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This project, which started almost four years ago, seemed like a wonderful idea at the time. We would take the real estates indexes, which were mostly on microfilm, and arrange them into an every name alphabetical listing. It seemed so simple.
The first problem encountered was that the microfilm was difficult to read in places and the copies produced from it were not complete. No problem we thought. We would go to the actual indexes themselves that were here at the Archives and at the Recorder of Deed's Office.
Marian DeMore produced slip after slip of entries taken from the microfilm copies and the xerox copies of index sheets produced by Carolyn Snider. Marian did not realize how large this project was-neither did we-until both she and Carolyn were in too far to retreat. Dutifully both worked on letter after letter. Hayward Barnett was coaxed and persuaded to put the card information onto diskettes that we could then work on at the Archives.
There were some difficulties merging all the diskette information into single letter listings. From more than a dozen diskettes, which were each first alphabetized, letter categories were formed. Each diskette had a range of letters on it so there was a lot of cutting and pasting into files going on.
After well into the project we found out that there were duplicate listings, conflicting entries, and sometimes only a single entry for some land transactions. There should generally be two listings; one for the seller or grantor and another for the buyer or grantee. This caused us to go directly to the deed books. Here we found another problem.
Sometimes the same land transactions would be listed on one book and page for the seller and a different book and page for the buyer. This was very bad news. What should have been a relatively easy process had now become a series of checking and rechecking letters that seemed to go on forever.
The logical thing one would have thought would have been to just forget the index listings and start over with the deed books page by page. One, this was not practical as the deed books could not leave the Archives for volunteers to use. Secondly, a few deed books and some pages in deed books are missing so that the only listing of some land transactions would be in the index.
The project has surely been a learning experience. I now, as can many others involved in this index, recognize many early names from Greene County, and in some instances feel as if we know these people. It was also a surprise that there were listings other than land deeds. We found pages with material about incorporations, slaves, wills, chattel mortgages for horses, household furniture and railroads.
This has been the largest project yet attempted by the Archives. Thanks need to go to many people including: MARIAN DEMORE, who has worked on many of our bulletins/indexes; CAROLYN SNIDER, who had really made this project possible; BEVERLY JOHNSON of the Archives, who has spent hours looking in deed books to make corrections from listings; HAYWARD BARNETT, who spent hours at his keyboard putting this material on diskette;
CAROLYN WILLIAMS and MARY WALKER, AARP workers, who helped with corrections; PHOEBE LEMON, CHARLENE HOOK, and RESSIE WALLACE, who applied that vast knowledge of county history as workers on name corrections, AMY LANGSTON of the Archives who provided editorial support merging listings into coherent columns; LINDA MONTGOMERY, GREENE COUNTY RECORDER OF DEEDS, who provided microfilm and allowed us to pursue this vast undertaking;
THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
*****The Archives takes all responsibility for any errors in this index. We have tried out best to weed out mistakes or double entries. IF YOU REQUEST DEED COPIES FROM THE RECORDER OF DEED'S OFFICE please give the correct book and page AND the names of the parties involved. If the listing is incorrect please let us know at www.greenecountymo.org which is the county website. If you hit on the Archives button there is a request form that you can have us check the listing. If you wish to write us the address is: Greene County Archives & Records Center, 1126 Boonville, Springfield, MO 65802. Our phone is: (417) 868-4021. Comments or criticisms may also go to these listings.
If you are looking for a particular name try to check all possible variations. In the 19th century people spelled a variety of different ways. In one deed listing a name can be spelled two different ways.
There are several abbreviations that are used in the index. Shrf, shff, sff, or something similar stands for sheriff. Tr'stee, tr'tee, or something like it means trustee. Adm. or admr means administrator. Est or est of means estate. Ch or chr'ch designates a church. Sch is what we have used for school. Atrn, atn, atny, or other can mean attorney. Sprfld stands for Springfield. RR or R. R. is for a railroad. Etal means 'and others.' Ins or insur means insurance. Bk is bank and mfg stands for manufacturing company. Dec'd or dec is deceased. Sometimes Sen is used for Sr or senior. Epis is used for Episcopal. Deft or def stands for defendant and pltf or ptf stands for plaintiff meaning that there may be more in a Greene County Circuit Court case. There may be others that we have missed.
NAME ABBREVIATIONS: Jas. is James, Jos. is Joseph, Jno. is John, Chas. is Charles, Robt. IIs Robert, Wm. is William, Sam'l is Samuel, Wash. is Washington, Thos. is Thomas, Geo. is George, Dan'l; is Daniel, Benj. is Benjamin and Alex. is Alexander. A few names have given name initials in a block: JWDLF Mack stands for J. W. D. L. F. Mack, sometimes called 'Alphabet' Mack, RAC Mack is used for R. A. C. Mack, and LAD Crenshaw is short for L. A. D. Crenshaw.
Greene County Archives & Records Center