04 July 2014

Land Records; Deeds - An Introduction


An online genea pal familiar with my current research of the LINDSEYs and the goal to prove / disprove a relationship between Edwin Galloway LINDSEY, my third great grandfather and Archibald LINDSEY, the man I believe to be Edwin’s father and my fourth great grandfather, recently sent a document – a deed – that she had come across for Archibald LINDSEY.  I hope all of you have genea pals that you collaborate with; they are a Godsend! 

After days of searching for  . . . anything on Archi and his family and coming across leads only to have them either dead-end, dry up, or, add to the labirynth of confusion that I was already trying to navigate, I threw up my hands in frustration, and whined - yes, whined - on one of the FaceBook groups that I belong to about my frustration and that Archi had induced a migraine.  The following morning I had an email from my genea pal with a record attached that was for an Archibald LINDSEY.  And, she hoped that it was for my migraine inducing Archi.  BINGO!  Not only was it for my Archi, but it helped prove who Archi’s last wife was – Hannah. 

“The Lindsays of America,” by Margaret Isabella Lindsay, notes that Archi was married three times.1  While a typed double-spaced paper included in the supporting documents submitted with the 1953 DAR lineage application states, “Who his three wives were, I have not found out.”2 

Wives (2)

However my LINDSEY cousin recently sent me a scanned copy of the Michigan Return of Deaths, Bay County (West Bay City) which recorded the death of Archi’s daughter, Nancy S (LINDSEY) Orton, and listed her parents as Archibald and Isbel LINDSEY.3  

1878 - Michigan Deaths - Nancy Lindsey

So I now have the given names of two, of the three, of Archi’s wives.

To this point, in all my research, I have been kept busy by looking for and collecting the obvious source documents – birth, marriage, divorce, death - however, I know that there is a treasure trove of source documents out there that go beyond the traditional vital records.  These non-traditional records sets potentially contain a wealth of genealogical gold – given names, surnames, family members, who is married to who, etc.  So, I was looking forward to learning what this deed on Archi contained, so I dove – head first – right in and began transcribing.  Did I mention that Archi tends to induce migraines? 

This deed was handwritten, it was 2-1/2 pages long, it was written without punctuation and in one single and very long run-on paragraph.  Yikes, my heard hurts!  Most of the words I could make out; some I couldn’t, but at the end of it. . .  while I could read what it said; I absolutely did not comprehend what it said.  Lord, help me.

Okay, it was time to see what resources I could find, that were on a 5th-grade level (easier for me to understand) that would help me learn and understand, I hoped, what I was looking at.  I started with Crista Cowan, the Barefoot Genealogist, surely she had something in her presentation library on land records.  I wasn’t disappointed, I found Introduction to Using Land Records for Family History out on the ancestry.com YouTube Channel and FamilySearch.org had Pennsylvania Research: Land Records: Field of Dreams in its educational series.  While my LINDSEY research is predominately in New York right now, I didn’t think it would hurt to watch familysearch.org’s presentation on Pennsylvania Land Records – I imagined that while locals may change, that where to look and ultimately find the records you are looking for, will not be that much different location to location.

Note: Both video presentations were introductory and at a basic 101 level; very easy to understand.  Thank you guys – I walked away headache free.  Thumbs up


  • Appurtenance: An accessory or any other item associated with a particular activity or style of living; accessories, trappings, equipment
  • Assigns: Individuals to whom property is, will, or maybe transferred by conveyance, will or statute
  • Bargain: Negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction
  • Deed: A legal document that is signed and delivered, especially one regarding the ownership of property or legal rights
  • Encumbrance: A mortgage or other charge on property or asset
  • Execute: To sign and otherwise complete a document, such as acknowledging the signature if required to make the document valid; to finish, complete, or perform as required, as in fulfilling one’s obligations under a contract
  • Grantee: An individual to whom a transfer of property is made
  • Grantor: An individual who transfers ownership of property
  • Hereditament: Any item of property, either a corporeal Hereditament (such as land or a building) or an incorporeal hereditament (such as rent or a right of way); an item of inheritance
  • Indefeasible: Not able to be lost, annulled or overturned
  • Indenture: A formal legal agreement, contract or document
  • Metes and Bounds: The boundary lines of land, with their terminal points and angles.  A way of describing land by listing the compass directions and distances of the boundaries. 

