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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Organization of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Civil court records 1867-1951, undated,

Probate court records, 1838-1956, undated,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas. County Court (Galveston County):

An Inventory of Galveston County Court Records at the Texas State Archives, 1838-1956, undated



Overview

Creator: Texas. County Court (Galveston County)
Title: Galveston County Court records
Dates: 1838-1956, undated
Abstract: The Congress of the Republic of Texas established Galveston County in 1838. The Texas Constitutions of 1846 and 1876 established the county-level court system for all Texas counties, including the county courts. The county court judge tried civil and criminal cases and handled probate matters. These records were created by the judges of the Galveston County Courts and various Galveston County Clerks as recorders for the courts. Civil court records include civil court dockets, a citation docket, execution dockets, jury dockets, motion dockets, court cost registers, and fee and receipt books. Probate court records include an index to estates, general probate dockets-estate number registers, probate court dockets, executors and administrators dockets, an index and docket of administrators and guardians annual and final accounts, an index to executors and administrators bonds and letters, inventories of estates, an index to a will book, indexes to probate minutes, probate claim dockets, fee and cost registers, and exhibits to a probate case. The records date 1838-1956 and undated.
Quantity: 35.26 cubic ft. (158 volumes)
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

Each of the Texas constitutions has established the judicial system and original jurisdiction of Texas courts. During the Republic, the county-level judicial system included a district court of the judicial district in which the county was located, a county court which handled only probate matters, and several justices of the peace. District courts and justices of the peace handled all criminal and civil matters, other than probate.

Probating the estates of deceased individuals was among the first responsibilities assigned to counties by the Congress when the Republic of Texas was formed. In 1836, Congress established the county court of each county headed by a chief justice who was also designated as the probate judge. His responsibilities included probating wills, granting letters of administration on the estates of deceased individuals, appointing guardians to "minors, idiots, and lunatics," and exercising full jurisdiction over all testamentary and other matters relating to the probate court. The county clerk was designated clerk of the probate court and directed to record all wills and other written instruments and to record the court's proceedings. (Acts 1836, 1st Congress, Regular Session, General Laws of Texas, December 20, 1836)

The Congress of the Republic of Texas created Galveston County in 1838, and the county was organized the following year. The chief justice of the county was among the first judicial officials elected in Galveston County. He was also the presiding officer of the administrative body of county government.

The Texas Constitution of 1846 expressly enumerated the county courts' jurisdiction over probate matters: "appointing guardians, granting letters testamentary and of administration, settling the accounts of executors, administrators and guardians, and the transaction of business appertaining to estates, and original jurisdiction and control over executors, administrators, guardians and minors" (Art. IV, Sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1846). The legislation establishing the probate courts, among other responsibilities, gave the court authority to receive proof of wills; grant letters of executorship or administration; to grant letters of guardianship for minors; to order a jury to investigate "idiocy, lunacy, and persons of unsound mind," and to grant guardianship for those found to be "idiots, lunatics, or persons non compos mentis" (Acts 1846, 1st Legislature, Regular Session, General Laws of Texas, May 11, 1846).

The Texas Constitution of 1866 changed the title of the presiding officer of the county court to county judge and assigned civil and criminal jurisdiction to the county courts in addition to their probate jurisdiction. The Constitution established a county court in each Texas county with jurisdiction over "such civil cases, where the matter in controversy shall not exceed five hundred dollars" (Art. IV, Sec. 16, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1866). Statutes set $100 as the minimum amount in controversy for a case to be brought in county court and gave county courts jurisdiction over suits to recover specific property; torts or injuries to person or property; and suits for the recovery of money on an account, bill bond or note (Acts 1866, 11th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 53, Section 3).

The Reconstruction Constitution of 1869 significantly reconfigured the county court system. It eliminated the county courts and gave the district courts jurisdiction over all judicial matters previously handled by the county courts, including probate and guardianships (Art. V, Sec. 7, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1869; see also Acts 1870, 12th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 36 and Acts 1870, 12th Legislature, Called Session, Chapter 86).

The Texas Constitution of 1876 established Texas' current judicial system and the current form of county government. It created the county commissioners' court as the administrative body of the county, with no judicial function. It established the county court in each county as a judicial body and gave it civil and criminal jurisdiction. It assigned the county court "the general jurisdiction of a Probate Court," resuming its jurisdiction over probate matters. The county judge was designated both as chief administrative officer for the county and as presiding judge of the county court. (Art. V, Secs. 15, 16, and 18, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1876)

The Constitution gave the county court "exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil cases when the matter in controversy shall exceed in value $200, and not exceed $500, exclusive of interest; and concurrent jurisdiction with the District Courts, when the matter in controversy shall exceed $500 and not exceed $1,000." County courts' jurisdiction also included appeals of civil cases originating in justice of the peace and municipal courts. Specifically excluded from the courts' jurisdiction were suits to recover damages for slander or defamation of character, divorce, recovery of lands, enforcement of liens on land, forfeiture of a corporate charter, and contested elections. Jurisdiction over those matters was assigned to the district courts. Federal law authorized county courts to conduct naturalization hearings until 1906, when the law was changed to limit such hearings to district courts. (Art. V, Secs. 8 and 16, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1876; Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 27, Section 3; amended by Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 110; codified at Art. 1161 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1154 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 1763 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 1949 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925)

