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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, 1876-1879, 1883-1976,

Criminal court records, 1895-1921, 1929-1931, 1934-1948, 1959, 1963-1970,

Inquest records, 1896-1959, 1963-1964, 1968,

Marriage registers, 1889-1950,

Tax assessment registers, 1870-1874,

Correspondence and information files, 1915-1957, undated,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas. Justice of the Peace (Galveston County):

An Inventory of Galveston County Justice of the Peace Records at the Texas State Archives, 1870-1874, 1876-1879, 1883-1976, undated



Overview

Creator: Texas. Justice of the Peace (Galveston County)
Title: Galveston County Justice of the Peace records
Dates: 1870-1874, 1876-1879, 1883-1976, undated
Abstract: The Constitution of 1876 established the county-level court system for all Texas counties, including the justice of the peace courts of Galveston County. The justices of the peace performed both judicial and non-judicial functions. Records created by various Galveston County justices of the peace include civil and criminal court dockets, civil and criminal case files, fee books, receipt books, inquest records, marriage records, registers of tax assessments, and correspondence and information files dating 1870-1874, 1876-1879, 1883-1976, and undated.
Quantity: 61.80 cubic ft. (including 258 volumes)
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

All Texas counties derive their county officers and responsibilities from the Texas constitution and statutes enacted by the legislature. From the beginning of the Republic, Texas has required each county to elect justices of the peace. The Congress of the Republic of Texas created Galveston County in 1838, and the county was organized the following year. Justices of the peace were among the first judicial officials elected in the county.

Each of Texas' constitutions and resulting statutes has assigned judicial and non-judicial functions to the justices of the peace. With a few exceptions, their responsibilities have varied little over time. Their judicial functions included presiding over the justice court – handling minor civil and criminal cases; performing the duties of a magistrate – conducting examining trials to determine whether an accused person should be charged with a crime; and after 1876, conducting inquests to determine cause of death. Their primary non-judicial function was authority to conduct marriage ceremonies; however, under the Reconstruction Constitution of 1869, justices of the peace briefly performed the duties of the tax assessor, assessing the value of the property in the county and determining the amount of tax due.

The Constitution of 1876 established Texas' current form of county government. It created the county commissioners court as the administrative body of the county, with no judicial function, and designated the county judge as the presiding officer of the county. Re-established were the elected offices of county clerk, county tax assessor, county tax collector, and county treasurer, among others; however, the elected office of county coroner was eliminated. Justices of the peace continued to be elected by county voters. County commissioners were directed to divide the county into not less than four nor more than eight precincts, with each precinct electing one justice of peace. Galveston County commissioners divided Galveston County into multiple precincts, each with an elected justice. However, the Constitution also directed that in any precinct in which a city with a population greater than 8,000 was located, two justices were to be elected. Consequently, after the population of the city of Galveston exceeded 8,000, two justices were elected from Precinct 1 (identified as Precincts 1-A and 1-B) (Art. V, Sec. 18, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1876). The precinct was not subdivided into two discrete units. Both of the justices in Precinct 1 had jurisdiction throughout the entire precinct; however, they maintained separate caseloads and dockets.

The 1876 Constitution also established the jurisdiction of justice courts. The court had jurisdiction in civil cases where the amount in controversy was less than $200 and in criminal cases in which the maximum penalty or fine did not exceed $200. The Constitution also permitted the legislature by law to assign other responsibilities to the justices of the peace, and the legislature enacted statutes further defining the jurisdiction of the justice of the peace courts and the other responsibilities performed by justices. The legislature included justices in the definition of "magistrate," giving them the authority to handle preliminary matters relating to criminal cases, such as accepting complaints, issuing search and arrest warrants, fixing bail, and conducting examining trials, regardless of the level of the alleged crime. Since the office of county coroner had been eliminated, the legislature assigned to the justices the responsibility for conducting inquests and determining cause of death. The legislature extended the justices' civil authority to include forcible entry and detainer cases through which a landlord sought to evict a delinquent tenant, and in 1953, the legislature established small claims courts as part of the justice courts' jurisdiction. Justices continued to have authority to conduct marriage ceremonies.

The basic functions of the justices of the peace have not changed significantly. Justices still try minor civil and criminal cases, conduct examining trials, and marry couples. However, legislatures have modified slightly the jurisdictional amounts and responsibilities of the justices of the peace. Justices conduct inquests into the cause of death only in counties without a medical examiner, and the justice court's jurisdiction over civil matters has been increased to include cases where the amount in controversy is $5,000 or less (unless exclusive jurisdiction lies in district or county court).

(Sources include: 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 "Justice of the Peace" 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), "Justice of the Peace" (Dick Smith), and "Forensic Medicine" (Charles S. Petty) (Published by the Texas State Historical Association; accessed December 2, 2015). 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 December 2, 2015). 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 December 2, 2015).)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

Records of the Galveston County Justices of the Peace reflect the judicial and non-judicial responsibilities of various justices of the peace who served in Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Galveston County. The records include civil dockets and case files, forcible detainer dockets, small claims court dockets, fee and receipt books, criminal dockets and case files, magistrate records, inquest records, marriage registers, property tax assessment lists, and correspondence and information files. The volumes are in the form of handwritten and typed entries into journals, registers, and lists. Unbound papers are in the form of handwritten and typed legal forms, correspondence, newspaper clippings, certificates, and forms. Dates covered are 1870-1874, 1876-1879, 1883-1976, and undated.

Civil court records date 1876-1879 and 1883-1976 and relate to civil court actions occurring in the courts of various justices of the peace who served in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 3, 5 and 6. The records include civil case dockets, including a filed docket, civil dockets, forcible detainer dockets, small claims court dockets, and an execution docket; civil court case files; fee books, recording the fees collected for civil cases; and receipt books, recording the attorneys who removed case papers for review.

Criminal court records date 1895-1921, 1929-1931, 1934-1948, 1959, and 1963-1970 and relate to criminal court actions occurring in the courts of various justices of the peace who served in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, and 2. The records include criminal case dockets and case files, recording cases which were tried in the justice's court; magistrate records, recording criminal cases in which the justice sat as a magistrate and held an examining trial to determine whether there was sufficient evidence for a person to be charged with a crime; criminal complaints; and indexes to examining trials and various record books held by the district attorney and district clerk.

Inquest records date 1896-1959 and 1963-1964 and relate to inquests held by various justices of the peace who served in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 5, and 7. The records include registers of inquests and certified copies of inquest proceedings.

Marriage registers date 1889-1950 and relate to marriages performed by various justices of the peace who served in Galveston County Precinct 1.

Tax assessment registers date 1870-1874 and relate to property tax assessments compiled by the justices of the peace in Galveston County Precincts 4 and 5.

Correspondence and information files date 1915-1957 and undated and relate to correspondence received and information compiled by various justices of the peace who served in Galveston County Precincts 1-A, 2, and unknown.

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Organization of the Records

The records are organized into six topical series. Two series are further organized into topical subseries related to the purposes for which the volumes were created.
Civil court records, 1876-1879, 1883-1976, 35.98 cubic ft. (including 135 volumes)
  • Filed docket, 1910-1914, 1926, 0.27 cubic ft. (1 volume)
  • Civil dockets, 1876-1879, 1883-1976, 17.58 cubic ft. (70 volumes)
  • Civil court case records, 1915-1919, 1943-1945, 1958, 2.08 cubic ft.
  • Execution docket, 1914-1915, 0.16 cubic ft. (1 volume)
  • Forcible detainer dockets, 1891-1971, 13.44 cubic ft. (50 volumes)
  • Small claims court dockets, 1953-1966, 1.43 cubic ft. (9 volumes)
  • Fee books, 1887-1890, 1903-1912, 0.29 cubic ft. (2 volumes)
  • Receipt books, 1899-1942, 0.72 cubic ft. (2 volumes)
Criminal court records, 1895-1921, 1929-1931, 1934-1948, 1959, 1963-1970, 16.59 cubic ft. (including 57 volumes)
  • Criminal dockets, 1895-1921, 1929-1931, 9.88 cubic ft. (30 volumes)
  • Criminal court case records, 1899, 1920, 1959, 1963-1970, 1.05 cubic ft.
  • Magistrate records, 1897-1921, 1934-1948, 1965-1969, 5.66 cubic ft. (27 volumes)
Inquest records, 1896-1959, 1963-1964, 7.4 cubic ft. (including 50 volumes)
Marriage registers, 1889-1950, 1.43 cubic ft. (14 volumes)
Tax assessment registers, 1870-1874, 0.34 cubic ft. (2 volumes)
Correspondence and information files, 1915-1957, undated, fractional

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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.