Measurements – Metes and Bounds

1 Rod, Perch, or Pole = 25 Links = 16.5 Feet
4 Rods = 1 Chain
1 Chain = 4 Rods = 66 Feet = 100 Links
1 Link = 7.92 Inches
25 Links = 1 Rod = 16.5 Feet

Warren County, 1827 (page 112 – 113) – starts mid-page 112


Pages 112 - 113

(page 114) deed’s last paragraph at the top

record-image (1)

Page 114

This indenture made the 11th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven between Archibald LINDSEY and Hannah, his wife, of the town of Luzerne and county of Warren of the first part and Jeremy Rockwell of the town of Hadley and County of Saratoga of the second part witnesseth that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred forty-one dollars and twenty-six cents lawful money of the United States of America to him in hand paid [illegible] as before the exchange and delivery of these presents by the said party of the second part the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and the said party of the second part his heir executor and administrator forever released and discharged from the same by these presents has granted [illegible] and [illegible] confirmed and by these presents doth grant [illegible] unto the said party of the second part and to his heirs and [illegible] forever the one equal and undivided half of all that certain farm or parcel of land [illegible] lying and being with town of Luzerne with the county of Warren with patent of [illegible] within log no. three with subdivision of lot no. thirteen beginning at the northeast corner of lot of land surveyed for Elijah Buttolph with east line of the twenty-fourth alottment of said patent at the distance of one chain and twenty-six links from the place where the said line strikes the bank of the Hudson River and running thence north eighty-nine degrees east sixty-eight chains and twenty-one links to the east line of the said lot no. three thence north two degrees west seventeen chains and ninety links along the said line of lot no. three [illegible] eighty [illegible] degrees west forty-seven chains and sixty links to the [illegible] side of Hudson River thence along down the east side of said river to the place where the east line [illegible] of the said twenty-fourth allotment of the said river thence along the said line last mentioned to the place of [illegible] one hundred and six and a half acres of land together with all and [illegible] the tenements [illegible] and appurtenances whatsoever unto the said above mentioned and described premises in anyway operating or belonging [illegible] and also all the estate rights title interests [illegible] and rights of [illegible] property [illegible] claim and delivered whatsoever as well with law [illegible] equity of the said party of the first part of [illegible] as to the same and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances to have and to hold the above granted [illegible] and described premises with the appurtenances unto the said party of the second part his heirs and [illegible] to his [illegible] proper use and [illegible] forever [illegible] deed the said party of the first part himself heirs executors and administrators doth covenant grant powers and agree to deed with the said party of the second part his heirs and [illegible] that he the said party of the first part at the time of the closing and delivery of these presents is lawfully [illegible] of a good absolute and [illegible] estate of [illegible] fee [illegible] and [illegible] all and [illegible] The above granted [illegible] described premises with the appurtenances and [illegible] rights free power and lawful authority to grant bargain sell and [illegible] the same with [illegible] manner and [illegible] of [illegible] and that the said party of the second part his heirs and [illegible] shall and may at all times hereafter peaceably and quietly have hold use [illegible] enjoy the above granted premises and every part thereof with the [illegible]  Without any [illegible] molestation eviction or disturbances of the said party of the first part his heirs or [illegible] or any other person or persons lawfully claiming as to claim the same and that the same now are free clear discharged and unencumbered of and from all former and other grants titles charges estates judgments taxes [illegible] and [illegible] of what nature as [illegible] and also the said party of the first part and his heirs and all and every other [illegible] as [illegible] whatsoever lawfully as equitably [illegible] any estate rights title or interest of [illegible] as to the [illegible] Therein before granted premises by law [illegible] as  [illegible] trust for [illegible] shall and will at any time or times hereafter upon the reasonable request and at the proper cost and charges in the law of the said party of the second part his heirs and [illegible] make do and execute as [illegible] as [illegible] to be made [illegible] and executed and all and every such further and other said fee and reasonable acts [illegible] the law for the better and more [illegible] and [illegible] the premises hereby [illegible] to be granted [illegible] the said party of second part his heirs as [illegible] his [illegible] the law shall reasonably be devised advised as required and the said Archibald Lindsey his heirs the above described and hereby granted and released premises and every part thereof with the [illegible] unto the said party of the second part his heirs and [illegible] against the said party of the first part and his heirs and against all persons whomsoever lawfully claiming as to claim the same shall and will warrant and by these presents forever defend [illegible] the parties to these presents have [illegible] and seals the day and year first above written Archibald Lindsey Hannah Lindsey sealed and delivered in presence of us the [illegible] the [illegible] equal undivided half of [illegible] between the seventh and eighth lines before signing [illegible] State of New York [illegible] I do certify that on the eleventh day of June in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven personally appeared before me George P Cronkite [illegible] for the [illegible] the acknowledgements of deeds of the County of Warren Archibald Lindsey and Hannah his wife known to me to be the same person described in and who executed the written deed and the said Archibald Lindsey before me acknowledged that he had executed the same as his act and deed and the said Hannah having been by me privately examined apart from her said husband acknowledged that she had freely executed the same and finding no material [illegible] as [illegible] therein - except the one noted prior to the execution of the said deed do allow the same to be recorded taken and acknowledged this 11th day [illegible] 1827 before me. George P Cronkite [illegible] I certify the proceeding to be a true record of the original deed with the acknowledgement thereof once examined and compared with the record [illegible] this 20th day of June AD 1829 at 1 o'clock pm.
Thomas Archibald Clerk.4