As clerk of the judicial county court, the clerk provided support for the county court's judicial functions, such as recording all proceedings and maintaining court dockets. (Historically, the county clerk has served three functions within county government: recorder for the county, clerk of the county's administrative body, and clerk of the judicial county court.) In 1846, the clerk of the county court was designated clerk of the probate court responsible for receiving and recording all petitions; issuing notices, writs, warrants, and subpoenas; keeping a docket for probate cases, numbered in the order in which they were filed; taking minutes of the court's proceedings; keeping a record of all cost items; and making a record of all petitions, inventories, appraisements, orders, accounts of sale, and final accounts (Acts 1846, 1st Legislature, Regular Session, General Laws of Texas, May 11, 1846). Each county court was required to keep a record of all proceedings in suitable books kept by the clerk. The clerk was to have custody of all the minutes, records, books and papers belonging to the county court or the probate court. (Acts 1846, 1st Legislature, Regular Session, General Laws of Texas, May 13, 1846; amended by Acts 1848, 2nd Legislature, Regular Session, Special Laws, Chapter 98, Section 15)

The 1866 Constitution continued the responsibility of the county clerk as clerk of the probate court and added responsibilities as clerk of the judicial county court (Art. IV, Sec. 16, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1866). The Constitution of 1869 eliminated the office of the county clerk and transferred to the district clerk the responsibility for keeping and maintaining probate-related records (Art. V, Sections 7 and 9, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1869; Acts 1870, 12th Legislature, Called Session, Chapter 81; amended Acts 1871, 12th Legislature, 1st Session, Special Laws, Chapter 115). District clerks were directed to receive all records related to probate matters previously filed with the county clerk and to become custodian of those records (Acts 1870, 12th Legislature, Called Session, Chapter 86).

The Constitution of 1876 re-established the elected office of county clerk, and all records related to matters over which the county court had jurisdiction, including records created by the district clerk, were transferred back to the county clerk. Statutes directed the clerk to record all judgments, decrees, and orders of the court, and to record, maintain, arrange, and preserve the records, books, papers and proceedings of the county courts. The clerk created and maintained court dockets, recorded all case-related documents, issued citations, and recorded court actions and rulings. In practice, clerks created multiple dockets each with a specific purpose recording specific information about a case. (Art. V, Sec. 20, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1876; Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 15, Section 1; codified at Art. 1142 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1133 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 1743 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 1935 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925).

As clerk of the probate court, the county clerk was required to maintain a docket of all probate cases filed with the court, a docket itemizing all probate matters to be considered by the court during each of its terms, and a book of minutes in which all orders, judgments, decrees, and proceedings of the court were recorded (Acts 1846, 1st Legislature, Regular Session, General Laws of Texas, May 13, 1846; amended by Acts 1848, 2nd Legislature, Regular Session, Special Laws, Chapter 98, Section 15; Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Chapter 27, Section 20; codified at Art. 1794 et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1845, et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 3211, et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 3295, et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925).

Texas law has established two other types of county courts – statutory county courts (also known as county courts-at-law) and statutory probate courts. The legislature may establish courts-at-law in a county, and these courts may handle all civil, criminal, original and appellate jurisdiction prescribed by law for the constitutional county court. The county courts-at-law have jurisdiction in civil matters where the amount in controversy is $200,000 or less. The specific legal jurisdiction of these county-level trial courts varies and is established by the statute creating the particular court. The jurisdiction of statutorily created county courts-at-law is usually concurrent with the jurisdiction of the county and district courts in the county. In many counties, the county court-at-law has taken the place of the constitutional county court in hearing judicial cases, allowing the county judge to handle county administration exclusively. The legislature has established multiple courts-at-law in Galveston County. Where established, statutory probate courts handle all probate matters instead of the constitutional county court. Following a 1973 amendment to the Texas Constitution, the legislature established statutory probate courts in 10 counties, including Galveston County.

(Sources include: "County Courts," Texas Courts Online, Texas Office of Court Administration (accessed October 16, 2013); Inventory of the County Archives of Texas No. 94, Guadalupe County (Seguin) prepared by the Texas Historical Records Survey through the Works Progress Administration (San Antonio: The Survey, 1939), particularly the chapters "County Court,""District Court," and "Governmental Organization and Records System." Several articles from the Handbook of Texas Online: "Galveston County" (Diana J. Kleiner), "Government" (Janice C. May), "Judiciary" (Paul Womack), "Clerk of the County Court" (Dick Smith), and "County Judge" (Dick Smith) (Published by the Texas State Historical Association; accessed May 14-15, 2013). Inventory of County Records-Galveston County Courthouse, Volumes I and III, compiled by Diane Hill, et al (Austin: Texas State Library, 1980). The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, compiled by H.P.N. Gammel (Austin: Gammel, 1898, reprinted University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History; accessed November 13, 2013). The Constitution of the State of Texas: An Annotated Comparative Analysis, George D. Braden, et al. (Austin: Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1977; accessed November 13, 2013).)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