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 (director.librarian@tsl.texas.gov), or see our web page (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/agency/customer/pia.html). 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

Many of the 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.)
Local government--Galveston County (Tex.)
Ad valorem tax--Galveston County (Tex.)
Court records--Galveston County (Tex.)
Criminal courts--Galveston County (Tex.)
Marriage records--Galveston County (Tex.)
Property tax--Galveston County (Tex.)
Tax administration and procedure--Galveston County (Tex.)
Tax assessment--Galveston County (Tex.)
Taxation--Galveston County (Tex.)
Coroners--Galveston County (Tex.)
Places:
Galveston (Tex.)
Galveston County (Tex.)--History.
Galveston County (Tex.)--Officials and employees.
Galveston County (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Document Types:
Registers--Galveston County (Tex.)--Marriages--1889-1950.
Forms (documents)--Galveston County (Tex.)--Taxation--1870-1874.
Registers--Galveston County (Tex.)--Taxation--1870-1874.
Dockets--Galveston County (Tex.)--Court records--1876-1879, 1883-1976.
Indexes--Galveston County (Tex.)--Court records--1876-1879, 1883-1976.
Minutes--Galveston County (Tex.)--Court records--1876-1879, 1883-1976.
Correspondence--Galveston County (Tex.)--County officials and employees--1915-1957.
Case files--Galveston County (Tex.)--Justice of the Peace--1899, 1915-1920, 1943-1945, 1958-1959, 1963-1970.
Functions:
Administering property tax.
Administering taxation.
Adjudicating.
Officiating weddings.

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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
Texas Comptroller's Office, Ad Valorem Tax Division, County property tax rolls, 1837-1981 [See Galveston County property tax rolls, 12 microfilm reels.]
Galveston County records available on microfilm, 151 microfilm reels [See the series Marriage records, 1838-1907, 9 reels and Tax rolls, 1838-1910, 11 microfilm reels.]
Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector's Office records, 1865-1871, 1877-1879, 1884-1950, 1958, 1961, 1963, 126 volumes [See the series Assessment rolls, 1877-1878, 2 volumes and Tax rolls, 1884-1911, 28 volumes.]
Galveston County Clerk's Office records, 1838-1858, 1867-1978, undated, 65.74 cubic ft. (258 volumes) [See the series Marriage records, 1932-1933, 1 volume.]
Galveston County Treasurer's Office records, 1870-1963, bulk 1901-1963, 12.41 cubic ft. (including 67 volumes) [See the series Records of claims and payments, 1870-1903, 1913-1931, 1.46 cubic ft. (including 9 volumes).]

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

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

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 2011/438, 2015/074

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.

The boxes of Galveston County records brought from Liberty were removed from accession number 2011/438 and given a new accession number, 2015/074, on December 10, 2014 for the purposes of control and numbering.

Processing Information

Collection processed and DACS-compliant EAD finding aid created by Teri E. Flack, volunteer, July-September 2013

Dates of several volumes corrected by Teri E. Flack, volunteer, March 2014

Volumes given new call numbers; accession number added; additions made to series and subseries to reflect processing of boxed records; new series and subseries added to include processed records by Teri E. Flack, volunteer, December 2015

Appraisal Information

These records were appraised and determined to be archival in June and October-December 2012 and November 2015.

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Civil court records, 1876-1879, 1883-1976,
35.98 cubic ft. (including 135 volumes)

