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Researching Southern Claims Commission records | Steps for finding a barred claim

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Follow the steps listed below ONLY if you are researching a Southern Claims Commission claim that was barred.

Keep in mind that while barred claims traditionally contain less information than disallowed or approved, they can still provide important information.

B6. Begin your search.

For online images, use Ancestry or Fold3 to search for the name you seek. If you find it, follow through to its connected document images.

To use fiche, consult the "Barred Claims" section of the Descriptive Pamphlet (DP) for microfiche set M1407, Barred and Disallowed Case Files of the Southern Claims Commission, 1871–1880, to determine which fiche to use for the name you seek. The barred claims appear on pages 87–98 in the DP.

The barred claims are arranged on the fiche in alphabetical order by the name of the claimant. In its listing for the barred claims, the DP shows only the first name on each fiche so it does not give the range of names connected to that fiche number. Compare the first name listed for consecutive fiche to determine which has the range of names that will contain your person.

B7. Locate a copy of the needed fiche.

Locate the needed fiche and review the file. When pulling the fiche number from the drawer, check at the top of the first fiche to see how many fiche sheets apply to that fiche number. For example, "1 of 1" indicates there is only one fiche sheet for a specified fiche number. A listing of "1 of 2" indicates there are two fiche sheets for that fiche number and your person may be on the second fiche sheet.

Note: The fiche for barred claims are available in the History and Genealogy Department as well as at other research facilities. Individual fiche may also be purchased from the National Archives and then viewed on a microfiche reader available to you at your library or elsewhere in your community.

B8. Was a barred claim appealed?

Sometimes, a barred claim was later appealed, and the files from such an appeal can contain a great deal of information. An indication that a barred claim was appealed might be a single document following the claimant's file folder that says "Cong. No. ###" and/or possibly a notation such as "Rec'd sundry papers in above case" and signed by someone from the Court of Claims. "House of Representatives" may also appear as part of that notation.

B9. If claim was appealed—check for Court of Claims docket number.

Check U.S. Court of Claims Docket Cards for Congressional Case Files, ca. 1884–1943 (M2007) to see if it contains an index card for the claimant you are researching. Keep in mind that SCC claims were not the only claims taken before the Court of Claims. Therefore, the existence of an index card does not guarantee that the claim to which it refers was an SCC claim.

B10. Query National Archives for availability and cost of copies for appealed claim.

Appealed claims have not been microfilmed, nor have they been digitized as of March 2012. It is therefore necessary to contact the National Archives to determine if the documents for the appeal of a barred claim are still available as not all claims have survived.

When making your request, be sure to include in your message

  • fact that you are seeking a Southern Claims Commission barred claim which you believe was appealed
  • full name of the claimant
  • commission claim number
  • state from which claim was made

and in turn ask for

  • the availability of the original documents for the claim and its appeal
  • a price quote for a photocopy of those documents

Submitting a query about a barred SCC claim that was appealed

Option 1. Request price quote online from the national archives

  • Visit the National Archives Website.
  • Because NARA updates this webpage periodically, the actual wording on the “Contact” webpage will change. In general, look for a link that says something such as “questions about research and records.” Follow that or similar links until given the opportunity to enter and submit a question.
  • Submit a question asking for a price quote for the barred claim that was appealed.

Be sure to provide

  • information listed above regarding the approved claim
  • your name, e-mail address, postal mailing address, and phone number for a reply.

Option 2. Mail a written price request to the following address:

National Archives and Records Administration
Reference Section
700 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC  20408

Be sure to provide

  • all information listed above regarding the SCC claim
  • your name, e-mail address, postal mailing address, and phone number for a reply.

Appeals can be quite lengthy, and because they were filed at a later date, they were sometimes filed by the heirs of the original claimant.