Records of the Galveston County Court reflect the judicial activities of various county courts of Galveston County and the various recording, indexing, and filing responsibilities of the Galveston County Clerk as clerk of the county court. Civil court records include civil court dockets, a citation docket, execution dockets, jury dockets, motion dockets, court cost registers, and receipt books for papers. Probate court records include an index to estates, general probate dockets-estate number registers, probate court dockets, executors and administrators dockets, an index and docket of annual and final accounts, an index to executors and administrators bonds and letters, inventories of estates, an index to a will book, indexes to probate minutes, probate claim dockets, fee and cost registers, and exhibits to a probate case. These records are in the form of handwritten and typed entries into journals, registers, and lists organized into two series: civil court records and probate court records. Dates covered are 1838-1956 and undated.

Civil court records of the Galveston County Court maintained by the Galveston County Clerk date 1867-1951 and undated and relate to civil cases filed in the County Court. The county clerk created and maintained several types of dockets and other books and registers for civil court cases filed in the county court. These records include civil court dockets, citation dockets, execution dockets, jury dockets, motion dockets, cost registers, fee journals, and a receipt book for papers.

Probate court records of the Galveston County Court maintained by the Galveston County Clerk date 1838-1956 and undated and relate to probate cases filed with the county court or its predecessor probate court. The county clerk created and maintained several types of dockets and other probate-related books and registers for probate cases filed in the county probate court. These records include an index to probate estates, general probate dockets-estate number registers, probate court dockets, executors and administrators dockets, an index and docket of adminstrators and guardians annual and final accounts, an index to executors and administrators bonds and letters, an inventory of estates, an index to an inventory of estates, an index to a will book, indexes to probate minutes, probate claim dockets, fee and cost registers, and exhibits filed in a probate case.

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Organization of the Records

The records are organized into two topical series. One series is further organized into topical subseries related to the purposes for which the volumes were created.
Civil court records, 1867-1951, undated, 101 volumes
  • Civil dockets, 1867-1951, undated, 96 volumes
  • Court fee registers, 1871-1876, 1931-1935, 2 volumes
  • Receipt books, 1877-1897, 1906-1933, 3 volumes
Probate court records, 1838-1956, undated, 57 volumes

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

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

Many of the large bound volumes are in fragile condition; bindings are either broken or ready to break, and pages may be loose. Therefore, most of the volumes may not be photocopied and must be treated with care. Check with State Archives staff to determine if a volume can be copied 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:
County government--Galveston County (Tex.)
County officials and employees--Galveston County (Tex.)
Court records--Galveston County (Tex.)
Local government--Galveston County (Tex.)
Places:
Galveston (Tex.)
Galveston County (Tex.)--History.
Galveston County (Tex.)--Officials and employees.
Galveston County (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Document Types:
Dockets--Galveston County (Tex.)--Court records--1838-1956
Indexes--Galveston County (Tex.)--Court records--1838-1956
Minutes--Galveston County (Tex.)--Court records--1838-1956
Functions:
Administering probate.
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.

Texas State Archives
Galveston County (Tex.) records available on microfilm, 151 reels [See: "County Court Civil minutes, 1867-1908, 13 reels"; "(Probate) administration bonds, 1848-1879, 1 reel"; "(Probate) final accounts, 1836-1879, 2 reels"; "(Probate) inventory records, 1848-1874, 1 reel"; "(Probate) returns of sale, 1848-1879, 1 reel"; "Probate minutes, 1838-1906, 24 reels"; "(Probate) will records, 1838-1879, 1 reel"; "District Court Civil minutes, 1839-1909, 22 reels"; "District Court General docket, 1840-1913, 2 reels"; "(Naturalization) Declarations of Intention, 1876-1906, 3 reels"; "(Naturalization) Declarations of Intention, 1860-1906, 5 reels"]

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Galveston County Court records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 2011/438

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Galveston County in 1980 and were initially housed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. They were transferred to the Sam Houston Regional Library & Research Center in Liberty, Texas, on December 19-20, 2003. On July 20 and August 18, 2011, the records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin.

Processing Information

Collection processed and DACs-compliant EAD finding aid created by Teri E. Flack, volunteer, January-February 2014

Volume added, information added identifying related records on State Library microfilm holdings, and dates of several volumes corrected by Teri E. Flack, volunteer, March 2014

Appraisal Information

These records were appraised and determined to be archival in June and October-December 2012.

