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Land Records: Individuals to Individuals Quick Start

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A Quick Start is a simple set of instructions to assist you to begin to use a particular category of
records to solve a genealogical problem.

 Start with what you know:

    1.                  Refer to E. Wade Hone, Land and Property Research in the United States. 973 R27h
                    (Reference Wall)

    2.                  Refer to [State] Research Outline, “Land and Property” at
    3.                  Refer to Patricia Law Hatcher, Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using
                    Land Records
929.3 D27 (Reference Wall)

A. Find the county in The Handybook - 973 D27e (Reference Wall)
B. For what years are land records available_____________________________________________
C. Use AniMap or Dollarhide’s Map Book with The Handybook to ensure you search the correct

D. Keep in mind your ancestor’s deed may have been recorded many years after the deed was

E. Search a broad time period
F. Many land records have been microfilmed.
G. Consult the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC)     
H. Click on Place Search

  1. In the top box type the name of  the county (exclude the word county)
  2. In the bottom box type the full name of the state (exact spelling is a must)
  3. Click on Land and Property
  4. Choose deed records for the years to include when your ancestor may have bought and sold
    (prefer microfilm of county clerk, recorder, etc.)
  5. If film notes are available in the upper right hand corner click on that button
  6. If available choose an index (grantee = buyer, grantor = seller)
  7. Use the film number to check Mesa Regional Family History Center Catalog
  8. If it is here retrieve it and put it on the microfilm reader
  9. If it is not here, order it in the copy room
  10. Scroll to the surname (ancestor, siblings, parents) Record the book and page numbers
  11. Use the book or volume number at the film notes from No. 5 to select and obtain the film for
    the deed
  12. Once you have the microfilm on the reader scroll to the page number (see No. 10)

Read the entire deed
You should track the land both when purchased and sold
Keep a readable copy of the deed (you may scan the deed and print it or save it on a flash drive)
Record a proper citation of your source
List positive or negative searches in your research log

Important information you should record:
Date of the deed___________________________________________________________________
Names of the first party (Grantor(s), Seller(s)) _____________________________________________
Names of the second party (Grantee(s), Buyer(s))___________________________________________
Stated relationships__________________________________________________________________
Consideration (price) ________________________________________________________________
Legal description____________________________________________________________________

If deeds for your ancestor’s county have not been microfilmed

 Solving the Puzzle

Books or Abstracts

Internet Images (some county governments have posted images of deeds on line)

Internet Transcriptions

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