Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Land & Property Research in the United States

There are at least 3 reasons why land and property records are important when researching your family history. The first is that “written evidence of people’s entitlement to land and property goes back in time further than virtually any other type of record”. The second is that “in America, land and property records apply to more people than any other type of written record”. And third “there are fewer losses of land and property records than any other type of record”. These are quoted from the Foreward written by William Dollarhide for the book Land & Property Research in the United State by E. Wade Hone. (with Heritage Consulting and Services, copyright 1997)

This book starts with chapters on Pre-U.S. possessions, providing a chapter on each of the countries that staked a claim on land, and information on the repositories of those records today. Once we became the United States, states were either State-Land States (where the distribution of land was handled on the State government level), or Federal Land States (where the distribution of land was handled on the Federal level). There were different survey systems for the two types, so researching and interpreting the records will be handled differently. The book offers strategies for researching each type of record. There is also a chapter on Individual Lands, which refers to land transactions that take place after the initial transfer of ownership from the government, and a chapter on Native American Land Records.

This can be an invaluable source to keep you from making shots in the dark in your land research. You'll find it at R Gen 929.1 HON in our library.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment