Sunday, October 21, 2012

Brick Walls- Land Deeds

The use of deeds is a very common document that is overlooked by most amateur genealogist. Land deeds provide important clues for both location and relationships. When you are attempting to identify when a person arrived in a particular location or left a particular area land deeds play a important part in this search. The vast majority of the population prior to 1900 were farmers. This would mean the purchase of land. Further you go back the higher likely hood that land was purchased. Identifying the date of departure and arrival in a area is important to creating a timeline of our ancestors life events. It is also a important document when you are attempting to establish First Family status for a family unit in a particular area. It was common for people to purchase land from people they know. This could be a friend that had lived close to them in the location they were in prior or a family member. Be sure to identify the potential relationship between your ancestor and the person they were buying the land from. Pay attention to the origins of the person selling the land. Did they continue living in the area after they sold the land? Do they share a common surname? Who were their neighbors? Make sure to look at people that shared the same surname purchasing land in the same area during the period of time your ancestor may have located. When looking at where they sold land check for others selling around the same time period and see if they show up in the new location. Please let me know your success with this process. It is a wonderful tool for breaking down those brick walls.
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