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Civil court records 1867-1951, undated,
101 volumes

Civil court record books were created and maintained by the Galveston County Court and the Galveston County Clerk, as clerk of the county court, pursuant to specific statutes and for different purposes. They consist of civil court dockets, court cost registers, and receipt books dating overall 1867-1951 and undated.
The county clerk created and maintained court dockets, recorded all case-related documents, issued citations, and recorded court actions and rulings. To accomplish this, the clerk maintained several types of civil case dockets for civil cases, including court dockets, citation dockets, execution dockets, jury dockets, and motion dockets. A docket may list the cases to be heard during a court's term and reflect the actions and rulings of the judge on each case.
The clerk also created and maintained other books and registers as necessary. Because clerks were required to record and report court costs and fees collected, the county clerk maintained cost registers and fee journals. As a matter of practice, the clerk kept a receipt book recording when the attorneys representing parties in a case borrowed the pleadings and other case documents from the court.
Organization
The records are organized into three subseries:
Civil dockets, 1867-1951, undated, 96 volumes
Court cost registers, 1871-1876, 1931-1935, 2 volumes
Receipt books, 1877-1897, 1906-1933, 3 volumes
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the subseries), Civil court records, Galveston County Court records, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Civil dockets, 1867-1951, undated,
96 volumes
Civil dockets created and maintained by the judges of the Galveston County Court and various Galveston County Clerks date 1867-1951 and undated and consist of several types of dockets for the county court's civil cases, including general dockets, civil court dockets, citation dockets, execution dockets, jury dockets, and motion dockets. The information in each type of docket varies, but it generally includes the case number, date filed, names of the parties, names of attorneys, nature of the case, amount claimed, court rulings and orders.
General or filed dockets are master registers of all civil cases filed in the Galveston County Court dating 1877-1951 and undated. The information includes names of parties, names of attorneys, date of filing, nature of action, orders of the court, and final judgment. Volumes 2-6 and 9 are not indexed. Volumes 7 and 8 are indexed in separate volumes which include names of plaintiff and defendant, number of the case, volume and page number of orders, and volume and page number of final judgment. The county clerk was required to maintain a docket recording all civil suits filed in the county court. The filed (general) docket recorded each case at the time it was filed with the clerk providing a master list of all of the court's cases. (Arts. 1182-1183, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Arts. 1178-1179, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Arts. 1813 and 1815, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Arts. 1813 and 1815, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Arts. 1972 and 1974, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925)
Civil court dockets are registers of the cases to be heard by the Galveston County Court during each term of the court dating 1871 and 1876-1906. The information includes names of the attorneys, style of the cause, action last term, page number in court minutes, and action present term. The volumes are not indexed. The volumes dated 1900-1906 include naturalizations of immigrants. The county court judge was required to hold a term of his court at least quarterly. Each term, the county clerk created a civil court docket of the cases identifying the pending cases scheduled each term for some type of action by the court. Following the proceeding, the clerk would record any action taken in the docket. A case usually appeared multiple times on the civil dockets as it made its way through the court process, including when process was served, when parties made an appearance, when a case was continued or dismissed, when a trial was held and judgment rendered or orders given, and when a judgment was executed. Consequently, the civil docket does not include a master entry summarizing all actions taken on each case. Rather, it reflects particular actions taken on a pending case during each court term. (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 27, Section 2; Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 15, Section 1; codified at Arts. 1152-1155, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Arts. 1145-1148, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Arts. 1755-1758, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Arts. 1942-1944, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925)
The citation docket is a register of the cases for which the Galveston County Court issued a citation dating 1883-1886. The information includes names of the attorneys, number of the case, name of the plaintiff, name of the defendant, date of issue of citation, and remarks. The volume is not indexed. When a petition was filed with the county clerk, the clerk was required to issue a writ of citation to the defendant of the case. The clerk recorded all citations issued in a citation docket. (Art. 1213, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879)
