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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Liberty County Court probate case files, 1850-1972, undated,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas. County Court (Liberty County):

An Inventory of Liberty County Court Probate Case Files at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Archives, 1850-1972, undated



Overview

Creator: Texas. County Court (Liberty County).
Title: Liberty County Court probate case files
Dates: 1850-1972, undated
Abstract: Liberty County Court probate case files document the judicial hearings of county judges and verdicts rendered. The county court judge tries civil and criminal cases, probate matters, juvenile delinquency, lunacy, tuberculosis, and epilepsy cases. These records were created by the judges of the Liberty County court and Liberty County clerks as recorders for the courts. They primarily consist of guardianship, mental or chemical dependency cases, illnesses such as epilepsy and tuberculosis cases, applications for administration, estate inventories, final accounts, claims, reports of sale, orders for partition, orders for distribution, disputes, ex-parte applications, and wills. The records date from 1850 to 1972 and undated.
TSLAC Control No.: TXSH0043
Quantity: 77.8 cubic ft.
Location: These records are housed at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, P.O. Box 310, Liberty, Texas 77575, 936-336-8821.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.

Agency History

Liberty County formed and organized in 1836 in the new Republic of Texas and included parts of what are now Chambers, Hardin, San Jacinto, and Polk Counties, and all of Tyler County. The Convention of 1836 converted old municipalities into counties. The town of Liberty was named the county seat and incorporated in 1837. The Texas Constitutions of 1846 (Art. IV, Sec. 15-16, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1846) and 1876 (Art. V, Sec. 15-16, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1876) established the county-level court system for all Texas counties, including the county courts.

The Constitution of 1846 created the office of the county clerk. The Constitution requires that the clerk be elected by voters of the county to serve a four-year term of office. The clerk's primary duty is to record and preserve all records created by the county court.

The Constitution of 1869 abolished the office of county clerk and the county clerk's duties were performed by the district clerk (Art. V, Sec. 7, Constitution of the State of Texas). The constitution of 1876 reestablished the office of county clerk, with the provision that counties with a population of less than 8,000 may combine the county and district clerk offices pending the approval of the voters (Art. V, Sec. 20, Constitution of the State of Texas). Liberty County has separate clerk offices that handle the matters of county court and district court. All county clerks must be bonded before taking office (Acts 1846, 1st Legislature, Regular Session, May 12, 1846).

Many of the duties of county clerk were established by an 1846 Texas law requiring the clerk to record deeds, mortgages, conveyance instruments, and contracts regarding land or goods. The county clerk's office files and records a variety of documents from births and cattle brands to marriage licenses and wills.

The county court is the court responsible for probate cases. All cases pertaining to probate matters are filed in the county clerk's office. Probate case files may include guardianship for minors and incompetent persons, applications for administration, administrators' bonds, administrators' oaths, estate inventories, final accounts, probate claims, reports of sale, orders for partition, orders for distribution, probate case disputes, ex-parte applications, and wills.

(Sources include: "About County Records," Texas State Library and Archives Commission website; "About Texas Courts," Texas Judicial Branch website; and "Description of County Offices," TexasCounties4U website; all accessed May 14, 2019.)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

Records of the Liberty County Court document the judicial hearings of the Liberty County Court judges, and the recording, indexing, and filing activities of the Liberty County clerk as clerk of the county court. These records are the probate case files from the probate court. Causes of action in cases include guardianship, mental or chemical dependency cases, illnesses such as epilepsy and tuberculosis cases, applications for administration, estate inventories, final accounts, claims, reports of sale, orders for partition, orders for distribution, disputes, ex-parte applications, and wills. The dates of the records are 1850-1972 (not inclusive), and undated.

Multiple case file numbers within the sequence listed in the inventory have not been transferred to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center and may still be in the custody of the Liberty County Court. Case file numbers missing from the sequence are noted in the inventory.

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Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged by case number. It is important to note that these cases were renumbered several times while they were maintained by the county clerk's office. Upon transfer to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, the cases were examined to determine the correct case file number and filed sequentially.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center reading room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to, records of judicial mental health proceedings (Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 571.015); names or other identifying information of patients committed to eleemosynary facilities (Texas Health and Safety Code, Sections 576.005 and 595.001 or the Texas Human Resources Code, Section 12.003); and information concerning individuals committed to a state mental hospital (Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 611.004), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research.

The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552). The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711), fax (512-463-5436), email (openrecords@tsl.texas.gov), or by using our web form (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/publicinformationrequest). Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information. If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas county agencies are not copyrighted. County records also include materials received by, not created by, county agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

Some of the documents are fragile and must be treated with care. Please see Sam Houston Center staff to determine if a document can be photocopied or scanned.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Probate records--Texas--Liberty County.
Places:
Liberty (Tex.)
Liberty County (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Document Types:
Judicial records--Texas.
Probate records--Texas.
Functions:
Adjudicating.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
Collections referenced are unprocessed and have no call number listed.
Liberty County Clerk's Office probate claim book, 1877-1905, 0.3 cubic ft.
Liberty County Clerk's Office probate docket, 1876-1950, 1.2 cubic ft.
Liberty County Clerk's Office probate record, 1873-1908, 0.5 cubic ft.
Publications
Index to Probate Cases of Texas, No. 146. Liberty County, December 9, 1850 – July 28, 1939, prepared by The Texas State-wide Records Project, Division of Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Liberty County Court probate case files. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1982.041, 2007 accession number unknown, 2012.071, 2018.014

These records were transferred to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center from the Liberty County Clerk's Office in Liberty, Texas, on September 21, 1982; on an unknown date in Fiscal Year 2007; March 22, 2012; and April 11, 2018.

