Keeping up with paperwork is a major challenge for almost every business in today’s world, and for the business that is Barton County government, it’s no exception, as a recent report form the Barton County Records Management Department indicates.
According to the report, which was release by Amy Miller, the department manager, the county staff handled 3,899 records requests in 2010.
“Records requests are made in person, by e-mail or by phone to the department. Types of records that are most often requested include probates, marriage licenses, death and birth records, census records, cemetery records and other various court documents such as divorce, traffic, criminal, small claims and civil cases. The department collected $1,734 in fees during” the year, Miller added.
She explained that sometimes the requests are simple and take only a few minutes to provide, but in other cases, hours of research are involved.
“Visits may last five minutes, five hours or longer, depending on the individual’s needs. Sometimes the customer needs a copy of a marriage certificate (often for Social Security or health insurance), copies of legal documents from the 20th Judicial District Court, or a naturalization paper for genealogy research. Sometimes the individual is referred to other offices for relevant documents, such as property deeds or maps.
“We had the largest request of documents to date from our department by a man residing in Oregon. He was doing research on his relatives from the Horine-Newman families that lived in the Great Bend area around 1882. His great-great-grandfather was a Civil War veteran born in Mercer County, Ky. and who later moved to Barton County. Department personnel found marriage licenses, birth and death records, and cemetery records for him. In addition, records of enrollment of soldiers, probates,
divorces, school records, land and property information, and civil court cases were also located. A total of 568 copies were mailed to the genealogist in Oregon.”
And the requests for information come from amazing sources, Miller explained.
“In 2010, individuals from 19 states and one foreign country made records requests. ... Individuals from Kansas, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska,
Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah contacted our department in 2010 and requested copies of records. The farthest request came from Lima, Peru.
“An individual living in Lima, Peru, requested records for genealogy research on the Kee family. His relative, Lydia, was descended from Gov. William Bradford, one of 102 passengers on the Mayflower, who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. Lydia married Dr. John Wonsettler and moved to Indiana from Ohio where their only daughter Grace (Wonsettler Rude) was born. Prior to 1880, the family moved to Barton County. Records Management staff found probate, death and cemetery records. To date, this has been the furthest request of documents from our department.”
Miller acknowledged the level of service is made possible by the records staff, Records Leader Beverly Schmeidler and Records Clerk Marian Beck.