Execution dockets are registers of cases for which judgments had been rendered and execution of the judgments ordered by the Galveston County Court dating 1867-1931 and undated. The information includes attorney names, case number, style of the case, date of the judgment, listing of the cost amounts charged in the case, orders, date of issue, sheriff return, and remarks. Volumes 4, 7, and 9-11 are indexed in separate volumes and include the number of the case, names of plaintiff and defendant, book and page number. Volumes 2-3 and 5-6 are indexed within the volume. The volume dated 1867-1879 and volume 8 are not indexed. After the judge issued a judgment in a case, the clerk was required to record the judgment. Judgments were enforced by execution, which involved collecting any monies owed and/or delivering possession of real or personal property to the prevailing party. The execution docket was the official court record of the execution of a judgment. (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 27, Section 19; codified at Art. 2332, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 2392, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 3782, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911)
The Galveston County Court jury docket is a register of trials for which juries were requested dating 1879-1880. The information includes names of the attorneys, names of the parties, nature of the action, pleas, rulings of former terms, and action present term. The volume is not indexed.
Motion dockets are registers of motions made in cases filed in the Galveston County Court dating 1868-1873 and 1876-1907. The information includes names of the attorneys, names of the parties, nature of the motion, date of filing, action taken. The volumes are not indexed. Throughout a court case, attorneys for either side could make motions to the court for action or rulings. The clerk was directed to record each motion in a motion docket, including a brief statement of the nature of the motion. The motion docket provided notice of the pending motion. (Arts. 1452 and 1454, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1456 and 1458, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895)
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by type of docket and then chronologically. Internally, the general docket is arranged chronologically by case number. Internally, the remaining docket volumes are arranged chronologically by court term and the case number of the cases heard during that term. The index volumes are arranged alphabetically by the last names of the plaintiffs and defendants.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Civil dockets, Civil court records, Galveston County Court records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Volume
2011/438-385 Volume 2, General docket, January 1877-January 1883
Volume
2011/438-386 Volume 3, General docket, December 1882-March 1887
Volume
2011/438-387 Volume 4, General docket, March 1887-November 1893
Volume
2011/438-388 Volume 5, General docket, November 1893-May 1900
Volume
2011/438-389 Volume 6, General docket, May 1900-March 1911
Volume
2011/438-390 Volume 7, General docket, March 1911-May 1918
Volume
2011/438-391 Index to Volume 7, General docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-392 Volume 8, General docket, May 1918-July 1926
Volume
2011/438-393 Index to Volume 8, General docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-394 Volume 9, General docket, July 1926-January 1951
Volume
2011/438-395 Court docket, June 1871-August 1871
Volume
2011/438-396 Volume 1, Court docket, May 1876-April 1877
Volume
2011/438-397 Volume 2, Court docket, May 1877-June 1878
Volume
2011/438-398 Volume 3, Court docket, July 1878-December 1879
Volume
2011/438-399 Volume 4, Court docket, January 1880-April 1881
Volume
2011/438-400 Volume 5, Court docket, May 1881-April 1882
Volume
2011/438-401 Volume 6, Court docket, May 1882-February 1883
Volume
2011/438-402 Volume 7, Court docket, March 1883-October 1883
Volume
2011/438-403 Volume 8, Court docket, November 1883-May 1884
Volume
2011/438-404 Volume 9, Court docket, June 1884-January 1885
Volume
2011/438-405 Volume 10, Court docket, February 1885-July 1885
Volume
2011/438-406 Volume 11, Court docket, September 1885-April 1886
Volume
2011/438-407 Volume 12, Court docket, May 1886-December 1886
Volume
2011/438-408 Volume 13, Court docket, January 1887-October 1887
Volume
2011/438-409 Volume 14, Court docket, November 1887-July 1888
Volume
2011/438-410 Volume 15, Court docket, October 1888-July 1889
Volume
2011/438-411 Volume 16, Court docket, October 1889-June 1890
Volume
2011/438-412 Volume 17, Court docket, September 1890-July 1891
Volume
2011/438-413 Volume 18, Court docket, September 1891-October 1892
Volume
2011/438-414 Volume 19, Court docket, November 1892-October 1893
Volume
2011/438-415 Volume 20, Court docket, November 1893-January 1894
Volume
2011/438-416 Volume 21, Court docket, January 1894-March 1894
Volume
2011/438-417 Volume 22, Court docket, March 1894-April 1894
Volume
2011/438-418 Volume 23, Court docket, May 1894-June 1894
Volume
2011/438-419 Volume 24, Court docket, July 1894-August 1894
Volume
2011/438-420 Volume 25, Court docket, September 1894-October 1894
Volume
2011/438-421 Volume 26, Court docket, November 1894-January 1895
Volume
2011/438-422 Volume 27, Court docket, January 1895-February 1895
Volume
2011/438-423 Volume 28, Court docket, March 1895-April 1895
Volume
2011/438-424 Volume 29, Court docket, May 1895-June 1895
Volume
2011/438-425 Volume 30, Court docket, July 1895-August 1895
Volume
2011/438-426 Volume 31, Court docket, September 1895-October 1895
Volume
2011/438-427 Volume 32, Court docket, November 1895-December 1895
Volume
2011/438-428 Volume 33, Court docket, January 1896-February 1896
Volume
2011/438-429 Volume 34, Court docket, March 1896-April 1896
Volume
2011/438-430 Volume 35, Court docket, May 1896-June 1896
Volume
2011/438-431 Volume 36, Court docket, June 1896-July 1896
Volume
2011/438-432 Volume 37, Court docket, September 1896-October 1896
Volume
2011/438-433 Volume 38, Court docket, November 1896-December 1896
Volume
2011/438-434 Volume 39, Court docket, January 1897-February 1897
Volume
2011/438-435 Volume 40, Court docket, March 1897-April 1897
Volume
