The first records made by humans could be found recorded in the walls and ceilings of caves. These records were made by humans more than a thousand years ago, and a lot of them still exist today. The fact that pre-historic man had been making records back then is testament to the importance of records. Nowadays, with the dawn of the modern era, there is no need for humans to go into caves and paint their records on the surface of rocks. We now have pen, papers, even electronic records, but at the same time, the increasing complications of social life had given birth to more proceedings that must be recorded. Instead of caves, however, we have archives where these records are kept, and one of these archives contain a collection of records known as the Washington County Public Records.
Public records are important because of the records contained within them. Their title, derived from the name of the parties, alone are important as they inform a person who just glanced at the records of the identity of the party involved in the proceedings referred to by the records. The contents of the records are even more important as, more often than not, the contents of the records set about precedent that could be used by both the person looking at the records and other future generations in their own proceedings.
Public records are available to the public at all times. This is the requirement of the law and brought about by the requirements of practicality. The official custodian of the records, the clerk of courts as mandated and identified by the same law, could not refuse anyone permission to look into the archives where the records are kept unless the reason that access is being requested runs contrary to the primary duty of the clerk which is to keep, maintain, and secure the records.
Of course, before a person could access the records, the searcher must first ask for permission. It is true that the clerk is generally not allowed to refuse access to the records, but permission must still be requested, if only for an orderly flow of people into and out of the room where the archives are kept. There are a number of methods that one could use to request access, but the clerk recommends that a person who wishes to look into the records should make a personal search.
Once permission had been given, the person so authorized may either look for the records himself, or he could ask for a clerk to do the search. Presumably, the second is more efficient on the basis that the clerk is more familiar with the filing system used by the office. Once the record had been located, the searcher could not actually take the record out of the archives, hence, he should request for a copy of the same. A copy usually cost a dollar per page, plus an optional two dollar certification fee for every document.
A person who could find neither the time nor the inclination to head over to the office of the clerk of courts could also do a search using the internet. There are a number of online database that are on point in this endeavour. These databases are not only easy to use and often free, they also returns results faster and are connected with other databases that contain other information that may also be of assistance to the searcher. They also do not require the searcher to leave home as they are done using the internet.