Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Day at the County Recorder's Office-Part 2

Courtesy of

...Continued from yesterday...You can read Part 1 if you missed it and would like to catch up.

Upon arrival at the Boulder County Recorder's Office, with my prioritized lists, I presented myself at the front desk and explained that I would like to look up some old deeds, marriage records and other documents. The nice person behind the desk asked if I had used the fische before and took me over to explain the system before turning me loose.

All of their older documents are on fische, organized by book and page number with some documents having been digitized.

First, using the information printed out from their online system, I looked up each item to see if it had been digitized. Very few had but those that were had been scanned at a very high resolution so the copy printed out very clear.

Next, it was on to the fische. Since I had the book and page number of each document I was after, it was very easy to pull the fische one by one, find the page and make a copy from the reader. I made sure to note the book and page number on each copy.

I had been warned that sometimes the printer in the fische reader could be temperamental and after a couple of jams, I asked if it would be OK if I were to unjam it the next time there was a problem. The lady was more than happy to show me how and she went back to work and so did I. I always like to ask before messing with other people's equipment because sometimes they don't like you doing that.

So what can you find in the Recorder's Office? Here's a list of some of the types of documents I pulled. I'm still transcribing, citing and digesting the information. The time period of documents I looked at covered the early 1860s through the 1950s. That's close to 100 years!
  • Marriage certificate
  • Deeds
  • Patent (as in land patent)
  • Quit Claim Deed
  • Deed of Trust
  • Warranty Deed
  • Notice of Intent to Hold Mining Claims (lots of those)
  • Mortgage
  • Sheriff's Certificate of Purchase
  • Contracts
  • Notary Public Commission
  • Location Certificate (related to mining)
  • Bond Official
  • Satisfaction of Judgement
  • Chattel Mortgage
  • Cemetery Deed
  • Power of Attorney
There are probably a couple of other types of documents that I missed. As you can see there's quite a variety of information in the County Recorder's office about your ancestors. Each one contains clues about their lives, the people they associated with and when and where.

Boulder's Recorder Office seems to be pretty modern and it was easy to locate records by doing my homework ahead of time. If you haven't visited the Recorder's Office where your ancestor lived, it could prove to be a very productive experience. I hope you give it a try.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Thanks for the list of documents you found at the recorder's office. I appreciate your teaching blog posts. Also tried saving the post as a pdf. That works very well!

  2. In Part 1 you explained how to get organized and then in Part 2 showed the results. I think that the two together would make a great presentation.

  3. Anonymous, You're welcome. I plan to do more "teaching" blog posts.

    Karen, That's a great idea. One of my goals for 2012 is to do a presentation!