Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unlucky in Las Vegas

I am currently in Albuquerque for a conference. I purposely arrived a day early so I could do some genealogy research in Las Vegas, San Miguel County, New Mexico. My great-great grandmother and her daughters spent about 15-20 years there between 1890s-1910s.

I drafted a research plan that included a visit to the courthouse for marriage records, probate records and anything else that might jump out of the books. I also intended to find six graves in a single cemetery.

So yesterday, I landed at ABQ, rented a car and headed for Las Vegas. The town was bigger than I expected and more hilly. I eventually found the courthouse. The building was under renovation and the main entrance was blocked. I walked around the building looking for a place to get in. It was clear that the entire building was under renovation. So where was the courthouse business being conducted during this mess?

I walked to the district court and asked the officer at the entrance. The county clerk was currently "in a strip mall by Auto Zone." Off to the shopping mall clerk I went. It only took a minute to learn they didn't have the records I needed. Where were they? Back at the courthouse under construction. Access denied.

On a positive note, I did find the graves I was searching for at the Masonic Cemetery. I found the Haywards I'm connected to but not related. I found the Schmitt's I might be related to, but don't know because the answers to my questions may or may not be in the courthouse closed to the public.

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200...or the records I drove all this was to get. Hopefully, the Family History Library will be able to help me fill some gaps.

Cemetery pics will follow eventually. Now I have a conference to attend.

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