Saturday, June 18, 2011

Norwalk Calif - site of many Los Angeles Records

June 14 - I drove out to La Mirada after my time researching in downtown Los Angeles, Darlene Campbell my SCGS roommate at the Marriott, put me up at her place, and I went to "P
olly's" for a delicious dinner, with rhubarb pie!

Thursday June 15 - I continued my genealogical research trip in Norwalk, Calif. where L.A. County maintains it's records and archives for births, marriages, deaths and real property. I had been there a week ago for a day, ordering about 9 records, now came back for more searching of other marriages I'd forgotten about. I found great-aunt Fern's marriage to Flagstaff rancher, Carl 1927. She had married Carl six months after her husband, Lee Ferrell, Carl's brother, died of a mastoid infection. Lee had worked for the Sheriff's department in Calixico and also had a transport kind of business. He hauled planks out in the desert by Yuma in the early days to make a roadway for vehicles across the sands in and out of Yuma... called "the old plank road." A long time ago, my mother showed me some of the discarded old planks along the modern highway out in the desert.

Then I went upstairs to room 2207 to look at microfilm for property records since 1958 in L.A. County. I found both my parents and grandfather's record noting the sale of their houses/property in 1974. It was easy to search, although because the public takes and puts back the microfilm it was not exactly in order... of course I stood there feeling the need to alphabetize the shelves of microfilms! But I only tidied up the films for four years.

For property records before 1958 you have to go back down to the basement lower level Room L001. I gave the guy a list and he pulled books or microfilms for those dates. After finding everything I could for my Blanding family, I gave the long list of Book and Page numbers to the clerk. He asked me what I was looking for.. I should have said ANYTHING about them and their property, but I mentioned deeds, and property description, etc. He said since only one item on the list had "deed" by it, I wouldn't be interested in any of the records they had in Norwalk, and I should go back to the downtown records office at 222 N. Hill St. I protested since it was already noon, and said I wanted to see the films for the records on my list. He reluctantly got them for me. But it's a lesson to just say I wanted them. As it turned out they were Indenture Deeds, Grant Deeds, and some other types of records, but I did want them all, to help me understand where each relative was in time. There will be further records at the land/maps and tax assessor's departments, downtown .... but that is for another day, or another trip!

I was very happy with the records I found, I paid for them back up in Rm 2207. The cost is $5 for the first page and $3 for each additional page of a single record. I'd asked to just copy one page, if the last page only had a line or two. But no, you have to buy the complete document, not just one page. The bill was $93 for 23 pages.

An interesting event took place in Rm 2207, that nice big place with all the microfilms, readers and computers... a woman, evidently mentally unbalanced... began yelling and complaining about not finding what she wanted. She seemed like a homeless person. She had been helped, but sat at the microfilm reader very angry. Security came, and she yelled about showing an ID. After she quieted down, I heard her say that she was going to shoot and kill every one of them, and that she had guns on her and she was going to kill everyone. Yikes! So security came back and escorted her out. Who says the microfilm room is boring?

After the day Darlene and I ate Mexican dinner at a little cafe and I spent some time showing off my new flip-pal scanner that I'd purchased at the Burbank SCGS Jamboree. It seemed to do a fine job of scanning some of my new documents, but I haven't downloaded them and stitched them together yet. Should be fine.

Thanks to Darlene for putting me up for two nights and the nice company. From Norwalk, my next mission will be in Riverside County, Calif.

1 comment:

Michelle Goodrum said...

I will probably end up in that faciity to do some research eventually. I guess I should be prepared for some excitement of the kind us researchers are not necessarily used to!