Civil court records created and maintained pursuant to specific statutes and for different purposes by various Galveston County justices of the peace who served in Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 3, 5, and 6 reflect the justices' responsibility to try civil cases filed in their courts. The records date 1876-1879 and 1883-1976 and consist of 2.08 cubic ft. of unbound records and 135 volumes. Types of records include a filed docket, civil dockets, civil court case records, an execution docket, forcible detainer dockets, small claims court dockets, fee books, and receipt books.
Each justice was required to maintain a docket of the cases filed in the court. Justices were permitted to create additional dockets and records as needed. A docket is a register listing the cases filed in a court and may reflect actions taken by the court. The justice maintained several types of dockets for civil cases, each of which served a different purpose. The filed docket recorded each case at the time it was filed in the justice's court. It provided a master list of all of the justice's civil cases. The civil docket recorded the pending cases scheduled during each term of the justice's court and the action taken by the court on each case. The execution docket recorded the cases for which a judgment was executed or enforced.
The Constitution of 1876 limited justices of the peace to trying civil matters of all cases where the amount in controversy is $200 or less, exclusive of interest, of which exclusive jurisdiction was not given to the district or county courts. Eventually, the justices were given jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and detainer – cases in which a landlord sought to evict a tenant and retake possession of his property. In the 1950s, the Texas legislature established small claims courts as part of the justices' jurisdiction. These courts facilitated access to the courts when the amount in controversy was small. The justices also maintained documents filed in each case; created fee books, which recorded all costs accruing in any suit; and kept receipt books, which recorded when the attorneys representing parties in a case borrowed the pleadings and other case documents from the court.
Organization
The records are organized into eight subseries:
Filed docket, 1910-1914, 1926, 0.27 cubic ft. (1 volume)
Civil dockets, 1876-1879, 1883-1976, 17.58 cubic ft. (70 volumes)
Civil court case records, 1915-1919, 1943-1945, 1958, 2.08 cubic ft.
Execution docket, 1914-1915, 0.16 cubic ft. (1 volume)
Forcible detainer dockets, 1891-1971, 13.44 cubic ft. (50 volumes)
Small claims court dockets, 1953-1966, 1.43 cubic ft. (9 volumes)
Fee books, 1887-1890, 1903-1912, 0.29 cubic ft. (2 volumes)
Receipt books, 1899-1942, 0.72 cubic ft. (2 volumes)
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the subseries), Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Filed docket, 1910-1914, 1926,
0.27 cubic ft. (1 volume)
The filed docket, which recorded each case at the time it was filed in the justice's court and provided a master list of all of the justice's civil cases, was compiled and maintained by the justice of the peace serving in Galveston County Precinct 1. It dates 1910-1914 and 1926 and totals one volume. Information includes case number, date filed, style of case, and a brief description of the case. The types of cases include forcible detainer; collection of amounts owed on contracts, promissory notes, sworn accounts and other debts; and damages. A section of the volume is exclusively a docket of forcible entry and detainer cases for the year 1926. The volume is not indexed.
Arrangement
Data in the volume are arranged chronologically by case number.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Filed docket, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-852 Precinct 1, June 1910-May 1914 and 1926
Civil dockets, 1876-1879, 1883-1976,
17.58 cubic ft. (70 volumes)
Civil dockets, recording the pending cases scheduled during each term of a justice's court and the action taken by the court on each case, were compiled and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 3, 5, and 6. They date 1876-1879 and 1883-1976 and total 70 volumes. Information includes the case number, date filed, names of the parties, nature of the case, amount claimed, citation issued, date of hearing, notes by justice (including findings, judgments rendered, and orders), and bills of costs. Types of cases include garnishment of wages; collection of wages; writs of sequestration; collection of amounts owed on chattel mortgages, promissory notes, sworn accounts and other debts; collection of amounts owed for professional services; and forcible detainer suits to evict delinquent tenants. The volume for Precinct 5 for the years 1927-1937 also includes entries listing marriages conducted by the justice of the peace. Indexes to volumes 14 and 16 for Precinct 1, volumes 19 and 26 for Precinct 1-A, volume 20 for Precinct 1-B, and volumes 10 and 16 for Precinct 2, include the names of the plaintiffs and case numbers. Volumes 17-18, 20-25, and 27-32 for Precinct 1-A are indexed within the volumes. The dockets dated 1948-1966 for Precinct 5 are indexed within the volumes. The volume for Precinct 6 is indexed within the volume. All other volumes are not indexed.
In the docket, the justice was required to list the title of the lawsuit; the service of process on the defendant; the appearances of one or both parties; the nature of the case and the amount claimed; the dates of every adjournment; the date of the trial and whether it was heard by a jury or the justice; the verdict by a jury or the judgment rendered by the justice; the date on which execution of the judgment was entered, served and executed; and any stays or appeals (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Chapter 103, Section 5; codified at Art. 1550 and 1552, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1579 and 1581, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 2302 and 2304, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 2382, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925).
Each justice was required to hold a term of his court every month (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Chapter 103, Section 25; codified at Art. 1546, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1575, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 2298, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 2380, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925). The entries in the civil docket identified the pending cases scheduled each term for action by the justice. Following the proceeding, the justice would record the 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 pending cases during each court term.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number and then chronologically. Internally, the data in each docket volume are arranged monthly by court term and the case number of the cases heard during that term. Internally, the index volumes are arranged alphabetically by last name of the plaintiff.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Civil dockets, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-853 No. 2, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, October 1883-April 1885
Volume
2011/438-854 No. 3, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, April 1885-September 1886
Volume
2011/438-855 No. 4, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, October 1886-March 1889
Volume
2011/438-856 No. 5, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, March 1889-April 1891
Volume
2011/438-857 No. 6, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, April 1891-November 1891
Volume
2011/438-858 No. 7, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, December 1891-June 1892
Volume
2011/438-859 No. 8, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1892-August 1893
Volume
2011/438-860 No. 9, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, September 1893-March 1895
Volume
2011/438-861 No. 10, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, March 1895-March 1896
Volume
2011/438-862 No. 11, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, February 1896-April 1897
Volume
2011/438-863 No. 12, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, April 1897-July 1898
Volume
2011/438-864 No. 13, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1898-June 1900
Volume
2011/438-865 No. 14, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, June 1900-July 1903
Volume
2011/438-866 Index to No. 14, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, June 1900-July 1903
Volume
2011/438-867 No. 15, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1903-December 1906
Volume
2011/438-868 No. 16, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, December 1906-September 1911
Volume
2011/438-869 Index to No. 16, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Civil docket, December 1906-September 1911
Volume
2011/438-870 No. 17, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, September 1911-March 1914
Volume
2011/438-871 No. 18, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Court Civil docket, March 1914-December 1914
Volume
2011/438-872 No. 19, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Court Civil docket, December 1914-October 1915
Volume
2011/438-873 Index to No. 19, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Court Civil docket, December 1914-October 1915
Volume
2011/438-874 No. 20, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Court Civil docket, October 1915-July 1916
Volume
2011/438-875 No. 21, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Court Civil docket, July 1916-June 1917
Volume
2011/438-876 No. 22, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Court Civil docket, June 1917-May 1918
Volume
2011/438-877 No. 23, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1918-November 1919
Volume
2011/438-878 No. 24, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, November 1919-June 1922
Volume
2011/438-879 No. 25, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, June 1922-March 1933
Volume
2011/438-880 No. 26, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1933-May 1938
Volume
2011/438-881 Index to No. 26, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1933-May 1938
Volume
2011/438-882 No. 27, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1938-October 1940
Volume
2011/438-883 No. 28, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, November 1940-August 1943
Volume
2011/438-884 No. 29, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1943-January 1946
Volume
2011/438-885 No. 30, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, January 1946-April 1953
Volume
2011/438-886 No. 31, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1953-July 1957
Volume
2011/438-887 No. 32, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1957-August 1961
Volume
2011/438-888 No. 20, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court Civil docket, January 1898-November 1898
Volume
2011/438-889 Index to No. 20, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court Civil docket, January 1898-November 1898
Volume
2011/438-890 Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1878-November 1879
Volume
2011/438-891 No. 9, Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1886-April 1887
Volume
2011/438-892 No. 10, Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, April 1887-May 1888
Volume
2011/438-893 Index to No. 10, Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, April 1887-May 1888
Volume
2011/438-894 No. 16, Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1894-July 1895
Volume
2011/438-895 Index to No. 16, Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1894-July 1895
Volume
2011/438-896 Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1916-April 1948
Volume
2011/438-897 Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1959-November 1972
Volume
2011/438-899 Precinct 2, Justice's Court Civil docket, November 1972-July 1976
Volume
2011/438-898 Precinct 3, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1876-May 1878
Volume
2011/438-900 No. 1, Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, January 1924-December 1926
Volume
2011/438-901 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, June 1927-June 1937
Volume
2011/438-902 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1937-September 1942
Volume
2011/438-903 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, October 1942-July 1948
Volume
2011/438-904 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, July 1948-October 1950
Volume
2011/438-905 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, November 1950-April 1953
Volume
2011/438-906 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, April 1953-May 1954
Volume
2011/438-907 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1954-February 1955
Volume
2011/438-908 No. 45, Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, February 1955-October 1957
Volume
2011/438-909 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, November 1957-August 1958
Volume
2011/438-910 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1958-May 1959
Volume
2011/438-911 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1959-May 1960
Volume
2011/438-912 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, March 1960-January 1961
Volume
2011/438-913 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, January 1961-August 1961
Volume
2011/438-914 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, August 1961-March 1962
Volume
2011/438-915 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, March 1962-October 1962
Volume
2011/438-916 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, October 1962-March 1963
Volume
2011/438-917 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, March 1963-September 1963
Volume
2011/438-918 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, September 1963-May 1964
Volume
2011/438-919 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, May 1964-March 1965
Volume
2011/438-920 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, March 1965-December 1965
Volume
2011/438-921 Precinct 5, Justice's Court Civil docket, December 1965-September 1966
Volume
2011/438-922 Precinct 6, Justice's Court Civil docket, January 1959-February 1966
Civil court case records, 1915-1919, 1943-1945, 1958,
2.08 cubic ft.
Civil court case records, containing documents related to a justice court's pending cases, were compiled and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precinct 1-A. The records date 1915-1919, 1943-1945, and 1958. Information includes a variety of documents filed during a court case, including citations, writs, affidavits, bonds, and court orders. Types of cases include garnishment of wages; collection of wages; writs of sequestration; collection of amounts owed on chattel mortgages, promissory notes, sworn accounts, and other debts; collection of amounts owed for professional services; and forcible detainer suits to evict delinquent tenants.
Arrangement
The records are arranged chronologically by case number.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Civil court case records, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Box
