I have been collecting family birth and death certificates from several different counties around Texas for a couple of years. Never have I had anyone ask me for more information than the names and dates and my relation to the people for whom I want certificates. The woman with whom you spoke at the Courthouse really does not seem to understand how the record books are organized. There are separate books for deaths, births, and marriages. They are set up by date. Everyone who was born, or married, or died on those days is listed. The idea that one needs the parents' names is ridiculous.
In most counties one is permitted to search the books, and then a clerk will make photocopies of the required pages, or will make out certified copies. Deed books are also usually available for individual search.
It depends on the size of the city or county as to whether you will be allow to look for yourself. In Ft. Worth I had to fill out a form and the clerk did the searching. In other counties, I have done the searching for myself. Both counties mentioned are rather sparsely populated, and you should be able to find the information for yourself. Good luck!
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