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Locating Your Roots. Discover Your Ancestors USING LAND RECORDS, By Patricia Law Hatcher

Locating Your Roots. Discover Your Ancestors USING LAND RECORDS

Land records–grants, deeds, mortgages, surveys, and more–are among the most valuable resources for genealogists to prove relationships and to point to new relationships. Why?

One of the strongest motivators for American immigration was land, and one of the strongest motivators for migration within America was land. Because of this, land records are the most common records available for pioneer ancestors. For many, they may be the only records.

If you are new to land records, Patricia Law Hatcher’s acclaimed guidebook, Locating Your Roots. Discover Your Ancestors USING LAND RECORDS, will open up new avenues in your research. Full of illustrations and real examples, this book will teach you how to locate land records, understand the various forms they can take, interpret what you find, understand the public-land survey system, plat metes-and-bounds land descriptions, and much more. 

As author Pat Hatcher explains, in many cases, land records, while valuable in and of themselves, are attached to other records or lead the investigator to other record sources. Either way, they possess the following attributes that will help guide your research:

  • Anchors your ancestor in time and place
  • Confirms an ancestor’s dates of residence
  • Enables you to establish age estimates for your ancestor
  • Reveals your ancestor’s occupation
  • Establishes earlier or later residences for an ancestor
  • Identifies a landowner’s wife or wives
  • Contain statements of relationships of persons associated with the landowner
  • Reconstruct the community where your ancestor lived (cluster principle)

Whether you are a novice or a veteran when it comes to using land records for genealogical research, Pat Hatcher’s classic guidebook is bound to point you to some valuable clues.