Just to give you an idea of how much material is stored at one branch of the Archives, here is a glimpse of just a fraction of their holdings.
The National Archives branch in Seattle, Washington has rows of shelves of federal records, and over 70,000 rolls of microfilm, some of which are not yet digitized or online. It is the record retention center for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
And in 1897 C.A. Wasson was accused of “depositing in the United States Mail for transportation and delivery a certain letter containing obscene, indecent, vulgar and filthy matter, in violation of Section 3.895 of the Revised Statutes of the United States.” In this particular file are depositions from various mail carriers who handled the letter, including one, who when the letter was handed to him, stated, “I remember this letter. I soiled this letter by carrying it in my pocket with a piece of buttered toast.”
Court records of every kind and at every level can be great sources of information about your ancestors – how they lived, how they treated their neighbors, and how they kept (or broke) the law. Court records are worth exploring for the information they contain!