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Tuesday’s Tip: 5 reasons to look at land records

Never used land records in your research. Maybe it’s time to start.

  1. They can indicate family relationships. I saw a deed recently the indicated the grantor had previously bought land “from my honoured father.” Great plus if you can’t find a birth or baptismal record.
  2. They can tell where your ancestor was living. Sometimes ancestors moved out of state before selling their land. Deeds can tell you where they ended up.
  3. They can state occupations. Wonder what your ancestor did for a living? A deed will often tell you.
  4. They can help trace the women. Wives had rights over their husbands’ lands. A woman often had to release her dower before a man could sell. That release might indicate a maiden name.
  5. They can tell you about your ancestors’ financial status. Did your ancestor take out a mortgage or buy expensive land? These can provide clues about what else was happening in his or her life.

Ready to discover more about land records? There’s still room in the next class:


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