Maryland Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Maryland, United States
Maryland flag.png
Flag of Maryland
US Locator Maryland.png
Location of Maryland
Record Description
Record Type Land
Collection years 1733-1968
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

These records cover the years 1733 to 1968.

All Maryland land was first owned by the Calvert family proprietors who obtained it from the Crown. During the Revolutionary War, Maryland offered land grant lots as a bounty to entice recruits to fill Maryland's enlistment quotas. After land was transferred to private ownership, deeds and mortgages were filed with the county clerk. These records were created to follow the transfer of ownership and rights to individual tracks of land. They were instrumental in the formation of both local and state governments in Maryland.


What Can these Records Tell Me?

This collection includes:

  • General transactions (purchases or sales)
  • Patents
  • Warrants
  • Deeds
  • Certificates
  • Judgments
  • Applications
  • Petitions
  • Affidavits

The key facts found in most land records are:

  • The date of the deed
  • The names of interested individuals such as grantor (seller), grantee (buyer), and witnesses
  • The legal description and location of land
  • The amount of money exchanged

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The location or approximate date of the land transaction

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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: (1) the deed that documents when ownership transferred to the individual or the family and (2) the deed that documents when ownership was transferred to someone else.
  • Witnesses and neighbors, even those with a different surname, may have been relatives, in-laws, or even a widowed mother who has remarried. You may want to check the records of these witnesses and neighbors, especially if they are frequently found in your ancestor’s land records.
  • Use the information to locate your family in census records
  • Use the information to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records. Also search for immigration, military,and probate records.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Maryland, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Maryland Land Records." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.


Image Citation:

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.


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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.