2015/074-21 Precinct 1-A, Civil case files #8266-8681, October 1915-March 1917
[envelope]
Box
2015/074-22 Precinct 1-A, Civil case files #8682-9159, May 1917-October 1919
[envelope]
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-A, Civil case files #10272-10300, March 1943-June 1943
[envelope]
Precinct 1-A, Civil case files #10797-10798, November 1945
[envelope]
Precinct 1-A, Civil case file #12635, January 1958
[envelope]
Execution docket, 1914-1915,
0.16 cubic ft. (1 volume)
The execution docket, recording civil case judgments executed by the court, was compiled and maintained by the Justice of the Peace serving in Galveston County Precinct 1-A. It dates 1914-1915 and totals one volume. The information includes case number, date execution ordered, style of case, amount of money to be collected, and the date execution was returned. The volume is not indexed.
The judgments of justices of the peace were enforced by execution (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Chapter 103, Sections 19 and 20; codified at Art. 1627, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1657, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 2380, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911). Execution of a judgment involved collecting any monies owed and/or delivering possession of real or personal property to the prevailing party. The execution docket was the official justice court record of the execution of a judgment.
Arrangement
Data in the volume are arranged chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Execution docket, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-923 Precinct 1-A, September 1914-September 1915
Forcible detainer dockets, 1891-1971,
13.44 cubic ft. (50 volumes)
Forcible detainer dockets, recording cases through which property owners and landlords sought to evict delinquent tenants, were compiled and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, and 1-B. They date 1891-1971 and total 50 volumes. Information includes identification of the case as a suit for forcible detainer, identification of the property for which the owner/landlord sought to evict the tenant, the issuance and date of service of process on the tenant, the appearances of one or both parties, the date of the hearing, and the judge's findings and orders. Indexes for volume 7 for Precinct 1-A and volumes 6, 8, and 14 for Precinct 1-B, include the names of the parties and page numbers. The dockets for Precinct 1-A dating 1946-1971 are indexed within the volume. The other volumes are not indexed.
The legislature gave justices of the peace jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and detainer – cases in which a property owner or landlord sought to evict a delinquent tenant and retake possession of the property (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Chapter 103, Section 4; codified at Art. 1539, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 1568, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 2291, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 2385, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925. For specific laws governing forcible entry and detainer see Art. 2440, et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 2519, et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 3940, et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 3973, et seq, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925). Many of the Galveston County justices of the peace recorded all of their pending cases, including forcible entry and detainer cases, in their civil dockets. For a period of time, the justices in Precincts 1, 1-A, and 1-B did so, too. However, because of the increasing volume of forcible entry and detainer cases, beginning in 1890 the justices in Precincts 1, 1-A, and 1-B (the precincts which included the city of Galveston) eventually chose to create separate dockets for those cases.
The entries in the forcible detainer docket identified the pending cases of forcible entry and detainer scheduled during each monthly term for action by the justice. Following the proceeding, the justice would record the action taken on the docket. Most forcible detainer cases appeared on the docket only once (when the judge ordered the tenant evicted), although occasionally a case might appear on the docket more than once.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number and then chronologically. Internally, the data in each docket volume are arranged monthly by court term and the case number of the cases heard during that term. Internally, the index volumes are arranged alphabetically by the last names of the parties.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Forcible detainer dockets, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-924 No. 2, Precinct 1, Justice Court, March 1891-May 1894
Volume
2011/438-925 No. 3, Precinct 1, Justice Court, May 1894-April 1898
Volume
2011/438-926 No. 4, Precinct 1, Justice's Court, May 1898-February 1904
Volume
2011/438-927 No. 5, Precinct 1, Justice's Court, February 1904-February 1910
Volume
2011/438-928 No. 6, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, February 1910-March 1943
Volume
2011/438-929 No. 7, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, March 1943-February 1945
Volume
2011/438-930 Index to No. 7, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, March 1943-February 1945
Volume
2011/438-931 No. 8, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, February 1945-September 1946
Volume
2011/438-932 No. 9, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, September 1946-February 1948
Volume
2011/438-933 No. 10, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, February 1948-May 1949
Volume
2011/438-934 No. 11, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, May 1949-October 1950
Volume
2011/438-935 No. 12, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, October 1950-November 1951
Volume
2011/438-936 No. 13, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, November 1951-November 1952
Volume
2011/438-937 No. 14, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, November 1952-September 1953
Volume
2011/438-938 No. 15, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, September 1953-April 1954
Volume
2011/438-939 No. 16, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, April 1954-November 1954
Volume
2011/438-940 No. 17, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, November 1954-March 1955
Volume
2011/438-941 No. 18, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, March 1955-August 1955
Volume
2011/438-942 No. 19, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, August 1955-December 1955
Volume
2011/438-943 No. 20, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, December 1955-July 1956
Volume
2011/438-944 No. 21, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, July 1956-April 1957
Volume
2011/438-945 No. 22, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, April 1957-February 1958
Volume
2011/438-946 No. 23, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, February 1958-September 1958
Volume
2011/438-947 No. 24, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, September 1958-March 1960
Volume
2011/438-948 No. 25, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, March 1960-August 1961
Volume
2011/438-949 No. 26, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, August 1961-February 1962
Volume
2011/438-950 No. 27, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, February 1962-July 1962
Volume
2011/438-951 No. 28, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, July 1962-January 1963
Volume
2011/438-952 No. 29, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, January 1963-May 1963
Volume
2011/438-953 No. 30, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, May 1963-October 1963
Volume
2011/438-954 No. 31, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, October 1963-March 1964
Volume
2011/438-955 No. 32, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, March 1964-June 1964
Volume
2011/438-956 No. 33, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, June 1964-October 1964
Volume
2011/438-957 No. 34, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, October 1964-February 1965
Volume
2011/438-958 No. 35, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, February 1965-October 1965
Volume
2011/438-959 No. 36, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, October 1965-August 1966
Volume
2011/438-960 No. 37, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, August 1966-May 1967
Volume
2011/438-961 No. 38, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, May 1967-January 1968
Volume
2011/438-962 No. 39, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, January 1968-August 1968
Volume
2011/438-963 No. 40, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, August 1968-July 1969
Volume
2011/438-964 No. 41, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, July 1969-May 1970
Volume
2011/438-965 No. 42, Precinct 1-A, Civil docket, May 1970-February 1971
Volume
2011/438-966 No. 5, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, March 1926-April 1928
Volume
2011/438-967 No. 6, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, April 1928-January 1930
Volume
2011/438-968 Index to No. 6, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, April 1928-January 1930
Volume
2011/438-969 No. 8, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, June 1931-July 1932
Volume
2011/438-970 Index to No. 8, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, June 1931-July 1932
Volume
2011/438-971 No. 14, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, July 1940-February 1943
Volume
2011/438-972 Index to No. 14, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, July 1940-February 1943
Volume
2011/438-973 No. 15, Precinct 1-B, Justice's Court, February 1943-December 1948
Small claims court dockets, 1953-1966,
1.43 cubic ft. (9 volumes)
Small claims court dockets were recorded and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1-A and 5. They date 1953-1966 and total nine volumes. Information includes the case number, date filed, names of the plaintiff and defendant, names of attorneys, nature of the case and amount claimed, citation issued, fees due, and judgment and findings. The volumes are indexed within the volume.
In 1953, the Texas legislature established small claims courts as part of the jurisdiction of the justices of the peace. These courts facilitated access to the courts by individuals when the amount in controversy was small. When the legislature created these courts it declared "that many citizens of the State of Texas are now in effect denied justice because of the present expense and delay of litigation when their claims involve small sums of money. [T]his discouragement of litigation based on financial ability is contrary to the public policy of this State" (Art. 2460a, Vernon's Tex. Ann. Civ. Stat., 1953). The small claims court was a court of inferior jurisdiction over which the justices of the peace presided. When initially established, amounts in controversy could not exceed $50, except that claims for wages or for payment for work performed could not exceed $100. To initiate a proceeding, a claimant filed a sworn statement of his or her claim. The claimant often did not hire an attorney to try the case; however, either side in a case was permitted to hire an attorney. As with other cases filed in his court, the justice of peace when sitting as a judge of the small claims court recorded the case in a docket.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number and then chronologically. Internally, the data in each volume are arranged chronologically by court term and then by case number.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Small claims court dockets, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Volume
2011/438-974 Precinct 1-A, Small Claims Court docket, September 1953-April 1954
Volume
2011/438-975 Book 2, Precinct 1-A, Small Claims Court docket, March 1954-March 1957
Volume
2011/438-976 Book 3, Precinct 1-A, Small Claims Court docket, March 1957-June 1961
Volume
2011/438-977 Precinct 5, Small Claims Court docket, November 1958-February 1960
Volume
2011/438-978 Precinct 5, Small Claims Court docket, February 1960-April 1961
Volume
2011/438-979 Precinct 5, Small Claims Court docket, April 1961-June 1962
Volume
2011/438-980 Precinct 5, Small Claims Court docket, June 1962-June 1963
Volume
2011/438-981 Precinct 5, Small Claims Court docket, June 1963-April 1964
Volume
2011/438-982 Precinct 5, Small Claims Court docket, April 1964-February 1966
Fee books, 1887-1890, 1903-1912,
0.29 cubic ft. (2 volumes)
Fee books were recorded and maintained by various Galveston County Justices of the Peace for Precincts 1-B and 2. They date 1887-1890 and 1903-1912 and total two volumes. Information includes case number, date, names of plaintiff and defendant, amount owed and amount collected. The volumes are not indexed.
Justices of the peace were required to maintain a fee book recording all costs accruing in any suit (Art. 1580, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 2303, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911). In this book, a justice would record fees assessed and collected related to all civil suits filed in his court. In addition, he would list delinquent fees and resulting collection efforts.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number. Internally, the data in each volume are arranged chronologically by case number.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Fee books, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-983 Precinct 1-B, December 1903-December 1912
Volume
2011/438-984 Precinct 2, March 1887-November 1890
Receipt books, 1899-1942,
0.72 cubic ft. (2 volumes)
Receipt books, recording the receipt by attorneys of case-related documents, were compiled and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1 and 1-B. They date 1899-1942 and total two volumes. Information includes the name of the attorney receiving the papers, number of the case, style of the case, and the dates that papers were received and returned. The volumes are not indexed.
In addition to their dockets, justices of the peace were permitted to keep other records related to the cases filed in their court (Art. 1581, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 2304, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 2382, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925). Rather than the justices copying and distributing all of the pleadings and other case documents, attorneys often borrowed these materials for their review and copying. As a matter of practice, the justices kept a receipt book recording when attorneys borrowed case documents and when they returned them.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number. Internally, the data in each volume are arranged by the date the papers were borrowed by an attorney.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Receipt books, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-985 Precinct 1, Receipt book for papers, September 1899-July 1915
Volume
2011/438-986 Precinct 1-B, Receipt book for papers, May 1914-January 1942