2011/438-436 Volume 41, Court docket, May 1897-June 1897
Volume
2011/438-437 Volume 42, Court docket, June 1897-August 1897
Volume
2011/438-438 Volume 43, Court docket, September 1897-October 1897
Volume
2011/438-439 Volume 44, Court docket, November 1897-December 1897
Volume
2011/438-440 Volume 45, Court docket, January 1898-February 1898
Volume
2011/438-441 Volume 46, Court docket, March 1898-April 1898
Volume
2011/438-442 Volume 47, Court docket, May 1898-June 1898
Volume
2011/438-443 Volume 48, Court docket, June 1898-July 1898
Volume
2011/438-444 Volume 49, Court docket, September 1898-October 1898
Volume
2011/438-445 Volume 50, Court docket, November 1898-December 1898
Volume
2011/438-446 Volume 51, Court docket, January 1899-February 1899
Volume
2011/438-447 Volume 52, Court docket, March 1899-April 1899
Volume
2011/438-448 Volume 53, Court docket, May 1899-June 1899
Volume
2011/438-449 Volume 54, Court docket, June 1899-January 1900
Volume
2011/438-450 Volume 55, Court docket, January 1900-June 1900
Volume
2011/438-451 Volume 56, Court docket, June 1900-December 1900
Volume
2011/438-452 Volume 57, Court docket, January 1901-July 1901
Volume
2011/438-453 Volume 58, Court docket, September 1901-February 1902
Volume
2011/438-454 Volume 59, Court docket, March 1902-December 1902
Volume
2011/438-455 Volume 60, Court docket, January 1903-July 1903
Volume
2011/438-456 Volume 61, Court docket, September 1903-June 1904
Volume
2011/438-457 Volume 62, Court docket, May 1904-April 1905
Volume
2011/438-458 Volume 63, Court docket, May 1905-February 1906
Volume
2011/438-459 Volume 64, Court docket, March 1906-October 1906
Volume
2011/438-460 Citation docket, February 1883-February 1886
Volume
2011/438-461 Volume 1, Execution docket, April 1867-January 1879
Volume
2011/438-462 Volume 2, Execution docket, January 1879-August 1883
Volume
2011/438-463 Volume 3, Execution docket, August 1883-May 1885
Volume
2011/438-464 Volume 4, Execution docket, May 1885-June 1887
Volume
2011/438-465 Index to Volume 4, Execution docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-466 Volume 5, Execution docket, June 1887-June 1890
Volume
2011/438-467 Volume 6, Execution docket, July 1890-November 1893
Volume
2011/438-468 Volume 7, Execution docket, November 1893-February 1897
Volume
2011/438-469 Index to Volume 7, Execution docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-470 Volume 8, Execution docket, February 1897-July 1903
Volume
2011/438-471 Volume 9, Execution docket, July 1903-February 1914
Volume
2011/438-472 Index to Volume 9, Execution docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-473 Volume 10, Execution docket, February 1914-July 1924
Volume
2011/438-474 Index to Volume 10, Execution docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-475 Volume 11, Execution docket, July 1924-December 1931
Volume
2011/438-476 Index to Volume 11, Execution docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-477 Volume 1, Jury docket, September 1879-October 1880
Volume
2011/438-478 Motion docket, December 1868-December 1873
Volume
2011/438-479 Motion docket, July 1876-July 1885
Volume
2011/438-480 Motion docket, September 1885-October 1907
Court cost registers, 1871-1876, 1931-1935,
2 volumes
Galveston County Court cost registers recorded and maintained by the Galveston County Clerk date 1871-1876 and 1931-1935. Information in the index to court costs includes an alphabetical listing of names and case numbers. Information in the court fee book includes the case number, date, description, total amount collected, and fee listings for county clerk, judges, sheriffs, appraisers, and juries.
Statues allowed the collection of fees and costs relating to lawsuits and other court actions. These fees and costs were taxed the party in the suit or action for which services were rendered. Clerks were required to maintain a register of fees owed for court-related services. (Acts 1848, 2nd Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 160; Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Chapter 164; codified at Art. 2419, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified Art. 2483, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 3913, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 3907, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925)
Arrangement
Data in the index volume are arranged alphabetically by last name. Data in the court fee volume are arranged by case number.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Court cost registers, Civil court records, Galveston County Court records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Volume
2011/438-481 Index to Court cost book 2, 1871-1876
Volume
2011/438-482 Court fees journal, 1931-1935
Receipt books, 1877-1897, 1906-1933,
3 volumes
Books of attorneys' receipts for papers recorded and maintained by the Galveston County Clerk date 1876-1897 and 1906-1933 and include the name of the attorney receiving the papers, number of the case, style of the case, dates papers were received and when they were returned. The volumes are not indexed.
Rather than the clerks copying and distributing all of the pleadings and other documents related to a case, attorneys often borrowed these materials for their review and copying. As a matter of practice, the clerks kept a receipt book recording when attorneys borrowed case documents and when they returned them.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged chronologically. Internally each volume is arranged by the date the papers were borrowed by an attorney.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Receipt books, Civil court records, Galveston County Court records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Volume
2011/438-483 Receipt book for papers, July 1877-September 1897
Volume
2011/438-484 Receipt book for papers, November 1906-January 1920
Volume
2011/438-485 Receipt book for papers, January 1920-April 1933

