Why Deed Records are So Important

As our ancestors wrote their last wills and testaments, they also designated where the farm lands would go. The eldest son would inherit the family seat, with younger sons getting other tracts of land. As one reads the document carefully, noting the number of acres and location, it is possible to zero in on specific areas. The inherited land could easily lay in another county, state, or country. If we know where that is, that is where we will search next. Although the early deeds listed no adjoining neighbors or tracts, one can examine subsequent deeds and tax digests. The tax digests will list all persons with the same surname, the county and specific acreage. So, if you did not find a deed, the tax digest is helpful in narrowing it down by adjoining neighbors, waterways, and dates of ownership.

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