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Criminal court records, 1895-1921, 1929-1931, 1934-1948, 1959, 1963-1970,
16.59 cubic ft. (including 57 volumes)

Criminal court records were created and maintained pursuant to specific statutes and for different purposes by various justices of the peace who served in Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, and 2 of Galveston County. They consist of criminal dockets, criminal court case records, and magistrate records. The records date 1895-1921, 1929-1931, 1934-1948, 1959, and 1963-1970 and consist of 1.05 cubic ft. of unbound papers and 57 volumes.
As originally adopted, the Constitution of 1876 limited the criminal jurisdiction of the justices of the peace to "cases where the penalty or fine may not be more than $200," but it permited the legislature to prescribe additional criminal jurisdiction for the justices (Art. V, Sec. 19, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1876). In 1876, the legislature enacted laws defining the duties and responsibilities related to criminal cases for the justices (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Chapter 103, Section 3; codified at Art. 76, Code Crim. Proc., 1879; recodified at Art. 96, Code Crim. Proc., 1895; recodified at Art. 106, Code Crim. Proc., 1911; recodified at Art. 60, Code Crim. Proc., 1925).
Each justice was required to maintain a docket of all trials for criminal offenses that came before him (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Chapter 103, Section 5; codified at Art. 899, Code Crim. Proc., 1879; recodified at Art. 934, Code Crim. Proc., 1895; recodified at Art. 969, Code Crim. Proc., 1911; recodified at Art. 879, Code Crim. Proc., 1925). The justice maintained several types of dockets for criminal cases, each of which served a different purpose. The criminal docket recorded the criminal cases pending before the justice that were scheduled for a hearing during each term of the justice's court and any action taken. The magistrate docket recorded the cases for which the justice sat as a magistrate and held an examining trial to determine whether there was sufficient evidence for a person to be charged with a crime. In addition to the dockets, the justices also maintained files of documents filed in criminal cases.
Organization
The records are organized into three subseries:
Criminal dockets, 1895-1921, 1929-1931, 9.88 cubic ft. (30 volumes)
Criminal court case records, 1899, 1920, 1959, 1963-1970, 1.05 cubic ft.
Magistrate records, 1897-1921, 1934-1948, 1965-1969, 5.66 cubic ft. (27 volumes)
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the subseries), Criminal court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
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. Refer to the overall restrictions statement for instructions on requesting access through the Texas Attorney General.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Criminal dockets, 1895-1921, 1929-1931,
9.88 cubic ft. (30 volumes)
Criminal dockets, recording the pending criminal cases scheduled during each term of a justice's court and the action taken by the court on each case, were compiled and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, and 2. They date 1895-1921 and 1929-1931 and total 30 volumes. The information includes the case number, date filed, name of accused, charges filed, warrant issued, date of trial, findings (including verdict and amount of fine), and costs assessed against the defendant. The types of criminal charges tried include vagrancy, disturbing the peace, gaming, cursing and abusing, and violating state highway laws. Volumes 1 through 25 include both Precinct 1 and Precinct 1-A. Volumes 18 through 25 are indexed within the volumes. All other volumes are not indexed.
Each justice recorded in the docket the proceedings in all trials for criminal offenses. The dockets showed the offense, the issuance of any warrants, the date of the trial (whether by jury or justice), the verdict, the judgment of the court, any notice of appeal, and when the judgment was enforced. Following the proceeding, the justice recorded any action taken in the court docket. A case might appear multiple times in the criminal docket as it made its way through the court process, including when an arrest warrant was issued, when the accused made an appearance, when a case was continued or dismissed, when a trial was held, and when judgment was rendered. Consequently, the criminal docket does not include a master entry summarizing all actions taken on each case. Rather, it reflects particular actions on a pending case taken by the justice during each term.
The justice of the peace in Galveston County Precinct 1 kept a receipt book of convict cost warrants recording payments to county officers of amounts owed by convicts for fines and court costs. The single volume dates 1895-1913. Information includes date, warrant number, amount paid, county officer payee, court case number, and the name of the convict. The volume is not indexed. In 1876, the Texas legislature enacted a law allowing the county to hire out to a private individual or company anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or petty offense who was subsequently jailed for failure to pay his or her fine and court costs. The work could continue until the money generated by the convict's labor covered all amounts owed. Convicts were put to work on roads, bridges or other public works. When the payments for the convict's labor were sufficient to pay the fines and court costs, a payment warrant was issued in favor of each county officer (county or district court clerk, county attorney, sheriff, constable) to whom the fines or costs were due (Acts 1876, 15th Legislature, Regular Session, Ch. 138; codified at Art. 3602, et seq., Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 3744, et seq., Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 6249, et seq., Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911).
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number and then chronologically. Internally, the data in each volume are arranged monthly by court term and the case number of the cases heard during that term.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Criminal dockets, Criminal court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1, Convict cost warrant book, April 1895-August 1913
[volume]
Volume
2011/438-987 Precinct 1, Justice's Court Criminal docket, July 1897-September 1898
Volume
2011/438-988 Precinct 1, Justice's Court Criminal docket, September 1898-May 1899
Volume
2011/438-989 Volume 1, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Criminal docket, May 1899-September 1899
Volume
2011/438-990 Volume 3, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, March 1900-August 1901
Volume
2011/438-991 Volume 4, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, August 1901-January 1902
Volume
2011/438-992 Volume 5, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Criminal docket, January 1902-March 1902
Volume
2011/438-993 Volume 6, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, March 1902-May 1902
Volume
2011/438-994 Volume 7, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, May 1902-August 1902
Volume
2011/438-995 Volume 8, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, August 1902-October 1902
Volume
2011/438-996 Volume 9, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, October 1902-April 1903
Volume
2011/438-997 Volume 10, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, April 1903-April 1904
Volume
2011/438-998 Volume 11, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, April 1904-April 1905
Volume
2011/438-999 Volume 12, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, April 1905-October 1906
Volume
2011/438-1000 Volume 13, Precinct 1, Justice Court Criminal docket, October 1906-August 1908
Volume
2011/438-1001 Volume 14, Precinct 1-A, Justice Court Criminal docket, August 1908-March 1910
Volume
2011/438-1002 Volume 14½, Precinct 1-A, Criminal docket felony cases, March 1910-July 1910
Volume
2011/438-1003 Volume 15, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Criminal docket, July 1910-September 1911
Volume
2011/438-1004 Volume 16, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Criminal docket, September 1911-March 1913
Volume
2011/438-1005 Volume 17, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Criminal docket, March 1913-December 1913
Volume
2011/438-1006 Volume 18, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Court Criminal docket, December 1913-September 1914
Volume
2011/438-1007 Volume 19, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Criminal docket, September 1914-November 1915
Volume
2011/438-1008 Volume 20, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Misdemeanor docket, November 1915-August 1916
Volume
2011/438-1009 Volume 21, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Misdemeanor docket, August 1916-January 1917
Volume
2011/438-1010 Volume 22, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Misdemeanor docket, January 1917-August 1917
Volume
