms of many county court records, the library also has published abstracts many of the pre-1868 minute books. These publications are indexed.
1806–present: Superior Courts of Law were established in each county in 1806. Though the superior courts acted concurrently with the Court of Common Pleas, they handled more serious or complex civil and criminal cases. In 1868, the Superior Courts of Law merged with the Superior Court of Equity.
1806–1868: Superior Courts of Equity were also created in 1806. Their purpose was to deal with fairness issues. Most cases related to probate and land matters, and records generally listed heirs. In 1868, they merged with the Superior Court of Law.
How Do I Search This Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The names of interested individuals
- The approximate court date
- The place of residence
Search the Index
View the Images
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select the County
- Select the Record Type, Date Range and Volume to view the images.
How Do I Analyze the Results?
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?
When you have located your ancestor in the court records, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Use the date and locality to search for the family in census, land and church records
- Use the information found to search for probate records
- Use the information found to search additional state and county records
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- 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
- Consult the North Carolina Record Finder to find other records
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of North Carolina.
- North Carolina Guided Research
- North Carolina Record Finder
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research
Citing This Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
- Collection Citation
- "North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers, 1712-1970." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Department of Archives and History, Raleigh.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.