Thursday, August 14, 2008

Using Land Records, Part III

Types of Land Records

When a person first hears the words land records they envision the deeds in the courthouse which for the last 150 years have been printed forms with little information (or so it seems) for the genealogists. In fact there are at least five different types of land records and only one is the typical courthouse record of our lifetime. Below I have listed the five important types of land records. Each requires study for they each have their own special features. The Butler Center has MANY sources which teach the needed information necessary to begin researching our ancestors land records.

1. State Land States: Transfer of virgin lands from the King or Proprietor to an individual.

2. Lands in the Federal Domain:Transfer of lands from the Federal Government to an individual called the lands in the Federal Domain.

3. Land Records in the County Courthouse: From one individual to another. Important clues are found in regular deeds. Each state had its own laws and ways of distributing the land in their state or colony. These must be studied state by state for each has their own method all though similar in form.

4. Bounty Land: Parcels of land given by the Federal Government for service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War and various Indian Wars.

5. Private Land Claims: Americans who purchased or legally acquired land owned by a foreign government & then the U.S. obtained this land, for instance the Louisiana Purchase. Residents had to prove their ownership to the U.S.

This is part three of a five part series on using land records in genealogy contributed by Alex Baird, Genealogy Assistant.


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