2011/438-1011 Volume 23, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Misdemeanor docket, August 1917-March 1918
Volume
2011/438-1012 Volume 24, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Misdemeanor docket, March 1918-July 1919
Volume
2011/438-1013 Volume 25, Precinct 1, Justice's Court Misdemeanor docket, June 1919-July 1921
Volume
2011/438-1014 Precinct 2, Justice's Criminal docket, April 1916-July 1921
Volume
2011/438-1015 Precinct 2, Justice's Criminal docket, April 1929-August 1931
Criminal court case records, 1899, 1920, 1959, 1963-1970,
1.05 cubic ft.
Criminal court case records, consisting of documents related to a justice court's pending criminal cases, were compiled and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1-A, 1-B, and 2. They date 1899, 1920, 1959, and 1963-1970. The records include criminal court case files, criminal complaints and an affidavit of inability to pay a fine. The information in the case files includes various documents filed during a court case, including citations, writs, arrest warrants, bonds, and court orders. The types of criminal charges tried include vagrancy, disturbing the peace, gaming, cursing and abusing, and violating state highway laws. The case files also include documents related to proceedings to determine a person's sanity and the commitment of individuals to a state mental hospital. The criminal complaints include charges of assault to murder and assault as well as an affidavit of inability to pay a fine.
Arrangement
The files are arranged by precinct number and then chronologically by case number.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Criminal court case records, Civil court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
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. Refer to the overall restrictions statement for instructions on requesting access through the Texas Attorney General.
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-A, Criminal case file #36832, August 1959
[envelope]
Box
2015/074-23 Precinct 1-A, Criminal case files #61202-61498, April 1963-July 1963
[envelope]
[Note: Contains restricted material.]
Precinct 1-A, Criminal case files #68400-68499, October 1968-November 1968
[envelope]
[Note: Contains restricted material.]
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-A, Criminal case files #39405-39498, March 1968-May 1968
[envelope]
[Note: Contains restricted material.]
Box
2015/074-23 Precinct 1-A, Criminal case files #69000-70099, March 1969-January 1970
[envelope]
[Note: Contains restricted material.]
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-B, Criminal complaints and affidavit, 1899
Precinct 2, Criminal case files #475-477, November 1920
[envelope]
Magistrate records, 1897-1921, 1934-1948, 1965-1969,
5.66 cubic ft. (27 volumes)
Magistrate records, relating to hearings conducted by a justice of the peace when sitting as a magistrate, were compiled and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, and 1-B. They date 1897-1921, 1934-1948, and 1965-1969, and total 27 volumes. The records include volumes of magistrate case dockets and indexes to examining trials and docket books held by the district attorney and district clerk.
Magistrate case dockets recorded the actions taken at hearings conducted by the justice of the peace when sitting as a magistrate. The dockets were maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, and 1-B. They date 1897-1921 and total 22 volumes. The information includes the case number, date of examination, name of complainant, charge alleged, date warrant issued, and justice's findings. The types of criminal charges alleged include felony theft, assault to murder, forgery, burglary, rape, embezzlement, and various misdemeanor charges. The volumes for Precinct 1-B also include the justice's criminal docket recording cases he adjudicated in which the accused was charged with a misdemeanor. Volumes 1-3 for Precinct 1 and volumes 4-5, 11, and 14-25 for Precinct 1-A are indexed within the volumes. All other volumes are not indexed.
Several indexes were created by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1-A and 1-B. The indexes date 1934-1948 and 1965-1969 and total five volumes. Two volumes are indexes to the justices' examining trials, and three volumes are indexes to docket books held by the district attorney and district clerk involving criminal misdemeanors, criminal felonies, and search warrants and transcripts. Information includes the case number and defendant.
The term "magistrate" was not used in Texas until the legislature adopted the first Code of Criminal Procedure in 1856. The Code identified "the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Judges of the District Court, the Chief Justice of a County, either of the County Commissioners, Justices of the Peace, the Mayor of an incorporated city or town, and in certain special cases, the Coroner" as magistrates authorized to hold an examining court "to inquire into a criminal accusation against any person" and to determine if the accused should be charged with a crime (Art. 52 and 55, Code Crim. Proc., 1856). Following ratification of the Texas Constitution of 1876, the legislature re-adopted the Code of Criminal Procedure continuing to identify justices of the peace as magistrates authorized to hold examining trials (codified at Art. 42 and 63, Code Crim. Proc., 1879; recodified at Art. 41 and 62, Code Crim. Proc., 1895; recodified at Art. 41 and 62, Code Crim. Proc., 1911; recodified at Art. 33 and 35, Code Crim. Proc., 1925).
As magistrate, a justice handled the preliminary issues in felony cases, such as accepting criminal complaints, issuing search warrants, determining bail, and holding examining trials to determine whether the accused should be charged with a felony crime such as assault, murder, rape, or burglary. Justices maintained a docket of the examinations they conducted as magistrates, recording the offense, the issuance of any warrants, the date of the examination, and the justice's findings.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number and then chronologically. Internally, the data in each volume are arranged by case number.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Magistrate records, Criminal court records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-1016 Volume 1, Precinct 1, Criminal docket felony cases, March 1905-June 1906
Volume
2011/438-1017 Volume 2, Precinct 1, Criminal docket felony cases, June 1906-October 1907
Volume
2011/438-1018 Volume 3, Precinct 1, Criminal docket felony cases, October 1907-October 1908
Volume
2011/438-1019 Volume 4, Precinct 1-A, Criminal docket felony cases, October 1908-September 1909
Volume
2011/438-1020 Volume 5, Precinct 1-A, Criminal docket felony cases, September 1909-June 1910
Volume
2011/438-1021 Volume 11, Precinct 1-A, Criminal docket felony cases, July 1910-May 1911
Volume
2011/438-1022 Volume 12, Precinct 1-A, Criminal docket felony cases, May 1911-February 1912
Volume
2011/438-1023 Volume 13, Precinct 1-A, Criminal docket felony cases, February 1912-July 1912
Volume
2011/438-1024 Volume 14, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Criminal docket felony cases, July 1912-January 1913
Volume
2011/438-1025 Volume 15, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Criminal docket felony cases, January 1913-July 1913
Volume
2011/438-1026 Volume 16, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Criminal docket felony cases, June 1913-March 1914
Volume
2011/438-1027 Volume 17, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Criminal docket felony cases, March 1914-September 1914
Volume
2011/438-1028 Volume 18, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Criminal docket felony cases, September 1914-March 1915
Volume
2011/438-1029 Volume 19, Precinct 1-A, Justice's Criminal docket felony cases, March 1915-November 1915
Volume
2011/438-1030 Volume 20, Precinct 1-A, Justice's felony docket, November 1915-June 1916
Volume
2011/438-1031 Volume 21, Precinct 1-A, Justice's felony docket, June 1916-December 1916
Volume
2011/438-1032 Volume 22, Precinct 1-A, Justice's felony docket, January 1917-November 1917
Volume
2011/438-1033 Volume 23, Precinct 1-A, Justice's felony docket, November 1917-January 1919
Volume
2011/438-1034 Volume 24, Precinct 1-A, Justice's felony docket, January 1919-June 1920
Volume
2011/438-1035 Volume 25, Precinct 1-A, Justice's felony docket, June 1920-October 1921
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-A, Index to examining trials, May 1935-December 1948
[volume]
Precinct 1-A, Index to District Attorney's Office Book #1 criminal misdemeanors, December 1965-December 1968
[volume]
Precinct 1-A, Index to District Clerk's Office Book #1 criminal felonies, December 1965-December 1968
[volume]
Precinct 1-A, Index to search warrants and transcripts of dockets to District Attorney, September 1967-November 1969
[volume]
Volume
2011/438-1036 Volume 3, Precinct 1-B, Criminal docket, August 1897-August 1899
Volume
2011/438-1037 Volume 4, Precinct 1-B, Criminal docket, August 1899-January 1914
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-B, Index to examining trials, October 1934-December 1948
[volume]

