Some time ago, I had discovered that my great grandmother Betty Sanford Manson, had been declared mentally incompetent in Milam County, Texas during the 1930s. I found the case numbers listed on the Milam County GenWeb site. And this comported with my father’s recollection that when he had visited his family in their new home in Midland in 1948, he was not allowed to go near his grandmother because the family said she was mentally ill.
When I went to Salt Lake City last spring on my research trip, I searched the microfilm records of Milam County to find the files pertaining to Betty Manson’s mental status. I spent considerable time looking for those files, but couldn’t find them. It appeared to me that when I got close to the file numbers, the microfilm skipped the ones I was looking for. Now I know why.
Recently I decided to request the records directly from the Milam County clerk’s office. I found both an e-mail address and an “snail mail” address for the clerk’s office. I sent an e-mail inquiry asking if the records existed in that office and if so what the fee for obtaining them would be. At the same time I inquired about the probate files concerning Reuben Henry Sanford and Martha Sanford. I followed up my e-mail inquiry with a letter sent through the Postal Service. I got an e-mail back stating that they had not received my e-mail, but had received my posted letter. About Betty Sanford Manson’s files, the clerk explained:
The files on Bettie Manson are NCM [non compos mentis; Latin. not of sound mind; mentally incapable of managing one’s affairs. ] and are closed records. A petition to the District Court and order granting would be necessary to secure the papers.
The clerk also explained that as to the other files I was interested in, the fee is one dollar per page, to be remitted at the time of the request.
So I’m kind of excited about this. I’m going to research the local rules for the District Court which serves Milam County, and figure out how to file my petition. Stay tuned.
By the way, the e-mail address published in several places for the Milam County clerk’s office (including on the Milam County GenWeb archives site) is apparently incorrect. The correct e-mail address for the Milam County clerk’s office is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The clerk’s office may also be contacted at: 107 West Main, Cameron Texas 76520; tel. 1-800 216-0490.
November 3, 2006 Friday at 3:32 am