This stunning ad from Grant Thornton.com grasped my attention! And I decided to share it with you. I have developed a new seminar presentation called The Importance of Land Records in the South: State-by-State. This presentation is based on my experience doing southern genealogy research in the documents for my clients. The more I searched, the more I found value in these amazing records.
You see, the South has experienced extraordinary record loss, especially at the county level. Over 393 counties have substantial record loss. So I began to draft a checklist of land processes and records the majority of which were created by other levels of jurisdiction–they are not nor were they found in the courthouse. When the courthouse burned or was flooded, these records were not there to be damaged.
Here is my preliminary checklist (alphabetical by state): Southern Land Record: State by State
VIRGINIA (West Virginia until 1863, Kentucky until 1792, parts of Tennessee until 1796, parts of Ohio until 1803, parts of North Carolina–remember that “…in the beginning, all was Virginia.”)
Large Plantations and Manors Records, including
__Account Books and Files
Land Companies and Speculators
__Double-entry Bookkeeping Ledgers
“The One Hundred”–Virginia Men with the largest numbers of acres, slaves, cattle
__Quit Rents, 1704
__Northern Neck Indexed Lists , 1770’s
Warrants, Surveys, Grants
__Indexes, Published Entries to 1783
__Cavaliers and Pioneers, 8 vols.
__Northern Neck, 4 vols.
__Digitized Documents, Library of Virginia website, http://www.lva.virginia.org
Biographical Dictionary of Early Virginia, 1607-1660, ed Ransom B. True, 22 microfiche FHL# 6332718; Guide and Supplement FHL# 1750757, item 21.
__Lists of Inhabitants, 1782-1785, Virginia. Check against originals–spellings are a challenge.
__No Conveyance if Land Descends to Heirs
__Slave Rental Agreements, Wage Lists
__Bounty Lands Awarded Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina (along Virginia line), Southwest Pennsylvania
__Will Filed in Place of Residence Transfers Title Wherever Located
__Surveyors’ Ledgers and Files for every County, Some Indexed
__Spanish Land Grants
__Indexed Grants Online, Texas State Archives
__Natchez Trace Collection, 1759-1813, FHL 10 microfilm reels (incl MS and LA Territories)
__Septennial Military Censuses (with tax rolls every 7 years)
__Jurisdiction Overlap in Virginia and North Carolina
__New York Land Speculators and their Records
__Glasgow Land Frauds,2 vols, ed A. Bruce Pruitt
__Military Bounty Lands, 2 Districts
__Indian Lands Reserved, then opened to settlers
__Indexed Land Entries Made by Entry-Taker
__Indexed Surveys for Middle Tennessee, 3 volumes
__TVA Relocation Files, 1934-1954, FHL 41 reels of microfilm
SOUTH CAROLINA (included North Carolina until )
__South Carolina Name Index to Genealogical Records Collected by the DAR, FHL# 6052835, 102 microfiche
__Slave Deeds and Mortgages
__Original Counties were called Districts until 1868
__Bounty Lands Awarded in Tennessee, edited and indexed by A. Bruce Pruitt
__Land Grants Indexed to 1776
__Early Settler Maps, selected counties
__Powers of Attorney Filed in Other Counties and States
__Organizing Petitions Submitted from Counties, with Signatures
__Cherokee Indian Agency Records, Indexed 1801-04
__http://www.statewidetitle.com (County Register of Deeds with GIS maps)
__Colonial Records Centralized: Land, Tax, Court, Probate
__Card Index to Testamentary Proceedings, State-Wide Finding Aid
__Lands for Pennsylvania Recorded in Frederick County MD
__Free People of Color (majority of blacks)
__Named Land Tracts
__Plantations and Manors
__Debt Books, Rent Rolls–include chain of title
__Wills Filed Where Lands are Located–copy of will filed in every county where land located
__Westward of Fort Cumberland, ed Mary K. Meyer, Revolutionary War Bounty Lands
TO BE CONTINUED, stay tuned. Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS You will find Virginians in every Southern State, bringing with them elements of Virginia laws and traditions.