North Carolina Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
North Carolina, United States
North Carolina flag.png
Flag of North Carolina
US Locator North Carolina.png
Location of North Carolina
Record Description
Record Type Land
Collection years 1712-1962
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection contains digital copies of land records created by state and county governments in North Carolina.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records usually 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 Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The names of interested parties
  • The approximate date of the land transaction
  • The location of the property
  • The description of the property

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the "Volume" which takes you to the images

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate the family in census records
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate the family in church 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:
  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.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.


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:

"North Carolina Land Records, 1712-1962." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh.

Image Citation:

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


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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