TABLE OF CONTENTS
Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk Records:
An Inventory of Newton County District Clerk Records at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Archives, 1847-1898, bulk 1860-1879
The Texas Legislature created Newton County on April 22, 1846, from the eastern half of Jasper County and named it in honor of John Newton, a veteran of the American Revolution. Burkeville served as the county seat from 1848-1853; in 1853 the county seat was moved to Newton, a newly established community at the geographic center of the county, where it has remained. Newton County is located in southeastern Texas, on the Louisiana border.
Each of the Texas constitutions since the Republic has established the judicial system and original jurisdiction of Texas courts, including district courts. The Constitution of 1876 established the state's current judicial system. Pursuant to Article V, Sections 7 and 8, district courts in Texas are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in law and equity. This classification includes criminal cases of the grade of felony and misdemeanors involving official misconduct, divorce, cases involving title to land, election contests, and civil actions where the amount in controversy is more than $500. In probate cases, the district court has appellate jurisdiction over the county court. In addition, the district court supervises the county commissioners court and has appellate jurisdiction over it.
The office of district clerk has been provided for under each of the Texas constitutions. The office in its current form was established by Article V, Section 9 of the Constitution of 1876, and the duties and powers are enumerated in Texas Government Code, Section 51.303. The district clerk serves as the clerk and custodian of all records for the district courts; indexes and secures all court records, collects filing fees, and handles funds held in litigation and money awarded to minors; coordinates the jury panel selection process; may collect and disburse child support payments; processes passport applications; and manages court registry funds.
District courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in law and equity, which includes criminal cases of the grade of felony and misdemeanors involving official misconduct, divorce, cases of title to liens on land, election contests, and civil actions where the amount in controversy is at least $200. The district clerk serves as the clerk and custodian of all records for the district courts, indexes and secures all court records, and collects filing fees. These Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records consist of civil and criminal docket books of the district court, a fee book, a district court minute book, and a record of jurors for the district court. Records date 1847-1898, with the bulk dating 1860-1879.
Civil and criminal docket, index to dates about 1870s and is an alphabetical index of cases recording the pages in a civil/criminal docket on which the cases appear.
Civil and criminal dockets date 1852-1872, 1883-1884 and record the civil and criminal cases on the district court's docket for a particular term of court and actions that were taken by the court with regard to each case. Information includes the case number, parties, cause of action, date the case was filed, and orders of the court.
Civil motion docket is dated 1868-1879 and records motions filed by the parties in civil cases in the district court. Information includes the case number, parties, date the motion was filed and the type of motion.
Criminal dockets date 1872-1876, 1878-1898 and record the criminal cases on the district court's docket for a particular term of court and actions taken by the court. Information includes the case number, parties, cause of action, date case was filed, and orders of the court for former terms and the present term.
Fee book is dated 1847-1870 and records the fees paid by the parties to the district clerk in a particular case. Information includes case name and number, type of fee paid, and amounts.
Minute book volume A dates 1847-1852 and records/summarizes all actions filed in cases before the district court, including petitions, answers, motions, orders of the court, and verdicts.
Record of jurors dates 1852-1884 and records the names of all jurors who served in district court proceedings during a particular term of court.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas county offices are not copyrighted. County records also include materials received by, not created by, county offices. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
Some materials may be too large or too fragile to be photocopied. Please see Archives staff for assistance.
(Identify the item), Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 2003.064, 2015.006, 2021.019
These records were transferred to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center by the Newton County Tax Assessor-Collector on March 26, 2003. On February 5, 2015, an accession number was assigned for tracking purposes to records that were believed to have been transferred in March 2003 but were not listed on any transfer sheet. The digital files for minute book, district court, volume A; and the record of jurors volume were accessioned on April 1, 2021.
Finding aid and processing by Lisa Meisch, March 2020
Minute book, district court, volume A; and the record of jurors volume were in unsalvageable condition and were destroyed after digitization. The digital versions are part of the Texas Digital Archive, available online at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/sam-houston-center/shc-government-records/#clerk.