By CLINT FOSTER
PALO PINTO – Members of the Palo Pinto County Commissioners’ Court said “We do” Monday morning, accepting a bid for an imaging project to significantly improve the database of marriage records in the County Clerk’s office.
The county will pay $87,882.60 plus a $2,500 upload fee for Cogniserv to scan and image all of the county’s marriage certificates – dating back to 1857 – and create an online database for the public to easily access.
County Clerk Janette Green told the Index the money will come out of Records/Preservation (the money citizens pay to file documents), rather than out of property taxes.
She added it will be well-worth the investment.
“We really wanted to get this done,” she said. “We’re going to try to get it to where there are indexes online, so you can see if there’s (a copy of the marriage license) here.
“It’s just a lot easier for us to find it online and print it out, rather than have to go digging through the books. This way, we can look up their name, no matter what year.”
Green said, according to state law, citizens will not be able to print copies of marriage licenses directly off of the internet because all copies are required to be certified by the clerk’s office. But the indexes will allow both citizens and clerks to more easily search through countless documents with only the name of a bride or groom.
Once someone has found the marriage certificate they are looking for – if they do not wish to go to the Palo Pinto County Courthouse – they can simply send $21 with their request in the mail and the Green’s office will send a certified copy of the license back to them. Green said applications for that and many other forms can all be found on the county’s website.