The loss of the 1890 U.S. Census is a stumbling block for many genealogy researchers. “Losing” our ancestor in 1890 is the cause of many brick walls, but we do have research options to overcome these brick walls.
Devon Lee from the Family History Fanatics and I have teamed up once again to bring you an 8-part video series focusing on how to research around the 1890 census loss. We want to take the overwhelm out of researching your ancestors during the 1890 US Census Loss time period. And yes, we will have fun along the way!!
Researching land records for the years surrounding 1890 are another option for learning about your ancestor in spite of the 1890 census loss. I’m talking about how to use land records to find our ancestors in the 1890’s this 7th video of our 8-part genealogy video series.
Land Records – Location, Location, Location!
Land records encompass deeds, grants and patents. Deeds transfer land ownership between 2 people or entities. A land grant or patent represents a transfer of land from the federal government or a proprietor. Typically, if the land came from a proprietor it was referred to as a grant. If the land came from the federal government, it was typically referred to as a patent.
Deeds are documents that transfer land ownership and would be found at the county level and provided the courthouse did not have a fire or experience their own record loss, search for any deeds your ancestor may have generated.
A presence of a deed or a land grant/patent for the 1890 time period will place your ancestor in that time and a very specific location. Of course, you will also be learning about your ancestor’s land and potentially other family members and neighbors.
TIPS FOR HOW TO SEARCH FOR LAND RECORDS / DEEDS
- Search Land grant/patent indices for the 1890 time period
- Search the Grantor List for this time period
- Search the Grantee List for this time period
- If you see a relative’s name that looks familiar as you research your ancestor’s deed, look at those records too?
WHERE TO FIND THESE LAND RECORDS / DEEDS
Land records are not difficult to find, though many are not online and may require an on-site visit to the repository.
- Check the county’s register of deeds website. Some counties have their deeds – including those early ones – digitized and available for viewing.
- This is also a time when the phrase “Not Everything Is Online” is still very true. You very well may need to trip to the county courthouse or state archives to search the land records.
- It’s also a time when “Not everything is searchable” is also true
- FamilySearch has land records / deeds but you’ll need to find that by using the card catalog and filtering down to your county locality. Under “Land Records” you’ll see what’s available in physical form at the Salt Lake Library and in digital form with a link to the records.
Another tip is to look for Plat Maps. Plat maps visually record who was living where in a county. Plat maps list everyone that owned property in an area (so if you have a renter, you might be out of luck). The best tip for finding Plat Maps is to search Internet Archive or Google Books for online versions by typing the County and State and “Plat Maps” in the search box. If that doesn’t work, then go to WorldCat and enter the same terms and you’ll find out which libraries or repositories may have what you’re looking for. [Learn how to use WorldCat HERE.]
Watch the Video! It’s All About the Location – Land Records
Did you miss the previous videos on the 8-part series?
- Video 1 – 1890 Census Fragments
- Video 2 – State Census Records
- Video 3 – City Directories
- Video 4 – Life Events
- Video 5 – Taxes
- Video 6 – Newspapers
You might also be interested in:
- How to Create Your Genealogy Research Plan
- What Is The 1910 Census Telling You About Your Ancestor?
- How To Research Ancestors in a Location You Cannot Visit
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