Deeds, and land records in general, can provide helpful pieces to the puzzle you are trying to solve about your United States ancestor. They are especially helpful in areas or time periods where few records of other types are available, like the southern United States before 1850.Most counties and some towns in the United States kept deed books, recording the ownership of land in their jurisdiction. A person would present a land grant patent or title to the county or town clerk who would record it in the books and issue a deed. Subsequent deeds were recorded when that land, or part of that land, was transferred to someone else through sale, inheritance, etc. When searching for deed records, be aware that many county boundaries have changed over time.Indexes to deed books often exist and are usually split into two parts: the grantor (or direct) index for sellers and the grantee (or indirect/reverse/inverted) index for buyers. They are generally organized by the first letter of …Read more
Hand-picked, tested and trained, our professional genealogist team knows how to find your story. We search the world for answers. Find the un-findable. And we’re experts at everything from tracking down rare international records to analyzing DNA test results. Based near the world’s largest family history library in downtown Salt Lake City, we also work with researchers and archives around the globe. Contact us today if you would like help discovering your ancestors!
It can be deeply satisfying to discover where your international roots lie and trace your ancestors in their places of origin. We've helped many clients with this, and if you'd like to do this yourself here is some information to help.Getting StartedOften family stories will provide clues about where your ancestors came from “way back when.” With or without that as a start, there are some key records that will help you discover your ancestor's origins.First, census records are very helpful in gathering information about your ancestors, including their immigration information. Federal census records were created every ten years in the United States, and similar patterns were followed in many other countries, such as in Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. These records often asked for birth information for each person in the household, and sometimes for birth information for each person's parents. Although this information is often not more specific than the general …Read more
A coat of arms can be a neat thing to display on a wall or at a family reunion, and many people wonder if their family has one. Although selling coats of arms by surname has become a popular business, coats of arms in most countries were originally granted to individuals and were not inherited exactly as they were granted. They could be transmitted from father to son (and also to wives and daughters), but a coat of arms could only be used by one person at a time, and when it was transmitted it had to be changed in some way so as to differentiate it from the one used formerly. Still, if you are a direct descendant of someone who had a coat of arms, you may be eligible to legally use it. You can also create and register a coat of arms for yourself. You can visit The American College of Heraldry for more information about registering a coat of arms. Since the bearing of coats of arms is not regulated in the United States, we personally see no harm in people displaying a coat of …Read more
Perhaps you’ve spent years gathering materials and information about your ancestors. You might have boxes of old photos, file folders of records, and a computer database bursting with names. Or maybe you are just getting interested in genealogy and would like to get to know your ancestors better. Writing a family history is a wonderful way to collect and organize genealogy information, share what you have learned with other family members, and become acquainted with your ancestors and their lives.Although it may seem like a daunting task, writing a family history can be fun and deeply rewarding. As you study the lives of your ancestors and immerse yourself in their stories, they will become not only real people, but true family members. As you are able to share what you’ve learned and gathered with living family members, your family connections will strengthen. And when you break the whole undertaking down into small, simple tasks, you will avoid feeling overwhelmed and may just find …Read more