Campbell County, Kentucky’s Two Courthouses

Admitting mistakes may make me look like I don’t know what I’m doing.

But it may keep others from making the same mistake, so here we go.

Years ago I located land records in Campbell County, Kentucky, for several members of my Trautvetter family while at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. Copies of the records were made and I waited until I was home to completely read and analyze them. All I did in Utah was to make certain my digital images were legible and complete. The reading and analysis would wait until I got home. Others may function differently, but my Family History Library trips are usually dedicated to making copies of long lists of various items.

When I found the items the first time, I did not really read the catalog completely for Campbell County. After all, I had used the Family History Library’s card catalog seemingly an infinite number of times. The Trautvetters came to Campbell County well after Kentucky’s counties were formed. I scrolled past the catalog notes for Campbell County.

I scrolled past the “header” information for the Campbell County deeds and grabbed the roll numbers I needed and was off to the microfilm cabinets. I did not need to bother reading the notes.

I found the Trautvetter name in the grantor and grantee indexes, made copies of the deeds those indexes referenced and was on my merry way.

Then I got home.

In reviewing the deeds for the Trautvetters, I realized I did not have a deed of acquisition and disposition for each piece of property. While property can be obtained by legal instruments other than a deed (a will being the most common one) and while property can be disposed of other than the owner of recording signing a deed (foreclosure of a mortgage and confiscation for failing to pay taxes being the most common ways), I knew I needed to double check the deeds again.

And so on my to-do list for Salt Lake I had “review Campbell County deeds for Trautvetters.”

I started with the grantor and grantee indexes.

I could not find one Trautvetter.

They had to be there. I had found deeds before.

The problem was that on this trip I had grabbed the grantor/grantee indexes to the “other set of deeds” for Campbell County–the ones in the courthouse where my relatives did not go to record their deeds.

This image does not show the Campbell County courthouse. It’s one I created–but it serves to illustrate the purpose here.

After a little bit of silent swearing, I went back to the card catalog to check my roll numbers. In reading the complete catalog entry (which I should have done originally), I saw the “two courthouse” notation.

Lesson learned.

I was well aware counties could have two courthouses. The county to the west of where I was born and raised had two courthouses. But I was in a hurry and “knew what I was doing.”

The Trautvetters are always teaching me genealogical lessons–or reminding me of things I should not have forgotten.



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