Thursday, June 19, 2014

Online Deed Records - North Carolina


The Register of Deeds Office - A Free Alternative  


Many Register of Deeds Offices are digitizing their historical deeds and land grants and putting them online. Several North Carolina counties have already been digitized. Here is a list of counties who currently have their deeds digitized and available to download from the web FOR FREE.


Alamance County - still in the process of being digitized, goes back to 1849 (as of June 2014)
Alexander County - Digitized deeds going back to 1847
Alleghany County - Digitized deeds going back to 1859
Anson County - digitized deeds going back to 1749
Chatham County - digitized deeds going back to 1771
Cumberland County - - digitized deeds going back to 1754
Duplin County - digitized deeds going back to 1749
Forsyth County - digitized deeds going back to 1849
Guilford County - digitized deeds going back to 1771. Click "real estate index & image", Accept the disclaimer, then click the "Old Index books" button
Iredell County - Digitized deeds going back to 1788. Select “Search Online Records” in center of page, Sign in as a Guest, and click on Indexes Prior to 1964 tab
Johnston County - digitized deeds going back to 1789, land division records, plats
Martin County - digitized deeds going back to 1771
Mecklenburg County - digitized deeds going back to 1763
Sampson County
Stokes County -  digitized deeds going back to 1787
Wake County - digitized deeds going back to 1785

Check back with this site often for updates to newly added Counties! - 
* Alexander, Alleghany, Iredell, Wake, Forsyth, and Guilford added 23 Jun 2014!!!

You can also follow my Pinterest Board - North Carolina Deeds and Land Grants - to receive updates to newly added counties.

Many thanks to everyone writing in with new updated links!!!

Additional Information: Check out these helpful posts

Reading land grants in North Carolina which uses Metes and Bounds
Finding Land Grants using the North Carolina State Archives' Online Catalog (MARS)
North Carolina Land and Property from the FamilySearch.org Wiki
Why Use Deeds and Land Grants in YOUR research


Why Use Deeds and Land Grants in YOUR research

William Godwin to Nathan Godwin Sampson County Deed
William Godwin to Nathan Godwin, Sampson County, NC, Deed 1792 (Book 9, p. 172)


Why use Deeds?  

Deeds are a very valuable resource to have in your research toolbox. The primary use of Deeds is to tract the transfer of land from one person or persons to another. In addition, Deeds can be used to learn about familial relationships and to learn who one's neighbors might have been which can be helpful when tracing persons of the same name. Deeds can tell you who lived where and when.

How did North Carolinians Obtain Land and What is the difference between a Land Grant and a Deed?

In North Carolina, in order to obtain land, a person had to first obtain a Land Grant from either the Lords Proprietors of North Carolina (who worked for the King of England) or the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office. The Patent often contained a description of the land, what it was bounded by, ie, waterways, and the names of the people who owned adjacent land. Plat MAPS were drawn up and included in the files. After the patent was in hand, they could do what they wanted with the land - live on it, improve it, will it to their children, or sell it. When the land was sold, it was recorded in a Deed. The Deeds contained information about who was selling (the Grantor), who was buying (the Grantee), and anyone else involved. Such information would include where the Grantors and Grantees currently or previously lived, who had ties or claims to the land, ie, wives who may have a dower interest; and who the neighbors were.

Deeds can help you determine kinship. In 1788, Jonathan Godwin took out a land grant in Sampson County for 50 acres on the East Side of Black Mingo Creek. In 1801, Nathan Godwin sold 50 acres on the East Side of Black Mingo Creek to Elizabeth Bagley, the land previously patented to Jonathan Godwin in 1788. Since there are no deeds of sale from Jonathan Godwin to Nathan Godwin, it could be implied that Nathan had received this 50 acres of land via inheritance from Jonathan Godwin who died in 1791 leaving his widow Rachel in charge of his estate.