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Probate court records, 1838-1956, undated,
57 volumes

Probate court records were created and maintained pursuant to specific statutes and for different purposes by the judges of the Galveston County Court and various Galveston County Clerks. They consist of an index to estates, general probate dockets-estate number registers, probate court dockets, executors and administrators dockets, dockets of annual and final accounts, an index to executors and administrators bonds and letters, inventories of estates, an index to a will book, indexes to probate minutes, probate claim dockets, fee and cost registers, and exhibits to a probate case dating overall 1838-1956 and undated.
The index to probate estates is a master listing of all estates filed with the probate court dates 1869-1925 and includes the name of the estate and the estate case number. Data in the index are arranged alphabetically by the name of the estate.
General probate dockets-estate number registers are master registers of the probate cases filed with the probate court dating 1871-1956. The information includes estate case number; estate name; attorneys; name of administrator, executor, or guardian; action last term and page in court minutes; and action present term. The volumes are not indexed. The general probate docket dated 1871-1882 also includes the probate court docket for the court's June-November 1871 and February-June 1872 terms. The data are arranged numerically by estate case number.
Probate court dockets are registers of the cases heard by the probate court during each term dating 1852-1906. The information includes number on the docket; estate case number; name of estate; names of executor, administer, or guardian; nature of the cause; date probate filed; date and method of notice; objections and answers and when filed; rules, orders and decrees from former terms; and rules, orders and decrees from present term. The volumes are not indexed. The probate court docket for the court's June-November 1871 and February-June 1872 terms is included in the general probate docket-estate number register dated 1871-1882. Within each volume, the data are arranged in the order in which they appeared on the court's docket for each term.
Executors and administrators dockets are registers of the names of the persons appointed as executors, administrators, or guardians in cases filed in the probate court dating 1868-1879 and undated. The information includes name of estate; names of administrator, executor, or guardian; when appointed; date letters granted; required accounts; list of returns made; and remarks. Data in the volumes are arranged numerically by estate case number. Volume 1 is indexed in a separate undated volume. The information in the index volume includes the name of the administrator, executor, or guardian and the page number of the docket. Data in the index volume are arranged alphabetically by last name. Volume 2 is not indexed.
An index to annual and final accounts is the index to the dockets of annual and final accounts filed by administrators, executors, and guardians of the accounts maintained on behalf of the estates they administered dating 1839-1873. Information includes name of the estate; name of administer, executor, or guardian; date petition filed and page number in court minutes; final account or discharge date and page number in court minutes; and remarks. The volume is the index to Volumes 1 and 2, "(Probate) Final Accounts 1836-1879" which may be found on reel #1009513 of the "Galveston County (Tex.) Records Available on Microfilm." Data in the index are arranged alphabetically by name of administrator, executor or guardian.
A docket of annual and final accounts is the register of the reports by administrators, executors, and guardians of the accounts they maintained on behalf of the estates they administered dating 1903-1906. Information includes the date the petition was filed and the page number in the court minutes, name of estate, names of executor, administrator, or guardian; dates of filing annual accounts; date of final account; and date estate closed. The volume is not indexed. Data in the index are arranged in numerical order by estate case number.
An index to executor and administrator bonds and letters is an undated index to the guaranty bonds filed with the probate court by an estate's executor or administrator. Information includes name of the deceased and page number or item number. The volume is the index to Volume 2, "(Probate) Administration Bonds," dating 1867-1879, which may be found on reel #1009512 of the "Galveston County (Tex.) Records Available on Microfilm." Data in the index are arranged alphabetically by name.
An inventory of estates is a register of transcriptions of the estate inventories filed with the probate court dating 1838-1844. Information includes name of the deceased, names of parties who conducted the inventory, listing of deceased's real and personal property, and date of the inventory. The volume is not indexed. This volume is extremely fragile and may not be handled.
An undated index to inventories includes name of deceased and page number. Data in the index volume are arranged alphabetically by name of deceased. Although undated, many entries match the names in probate docket volumes dating about 1870-1874.
An index to Will Book No. 2 is an undated index to a probate volume recording wills filed for probate. Information includes name and page number. The volume is the index to Volume 2, "(Probate) Will Record," dating 1840-1872, which may be found on reel #1009510 of the "Galveston County (Tex.) Records Available on Microfilm." Data in the index are arranged alphabetically by name.
Indexes to probate minutes are indexes to the minutes recorded by the probate court during each term and date 1870-1875, 1878-1880, 1886-1887, and undated. Information includes name of deceased and page number of probate court minute book. Each of the volumes is the index to a volume of "Probate Minutes" which may be found on "Galveston County (Tex.) Records Available on Microfilm." The undated volume is the index to Volume 7, dating 1869-1870, which may be found on reel #1009524. The volume dated 1870-1875 is the index to Volume 8, which may be found on reel #1009524. The volume dated 1878-1880 is the index to Volume 10, which may be found on reel #1009525. The volume dated 1886-1887 is the index to Volume 17, which may be found on reel #1009529. Data in the indexes are arranged alphabetically by name of deceased.
