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Genealogy: Land Records

Guides

Important:

Wills, probates, deeds, and land records are sometimes included in the "Court Records" section of research guides.

Finding Books

Search by Keyword

  • deeds delaware
  • land records maryland

Search by Subject Keywords (prefix su:)

  • deeds pennsylvania chester
  • land grants [name of state]
  • land titles [name of state]
  • land tenure [name of state]
  • New Castle County delaware genealogy
  • delaware history  Colonial period sources
  • Milford delaware history
  • land tenure delaware  sussex county
  • dutch delaware river valley

Subject keyword retrieves only records that have those words in the subject description.

Use the prefix or go to the Advanced Search box.

Finding Books: Series

Series titles to search:

  • New Castle County, Delaware Land Records
  • Land Records of Sussex County, Delaware

Delaware or Not Delaware?

Colonial records for the Delaware area were created by the governing body at that time. The "three lower counties on the Delaware" have been governed by the Dutch, the Swedes, the Dutch, England under the proprietorship of James, the Duke of York, and England under the proprietorship of William Penn. Additionally, due to boundary disputes, places may once have been in in Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Maryland.

 

 

"The Wedge" -- a small piece of land that has belonged to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. Disputed until 1921. See article in Wikipedia.

Resources for Delaware

San Augustine, Texas, The register of deeds, 1943. Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

The resources in this section give important land/deed resources for Delaware reseachers.

Resources available in the Delaware Public Archives

Delaware Public Archives has the official records of land transactions. Some records are originals, some microfilm, some have been scanned.

Subject Librarian

Rebecca Knight's picture
Rebecca Knight
Contact:
Associate librarian
Reference and Instructional Services Department
Morris Library, Room 117H
(302) 831-1730


Subjects: U.S. Government Information,
Delaware, census, family studies, RefWorks, APA style, and genealogy.


Education:
B.A., History. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1973.
M.S., Library Science. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1981.

What Do These Words Mean?

Patents

The record of the passing of a land title from the government, or other proprietor, to the patentee/grantee. Also called "first-title" deed. After the first-title, any other changes in ownership are done by deeds and wills.

Grantor

Seller of the land, also called "direct."

Grantee

Buyer of the land, also called "indirect."

Typically, land records are indexed by Grantor and by Grantee.

Deed books

Copies of original documents. Usually arranged in chronological order. Many deed books have been microfilmed or scanned.

Plat

Survey map; legal description of the land.

State-Land States

States which granted their own lands.

13 original colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia)

Plus: Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and Hawaii.

Public-Domain States

States where the federal government granted lands. Also called Public Land States.

General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site 

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