Last night I attended my first Durham-Orange Genealogical Society Meeting (DOGS). The guest speaker was Mr. Jim Jones who gave a presentation on his research project - Mapping the North Carolina Land Grants of Wake County at the time of its formation in 1771 (also to include the Granville Grants) - using the DeedMapper(tm) software distributed by the Direct Line Software company.
When Mr. Jones started his research project, he requested copies of all of the North Carolina Land Grants issued in Wake County, although not present day Wake County, but how it was laid out at the time of its formation in 1771. He also requested copies of the Granville Grants which were issued from the Lord Proprietor, John Carteret, Earl of Granville between 1746-1763, also for this area of Land. The copies totalled to about 1700.
He then entered all of the information gleaned from each and every land entry, warrant, and survey into a database which was then uploaded into the proprietary DeedMapper(tm) software, organized into a table format, and later merged into the Wake County locality map.
DeedMapper(tm) can be purchased for about $100. The software is worth the money based on what Mr. Jones was able to show us. It can be purchased through Direct Line Software. According to their website, DeedMapper(tm) is "the premier software program for analyzing old grants, deeds, surveys, and claims, particularly those described by metes and bounds. DeedMapper's being used by local historians, genealogists, and archaeologists to make land ownership maps of days gone by." Many users of the DeedMapper software have already contributed thousands of maps of land grants issued throughout several old North Carolina counties including Anson, Burke, Buncombe, Beaufort, Craven, Pitt, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, and Moore.
Mr. Jones hopes to have his Wake County Map completed within a couple of years. He plans to post it online to a website for the public to access and use in their own research. He also uses DeedMapper(tm) to track the land transfers via Deeds through individuals. Clicking on an original land grant would show the user the original land plat, and how it was later divided and sold off to individuals throughout the last 200 years or so.
I would love to start a project like this for Edgecombe and Sampson Counties in order to track the migration of my Godwin families. I believe the Godwin families from Johnston County are already represented in Mr. Jones' Wake County map because they lived in a part of Johnston County that was later divided and given to Wake County.