Second Life for Genealogists Book Club Val GreenwoodThe Researchers Guide to American Genealogy – Chapters 19 & 20 Tina Sansone, Presenter
Local Land Record, Ch. 19• Usually under county jurisdiction• Grantor – the seller• Grantee – the buyer• Real Property – land, together what is erected on it or affixed to it.• Fee simple – estate would potentially last forever & descent to one’s heirs if he died intestate or be devised by will or sell it.
Chief obstacles preventing fee simpletitle from being absolute ownership:1. Estate will escheat to the state where there are no heirs.2. Eminent domain – government has right to take private lands for public purposes upon payment of just compensation.
Type of Estates less absolute than fee simple:• Life Estate• Estate in Tail (Fee Tail)• Estate Upon Condition• Estate for Years• Estates from Year to Year (Estates at Will)
Using Land RecordsA. RelationshipsB. Places – where did they live and/or where did they go?C. Proving Connections Through Land DescriptionsD. Other Tricks for Hard Cases A. Look for companion documents B. Check for deeds on adjoining properties C. Locate & plat out property descriptions D. Account for both acquisition & disposition of every tract of your ancestor’s land
Using Tax Records• Real property tax records• Personal property tax records (primarily livestock and slaves)• Combination of the two• “if used with other records – deeds, probates, marriage records, etc – you can tell quite a lot about persons involved”
Availability of Land Records• Location (see states on pages 425-428)• Indexes – most are by name of grantors & granteesNote: Deeds are not always recorded, law does not require it. It is a protection for the property owner and up to them to take advantage of it.
Abstracting Wills & Deeds, Ch. 20• Getting the required information from the records into your notes in a meaningful & readily usable form without omitting anything of significance.• Abstract – summarize essential thoughts only• Extract – take out of another source or to copy in its entirety from a larger work• Transcribe – to copy
Rules to go by…• Get all essential facts• Don’t try to be too brief• If you are not sure if it’s important, copy it• Better to get too much than not enough• Experience will help you know what is important to abstract
• Keep complete reference to its source by locality, volume (or book) and page, serial # of microfilm.• Clearly state type of record & include all dates important to the document, date made & date recorded for a deed, date made and the date probated for a will.
Essential to a Deed Abstract1. Parties of the deed - grantor(s), grantee(s)2. Places of residence of those parties3. Consideration involved, price paid & stated terms4. Description of land – size & location5. Relationship information6. Misc. information7. Names of witnesses – exactly as they appear8. Signature(s) of grantor(s)9. Any release of dower rights by wife of grantor
Abstracting Probate Records1. Name of testator – person who made the will2. Additional description of the testator – residence, occupation, inferences of age or state of health3. All persons named in will listed in order named4. Relationships stated for those persons to either the testator or to each other
5. Essentials of the bequests & devises to these persons. (Land descriptions, names of slaves, amounts of money, all other property of consequence)6. Misc Information7. Name(s) of the executor(s) & any relationships or connections stated between him (them) & the testator8. Names of witnesses – exactly as they appear9. Signature of the testator.
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