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Inquest records, 1896-1959, 1963-1964, 1968,
7.4 cubic ft. (including 50 volumes)

Inquest records relate to the determination of the cause of death by justices of the peace when performing their duties as county coroner. The records were maintained by various justices of the peace who served in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 5, and 7. They date 1896-1959, 1963-1964, and 1968, and consist of 50 volumes and a fractional amount of unbound papers. The records include registers of inquests and certified copies of inquest proceedings.
The inquest registers recorded each inquest performed by a justice. The registers were created and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 5, and 7. They date 1896-1959 and 1963-1964 and total 50 volumes. The information includes inquest number, name of the justice of the peace, date and location of the proceedings, name of the deceased, description of the deceased, location of death or where body was found, date of death, findings of the justice, and names of suspected parties and dates of arrest. The index to volumes 0-8 for Precinct 1-A includes the name of the deceased, volume number, and page number. For Precinct 1, the volumes dated February 1896 through November 1903 are not indexed, and the volumes dated December 1903 through December 1906 are indexed in the front of each volume. For Precinct 1-A, the volumes dated December 1906 through November 1911 and the volumes numbered 11-15 are indexed in the front of each volume; the volumes dated November 1911 through April 1919 and the volumes numbered 9-10 are not indexed. For Precinct 1-B, all volumes are indexed in the front of each volume. For Precincts 2, 5 and 7, none of the volumes is indexed.
The certified copies of inquest proceedings are the official records of twelve inquests performed by the justice of the peace in Galveston County Precinct #1-A which were sent to the district clerk. They date 1968 and total a fractional amount of unbound papers. The information includes inquest number, precinct number, name of the justice of the peace, date and location of the proceedings, name of the deceased, description of the deceased, location of death or where body was found, date of death, findings of the justice, and names of suspected parties and dates of arrest.
Until 1876, the office of county coroner was a constitutionally established elected office. The coroner inquired into the cause, manner and circumstance of the death of persons for whom the circumstances of death were unknown. If the coroner was absent from the county or otherwise unable to perform the duties, the nearest justice of the peace was authorized to conduct an inquest (Art. IV, Sec. 13, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1846; Acts 1846, 1st Legislature, Sections 12 and 21, May 13, 1846. Duties and responsibilities codified at Art. 851, et seq, Code Crim. Proc., effective February 1, 1857).
The Constitution of 1876 did not include an elected coroner and is silent on the matter of inquests; however, by 1879 the Code of Criminal Procedure assigned the duty of conducting "inquests on the bodies of deceased persons" to any justice of the peace within the county. An inquest was required when a person died in prison, when a person was killed or died of unnatural causes or under suspicious circumstances, and when the circumstances of death were unknown. To conduct an inquest, the justice inquired into the cause, manner, and circumstance of death. The justice of peace was required to keep a book recording the minutes of the proceedings of each inquest, including the information provided about the circumstances of death, the time and place of the inquest, the name of the deceased, the findings, and the name of any suspect. The justice was authorized, although not required, to consult with a physician and conduct a chemical analysis (Art. 988, et seq, Code Crim. Proc., 1879; recodified at Art. 1023, et seq, Code Crim. Proc., 1895; recodified at Art. 1058, et seq, Code Crim. Proc., 1911; recodified at Art. 968, et seq, Code Crim. Proc., 1925).
Historians believe that inquests held by Galveston County justices of the peace may have been the first in the state to include autopsies conducted by pathologists because the first medical school in Texas opened there in 1891 (Charles Petty, "Forensic Medicine," Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association; accessed December 9, 2015). In 1955, the legislature first allowed counties to appoint medical examiners to conduct autopsies and determine cause of death. In 1972, the Galveston County Commissioners Court established the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office, and justices of the peace no longer conducted inquests in the county (See Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office website).
The registers of inquests do not include any inquests conducted into deaths resulting from the 1900 Galveston hurricane because none were held. An account published shortly after the storm explains that "the suggestion was made that inquests must be held on the bodies and the law complied with. But the corpses began to grow larger in number. Inquests now were no longer discussed" (Paul Lester, The Great Galveston Disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times, about 1900, digital images (accessed December 9, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas).
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged by precinct number and chronologically. Internally, each inquest volume is arranged chronologically. Internally, the index volume is arranged alphabetically by name of the deceased.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Inquest records, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-1038 Precinct 1, Inquest record, February 1896-June 1898
Volume
2011/438-1039 Precinct 1, Inquest record, January 1900-July 1901
Volume
2011/438-1040 Precinct 1, Inquest record, August 1901-December 1902
Volume
2011/438-1041 Precinct 1, Inquest record, December 1902-November 1903
Volume
2011/438-1042 Precinct 1, Inquest record, December 1903-February 1905
Volume
2011/438-1043 Precinct 1, Inquest record, February 1905-January 1906
Volume
2011/438-1044 Precinct 1, Inquest record, January 1906-December 1906
Volume
2011/438-1045 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, December 1906-October 1907
Volume
2011/438-1046 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, October 1907-September 1908
Volume
2011/438-1047 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, September 1908-June 1909
Volume
2011/438-1048 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, June 1909-March 1910
Volume
2011/438-1049 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, April 1910-February 1911
Volume
2011/438-1050 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, February 1911-November 1911
Volume
2011/438-1051 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, November 1911-June 1912
Volume
2011/438-1052 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, June 1912-December 1912
Volume
2011/438-1053 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, December 1912-July 1913
Volume
2011/438-1054 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, July 1913-April 1915
Volume
2011/438-1055 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, May 1915-March 1916
Volume
2011/438-1056 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, March 1916-June 1917
Volume
2011/438-1057 Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, June 1917-April 1919
Volume
2011/438-1058 Precinct 1-A, Index to Inquest records, Volumes 0-8, June 1919-January 1936
Volume
2011/438-1059 Volume 0, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, June 1919-June 1921
Volume
2011/438-1060 Volume 1, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, July 1921-January 1923
Volume
2011/438-1061 Volume 2, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, January 1923-June 1924
Volume
2011/438-1062 Volume 3, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, June 1924-October 1926
Volume
2011/438-1063 Volume 4, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, October 1926-October 1927
Volume
2011/438-1064 Volume 5, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, October 1927-March 1929
Volume
2011/438-1065 Volume 6, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, April 1929-June 1930
Volume
2011/438-1066 Volume 7, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, June 1930-September 1932
Volume
2011/438-1067 Volume 8, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, September 1932-January 1936
Volume
2011/438-1068 Volume 9, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, February 1936-June 1939
Volume
2011/438-1069 Volume 10, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, June 1939-February 1943
Volume
2011/438-1070 Volume 11, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, February 1943-October 1946
Volume
2011/438-1071 Volume 12, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, November 1946-February 1950
Volume
2011/438-1072 Volume 13, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, February 1950-February 1952
Volume
2011/438-1073 Volume 14, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, January 1952-April 1954
Volume
2011/438-1074 Volume 15, Precinct 1-A, Inquest record, May 1954-January 1959
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-A, Certified copies of inquest proceedings, September 1968-October 1968
[envelope]
Volume
2011/438-1075 Volume 1, Precinct 1-B, Inquest record, June 1914-October 1919
Volume
2011/438-1076 Volume 2, Precinct 1-B, Inquest record, October 1919-July 1927
Volume
2011/438-1077 Volume 4, Precinct 1-B, Inquest record, May 1932-June 1934
Volume
2011/438-1078 Volume 5, Precinct 1-B, Inquest record, June 1934-June 1935
Volume
2011/438-1079 Volume 6, Precinct 1-B, Inquest record, June 1936-August 1938
Volume
2011/438-1080 Volume 7, Precinct 1-B, Inquest record, August 1938-March 1941
Volume
2011/438-1081 Volume 18, Precinct 1-B, Inquest record, June 1963-May 1964
Volume
2011/438-1082 Precinct 2, Inquest record, December 1915-May 1924
Volume
2011/438-1083 Precinct 2, Inquest record, March 1929-September 1941
Volume
2011/438-1084 Precinct 2, Inquest record, November 1941-February 1951
Volume
2011/438-1085 Precinct 5, Inquest record, February 1924-August 1929
Volume
2011/438-1086 Precinct 7, Inquest record, September 1925-November 1946
Volume
2011/438-1087 Precinct 7, Inquest record, December 1946-May 1956

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Marriage registers, 1889-1950,
1.43 cubic ft. (14 volumes)

Registers of marriage ceremonies conducted by various Galveston County Justices of the Peace for Precinct 1 date 1889-1950 and total 14 volumes. Information includes the date the marriage license was issued, the county in which the license was issued, names of the bride and groom, and the date of the marriage ceremony. The index to the volume dated December 1912-December 1917 includes the names of the bride and groom and page numbers. Volumes dated December 1940 through June 1950 are indexed in the front of the volumes. All other volumes are not indexed.
Justices of the peace have been authorized to conduct the rites of matrimony for Texas couples since the days of the Republic (Acts 1837, 1st Cong. of the Republic of Texas, June 5, 1837; codified at Art. 2838, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 2954, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 4608, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 4602, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925). From 1837 until 1866, males under 14 and females under 12 could not legally marry. An 1866 amendment prohibited marriage for males under 16 and females under 14 (Acts 1866, 11th Legislature, Chapter 76, Section 1). Beginning in 1879, parental or guardian consent was needed for males under 21 and females under 18 to obtain a marriage license (Art. 2841, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1879; recodified at Art. 2957, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1895; recodified at Art. 4611, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1911; recodified at Art. 4605, Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., 1925).
Arrangement
The registers are arranged chronologically. Internally, the index volume is arranged alphabetically by last names of the bride and groom.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Marriage registers, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Volume
2011/438-1088 Precinct 1, Marriage record, August 1889-February 1893
Volume
2011/438-1089 Precinct 1, Marriage record, June 1893-February 1900
Volume
2011/438-1090 Precinct 1, Marriage record, February 1900-February 1908
Volume
2011/438-1091 Precinct 1, Marriage record, February 1908-December 1910
Volume
2011/438-1092 Precinct 1, Marriage record, December 1912-December 1917
Volume
2011/438-1093 Index to Precinct 1, Marriage record, December 1912-December 1917
Volume
2011/438-1094 Precinct 1, Marriage record, December 1917-November 1921
Volume
2011/438-1095 Precinct 1, Marriage record, December 1921-May 1927
Volume
2011/438-1096 Precinct 1, Marriage record, May 1927-January 1934
Volume
2011/438-1097 Precinct 1, Marriage record, February 1934-July 1936
Volume
2011/438-1098 Precinct 1, Marriage record, July 1936-September 1938
Volume
2011/438-1099 Precinct 1, Marriage record, September 1938-December 1940
Volume
2011/438-1100 Precinct 1, Marriage record, December 1940-July 1944
Volume
2011/438-1101 Precinct 1, Marriage record, July 1944-June 1950

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Tax assessment registers, 1870-1874,
0.34 cubic ft. (2 volumes)

The tax assessment registers were compiled and maintained by Galveston County Justices of the Peace for Precincts 4 and 5. They date 1870-1874 and total two volumes. Information includes the date of the assessment, the tax year for which taxes were assessed, the name of the taxpayer, a listing of real property (such as abstract number, number of acres, original grantee, the quarter and number of the out lot, and the number of lot and block), by whom rendered, the value of the improvements, a listing of personal property (such as livestock, household furnishings, merchandise for sale, money, jewelry, musical instruments, bonds and contracts, capital used in trade or business, and other articles of non-exempt personal property), total value of the property, and amount of taxes assessed. The 1871 volume is indexed; the 1870-1874 volume is not indexed.
The Reconstruction Constitution of 1869 eliminated the elected office of county tax assessor. The Constitution directed the justices of the peace in each county to assess the property in their precincts, and the county sheriff was directed to collect the taxes (Art. XII, Sec. 28, Constitution of the State of Texas, 1869). The legislature directed the justices to "call upon every person in his precinct required to give a list of property, moneys, credits or other subjects of taxation, and the value thereof." Each justice was required to compile and maintain a register of the names of property owners and other persons taxed, including the amount taxed (Acts 1870, 12th Legislature, Called Session, Chapter 84, Sections 5 and 47). The justice of the peace as tax assessor did not last long. The Constitution of 1876 restored the office of county tax assessor-collector.
Arrangement
The data in the 1871 volume are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the taxpayer. The data in the 1870-1874 volume are arranged by property description (block number, lot number, outlot number).
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Tax assessment registers, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Technical Requirements
Many of the 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.
Volume
2011/438-1102 Precinct 4, Property book, 1870-1874
Volume
2011/438-1103 Precinct 5, Inventory of property, 1871

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Correspondence and information files, 1915-1957, undated,
fractional

Correspondence and information files were recorded, compiled, and maintained by various justices of the peace serving in Galveston County Precincts #1-A, 2, and unknown. They date 1915-1957 and undated. The records consist of correspondence sent or received by the justices and information gathered by the justices for various purposes. They include correspondence and information on various topics not included in other record series.
Arrangement
The records are arranged chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Correspondence and information files, Galveston County Justice of the Peace records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Box
2015/074-24 Precinct 1-A, Correspondence from state comptroller transmitting warrants and deficiency warrants for justice of the peace exams, 1915, 1920
Deed acknowledgement, 1916
Newspaper clippings, 1925-1935, undated
Precinct 2, Correspondence from county health department and state board of health, 1936-1937, 1957
Precinct 2, Certificate of commission as justice of the peace, March 1951
Miscellaneous blank forms, undated

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