Massachusetts, Essex County, Deed Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
The collection consists of land records from the Registry of Deeds located in Salem. The collection consists of Deed Books, volumes 696-1631, as well as Grantee and Grantor indexes, 1880-1940. This collection is being published as images become available.
The records contain the following information:
- Names of interested parties
- Date of transaction
- Legal description of the property
- Monies exchanged
- Details of the transaction
- Names of witnesses
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Names of interested parties
- Approximate date of the transaction
- Location of the property
Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Make a photocopy of the deed, or extract the genealogical information needed.
These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and census records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Search for the land transactions of a couple and their children. The parents may have sold or given property to a son or daughter. Such transactions confirm relationships that might not be found in other records.
- Search for records of people in the county who shared a surname. These may have been the couple’s parents, uncles, or other relatives. Your ancestor may have been an heir who sold inherited land that had belonged to parents or grandparents.
- To find later generations, search the land records a few years before and after a person’s death. Your ancestor may have sold or given land to his or her heirs before death, or the heirs may have sold the land after the individual died. For daughters, the names of their husbands are often provided. For sons, the given names of their wives may be included. Heirs may have sold their interest in the land to another heir even though the record may not indicate this. Continue this process for identifying each succeeding generation.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching neighboring counties as well since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person.
- One deed does not usually give sufficient information about a couple and their children. A careful study of all deeds for the person or the family will yield a richer return of information.
- For each parcel of land owned, you should obtain two documents:
- The deed that documents when ownership transferred to the individual or the family
- The deed that documents when ownership was transferred to someone else
After the county's creation, a county land office was formed. Land transactions among private owners were then recorded by the registerar of deeds in the county office.
Why the Record Was Created
These records were created to safeguard the legal interests of the buyer and seller.
These records are very reliable.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
- “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
- “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.
Sources of information for This Collection
"Massachusetts, Essex County, Deed Books, 1865-1900." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org). Essex County Massachusetts, Southern District, Registrar of Deeds, Salem, Massachusetts. FHL digital images, 120 digital folders. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
The suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections is found in the following article: How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
- This page was last modified on 31 January 2013, at 02:11.
- This page has been accessed 291 times.
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