Probate claim dockets are registers of claims made against estates and filed with the probate court dating 1870-1935. Information includes estate number, name of claimant, date claim filed, amount of claim, when due, rate of interest, date claim allowed, amount allowed, date claim rejected, date and amount approved, date disapproved, class of claim, date established by suit and amount of judgment, page number in probate court docket and minutes. Data are arranged chronologically by date claim was filed. The volume dated 1870-1894 is not indexed. The volume dated 1893-1935 is partially indexed in a separate volume which includes the name of the deceased and the page number of the claim docket. The data in the index volume are arranged alphabetically by name of deceased.
Probate court cost dockets and fee ledgers maintained by the Galveston County Clerk are registers of court costs and fees charged by the probate court and county officials for the handling of probate cases and date 1874-1885 and 1913-1915. Information includes the estate number, name of estate, names of attorneys, date fee charged, description, total amount collected, and fee listings for county clerk, probate judge, estate appraisers, and sheriff. The volumes are not indexed. Data are arranged chronologically by date. Statues allowed the collection of fees and court costs relating to probate cases. These fees and costs were charged to the estate. For probate cases, the fees included not only charges by judges and other county officials but for activities related to probating an estate, including paying appraisers to inventory the estate and for notices printed in the newspaper.
Exhibits for Case 40-4018, N. S. Sabell, deceased, are two volumes of exhibits filed in Galveston County Court in the estate of N. S. Sabell dating 1903 and include an inventory of stock and a cash book. The volumes are not indexed. The volumes are arranged by exhibit letter.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by type and then chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Probate court records, Galveston County Court records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Volume
2011/438-486 Index to probate estates, 1869-1925
Volume
2011/438-487 Probate docket-estate number register, June 1871-October 1882; Probate court docket, June 1871-June 1872
Volume
2011/438-488 Probate docket-estate number register, November 1882-July 1892
Volume
2011/438-489 Probate docket-estate number register, August 1892-July 1909
Volume
2011/438-490 Probate docket-estate number register, July 1909-March 1924
Volume
2011/438-491 Probate docket-estate number register, March 1924-May 1935
Volume
2011/438-492 General probate docket-estate number register, May 1935-October 1941
Volume
2011/438-493 General probate docket-estate number register, October 1941-August 1943
Volume
2011/438-494 General probate docket-estate number register, August 1943-June 1951
Volume
2011/438-495 General probate docket-estate number register, June 1951-September 1956
Volume
2011/438-496 Probate court docket, August 1852-August 1867
Volume
2011/438-497 Probate court docket, September 1867-March 1870
Volume
2011/438-498 Probate court docket, November 1870-April 1871
Volume
2011/438-499 Probate court docket, November 1872-May 1874
Volume
2011/438-500 Probate court docket, June 1874-June 1876
Volume
2011/438-501 Probate court docket, July 1876-May 1878
Volume
2011/438-502 Probate court docket, May 1878-February 1880
Volume
2011/438-503 Probate court docket, March 1880-February 1882
Volume
2011/438-504 Probate court docket, March 1882-January 1884
Volume
2011/438-505 Probate court docket, February 1884-August 1885
Volume
2011/438-506 Probate court docket, September 1885-May 1887
Volume
2011/438-507 Probate court docket, May 1887-September 1889
Volume
2011/438-508 Probate court docket, October 1889-March 1892
Volume
2011/438-509 Probate court docket, March 1892-November 1893
Volume
2011/438-510 Probate court docket, November 1893-October 1895
Volume
2011/438-511 Probate court docket, November 1895-May 1898
Volume
2011/438-512 Probate court docket, May 1898-September 1899
Volume
2011/438-513 Probate court docket, September 1899-November 1900
Volume
2011/438-514 Probate court docket, November 1900-March 1901
Volume
2011/438-515 Probate court docket, March 1901-September 1901
Volume
2011/438-516 Probate court docket, September 1901-March 1902
Volume
2011/438-517 Probate court docket, March 1902-September 1902
Volume
2011/438-518 Probate court docket, September 1902-March 1903
Volume
2011/438-519 Probate court docket, March 1903-November 1903
Volume
2011/438-520 Probate court docket, November 1903-November 1904
Volume
2011/438-521 Probate court docket, November 1904-June 1905
Volume
2011/438-522 Probate court docket, June 1905-March 1906
Volume
2011/438-523 Volume 1, Executors and administrators docket, December 1868-September 1875
Volume
2011/438-524 Index to Volume 1, Executors and administrators docket, undated
Volume
2011/438-525 Volume 2, Executors and administrators docket, October 1875-February 1879
Volume
2011/438-526 Index to Administrators and guardians annual and final accounts, 1839-1873
Volume
2011/438-527 Administrator and guardians docket of annual and final accounts filed, 1903-1906
Volume
2011/438-528 Index to Executors and administrators bonds and letters, undated
Volume
2011/438-529 Register of inventories of estates, November 1838-March 1844
Volume
2011/438-530 Index to inventories of estates, undated
Volume
2011/438-531 Index to Will book No. 2, undated
Volume
2011/438-532 Index to Probate minutes, 1870-1875
Volume
2011/438-533 Index to Probate minutes, 1878-1880
Volume
2011/438-534 Index to Probate minutes, 1886-1887
Volume
2011/438-535 Probate claim docket, October 1870-February 1894
Volume
2011/438-536 Probate claim docket, March 1893-March 1935
Volume
2011/438-537 Index to Probate claim docket, 1893
Volume
2011/438-538 Clerk's cost docket, December 1874-December 1885
Volume
2011/438-539 Fee ledger, 1913-1915
Volume
2011/438-540 Case 40-4018, N. S. Sabell, deceased, Exhibit A: Inventory of stock, 1903
Volume
2011/438-541 Case 40-4018, N. S. Sabell, deceased, Exhibit D: Cash book, 1903
Volume
2011/438-542 Index to Probate minutes, undated

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