Processing Information

Initial finding aid by the Texas State-wide Records Project, Division of the Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration, 1941

Access database, final processing, and finding aid created by Sandra Medina-Burrell, January 2018

EAD encoding by Lauren Davis, May 2019

Appraisal Information

The probate records are considered a permanent record according to the State of Texas Retention Schedules. No cases have been disposed of by this agency.

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Other Finding Aids

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center has created an Access database containing item-level information for the records. Database information includes the case number, case type, file date, county, presiding court, plaintiff, defendant, and box number. This resource is available at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center.

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Detailed Description of the Records

Liberty County Court probate case files, 1850-1972, undated,
77.8 cubic ft.

Box
2012.071-1 Case files #1-22
Box
2012.071-2 Case files #23-59
[Note: Case file #60 is missing.]
Box
2012.071-3 Case files #61-120
Box
2012.071-4 Case files #121-165
Box
2012.071-5 Case files #166-190
Box
2012.071-6 Case files #191-230
Box
2012.071-7 Case files #230-268
Box
2012.071-8 Case files #269-344
Box
2012.071-9 Case files #345-381
Box
2012.071-10 Case files #382-426
Box
2012.071-11 Case files #427-481
Box
2012.071-12 Case files #482-533
Box
2012.071-13 Case files #534-578
Box
2012.071-14 Case files #579-626
Box
2012.071-15 Case files #627-681
Box
2012.071-16 Case files #682-746
Box
2012.071-17 Case files #747-806
Box
2012.071-18 Case files #807-881
Box
2012.071-19 Case files #882-998
[Note: Case files #992, 993, 995, and 996 are missing.]
Box
2012.071-20 Case files #999-1114
[Note: Case files #1000 and 1001 are missing.]
Box
2012.071-21 Case files #1115-1183
Box
2012.071-22 Case files #1184-1253
Box
2012.071-23 Case files #1254-1314
Box
2012.071-24 Case files #1315-1367
Box
2012.071-25 Case files #1368-1599
Box
2012.071-26 Case files #1600-1652 (part)
Box
2012.071-27 Case files #1652 (part)-1669
Box
2012.071-28 Case files #1670-1704
Box
2012.071-29 Case files #1705-1779
Box
2012.071-30 Case files #1780-1855 (part)
Box
2012.071-31 Case files #1855 (part)-1889
Box
2012.071-32 Case files #1890-1954
[Note: Case file #1955 is missing.]
Box
2012.071-33 Case files #1956-2025
Box
2012.071-34 Case files #2026-2075
Box
2012.071-35 Case files #2076-2126
[Note: Case file #2127 is missing.]
Box
2012.071-36 Case files #2128-2159
Box
2012.071-37 Case files #2160-2190
Box
2012.071-38 Case files #2191-2202 (part)
Box
2012.071-39 Case files #2202 (part)-2218
Box
2012.071-40 Case files #2219-2253
Box
2012.071-41 Case files #2254-2297
Box
2012.071-42 Case files #2298-2323
Box
2012.071-43 Case files #2324-2365
Box
2012.071-44 Case files #2366-2394
Box
2012.071-45 Case files #2395-2429
Box
2012.071-46 Case files #2430-2451
Box
2012.071-47 Case files #2452-2490
Box
2012.071-48 Case files #2491-2526
Box
2012.071-49 Case files #2527-2564 (part)
Box
2012.071-50 Case files #2564 (part)-2602 (part)
Box
2012.071-51 Case files #2602 (part)-2623 (part)
Box
2012.071-52 Case files #2623 (part)-2663
Box
2012.071-53 Case files #2664-2708
Box
2012.071-54 Case files #2709-2742 (part)
Box
2012.071-55 Case files #2742 (part)-2772 (part)
Box
2012.071-56 Case files #2772 (part)-2781 (part)
Box
2012.071-57 Case files #2781 (part)-2788
Box
2012.071-58 Case files #2789-2824
Box
2012.071-59 Case files #2825-2863
Box
2012.071-60 Case files #2864-2905
Box
2012.071-61 Case files #2906-2940
Box
2012.071-62 Case files #2941-2966 (part)
Box
2012.071-63 Case files #2966 (part)-3000
Box
2012.071-64 Case files #3001-3028
Box
2012.071-65 Case files #3029-3069
Box
2012.071-66 Case files #3070-3105
Box
2012.071-67 Case files #3106-3132
Box
2012.071-68 Case files #3133-3172
Box
2012.071-69 Case files #3173-3177 (part)
Box
2012.071-70 Case files #3177 (part)-3212
Box
2012.071-71 Case files #3213-3249
Box
2012.071-72 Case files #3250-3289
Box
2012.071-73 Case files #3290-3320
Box
2012.071-74 Case files #3321-3358
Box
2012.071-75 Case files #3359-3410
[Note: Case file #3402 is missing.]
Box
2012.071-76 Case files #3411-3462
Box
2012.071-77 Case files #3463-3507
[Note: Case files #3475 and 3508 are missing.]
Box
2012.071-78 Case files #3509-3545
Box
2012.071-79 Case files #3546-3588
Box
2012.071-80 Case files #3589-3629
Box
2012.071-81 Case files #3630-3671
Box
2012.071-82 Case files #3672-3723
Box
2012.071-83 Case files #3724-3779
[Note: Case file #3780 is missing.]
Box
2012.071-84 Case files #3781-3820
Box
2012.071-85 Case files #3821-3869
Box
2012.071-86 Case files #3870-3922
Box
2012.071-87 Case files #3923-3959, 4231
[Note: Case files #3960-4230 are missing.]

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