Terminology involved when a person applied for a Land Grant
  1. ENTRY:  This is an application that a person filled out to apply for a PATENT to occupy and purchase vacant land
  2. WARRANT:  This is issued once the ENTRY is approved, telling the county surveyor to measure the tract of land
  3. PLAT:  This is drawn up by the surveyor describing the land in metes and bounds
  4. PATENT:  This is the final document written by the Secretary of State conveying the surveyed land to the applicant. Also known as a GRANT

How do I Obtain Copies of Deeds and Land Grants?

The North Carolina State Archives has most recorded deeds on microfilm organized by county and date. These books do not contain the actual "original" deeds because those went home with the person who purchased the land. Some of you may have found some original deeds in your family's possessions. The Archives also has the original Land Grants that were issued by either the Crown or the Secretary of State which have been microfilmed as well. (Some books have not been microfilmed and are available for research).

If you live in North Carolina, you can visit the Archives and pay $0.25 a page to print out a microfilm copy of a deed, or you can order deeds via their online ordering system for $2.00 each and get copies of deeds mailed to your house. This assumes you have already consulted a microfilm copy of that county's deed index and know what book and page number you need, or you have identified the book and page number from an abstract book.

If you live outside of North Carolina, you can order copies of deeds at $20.00 each, which is a pretty steep price to pay.

The Archives has all of its Land Grants indexed in their online catalog system (MARS). I have written a post about how to find Land Grants using the MARS system here.

Alternatives to ordering deed records from the Archives include ordering the microfilm from your local Family History Library for a small fee of less than $10. The microfilm can then be viewed at your local Family History Library during the time you have the film on loan from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT. This process can take some time because you have to order the index first which is on a microfilm all by itself. Then you have to order a separate film for the book and page number containing the deed of interest.

The Register of Deeds Office - A Free Alternative - many North Carolina Register of Deeds Offices are digitizing their historical deeds and land grants and putting them online. Several North Carolina counties have already been digitized. Click this link for a list of counties that have already been digitized.


Additional Information: Check out these helpful posts

Reading land grants in North Carolina which uses Metes and Bounds
Finding Land Grants using the North Carolina State Archives' Online Catalog (MARS)
North Carolina Land and Property from the FamilySearch.org Wiki

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ancestry.com Discontinues Y-DNA and mtDNA testing services


Ancestry.com made some very big announcements on their blog this week: 

  1. Ancestry.com will no longer sell the Y-DNA and mtDNA kits –  deciding to focus on their autosomal DNA test only
  2. Ancestry.com will no longer keep Y-DNA and mtDNA samples in storage – all samples will be destroyed and cannot be used to upgrade to an autosomal DNA test
  3. Ancestry.com will no longer offer access to your Y-DNA and mtDNA results – all results must be downloaded before September 5th, 2014 when they will be permanently removed from their servers


WHAT TO DO?

  1. Contact your matches! 
  2. Download your results to a CSV file. 
  3. Transfer your Y-DNA results to Family Tree DNA (ftDNA). They are offering the low price of $19 for the transfer of both the Ancestry.com 33 and 46 marker tests. Upgrades are available to ftDNA’s standard 25 and 37 marker tests for an additional fee of $39. See ftDNA FAQs Why upgrade to more markers? 
    • The $19 fee allows you to transfer your results to ftDNA and to join projects; however, you will not receive matches or a haplogroup prediction. Your results will be available to your project administrator and will be displayed in your project's public page. 
  4. Once your results are transferred, join the appropriate surname project in ftDNA
  5. Join the appropriate Y-Haplogroup project and geographic projects to learn more about your Y-DNA results and ancestry. 
  6. Upload your Y-DNA results to Ysearch.org. This database is free and searchable by surname, results, or user ID. It is FREE!

What about my mtDNA?

There currently is no company offering transfer of your mtDNA results. I recommend that you upload your results to mitosearch.org for FREE.

Other Ancestry.com Discontinued Services and Products:

A number of other recently acquired products will no longer be supported or made available to users:

  • Genealogy.com service, including the message boards
  • The MyFamily website. All content can be downloaded and zipped up but must be downloaded by September 5th, 2014
  • MyCanvas story creation and printing service
  • Mundia

For more information, check out CeCe Moore's full report and Ancestry.com's LegacyDNA FAQs