Okay, other than their names and a few other bits, I didn’t understand a word of that!  What I did get is that Archi and his wfie, Hannah on 11 June 1827 entered into a contract to transfer ownership of the property over to Jeremy Rockwell.  The property was surveyed and using the Metes and Bounds measurements was described in the deed.  Mr. Rockwell was purchasing the land from Archi and Hanna LINDSEY for the sum of $341.26 lawful United States currency.*

* Interesting bit of trivia:  According to this Inflation Calculator $341.26 United States (1827) currency would be worth $7,936.28 today; however, if we took $341.00 United States (2014) currency back in time to 1827, our money would have only been worth . . . $14.67.  Ouch!!

Also noteworthy was that a patent was mentioned, but the specifics were illegible; it would seem that neither Archi nor Hannah could write – they signed the deed with their mark; the deed was reviewed and certified to be a true record of the original on 20 June 1829.  And, lastly, the property, as noted in the deed, was surveyed by Mr. Elijah Buttolph.*

The deed was reviewed and certified to be a true record of the original on 20 June 1829 . . . that’s two years, plus a few days, later.  Why?  Initially mortgaged in 1827 and paid in full in 1829?  Did they even do that then?  Hmmm, I need to consult Google.

*F A N (Friends, Acquaintances, and Neighbors Note: Elijah Buttolph, according to a number of census records was Archi’s and Hannah’s neighbor.

Reference the patent, after watching the tutorials mentioned above, I believe that the patent should be on file . . . somewhere and that it should contain information on who originally owned the land and who Archi purchased it from.  I just need to figure out what the deed tells me about the patent – currently I am not having any luck making it out.  But, this is a deed signed by the grantor (Archibald and Hannah LINDSEY), I think I need to look up the record (the deed) that was signed by the grantee, Mr. Jeremy Rockwell – maybe that record will be a little easier to decipher . . . okay, one can hope can’t they?

Did I miss anything?

While I dove head first into transcribing the deed, I feel as though I only dipped my big toe into this new record set, do any of you have recommendations on where I can learn more?  Keep in mind, 5th grade level is optimum (or lower Smile with tongue out); what about a Land Records for Dummies book? – that certainly would be my speed.  Have any of you blogged about land records?  How to use them?  How to understand them?  I would love to read them.  Hopefully you’ve followed the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method, I will be able to understand it better.  LOL!  Honestly, I am not joking!!

And, while I work on getting myself better acquainted with land records, do any of you know why this deed was written and signed by Archi and Hannah in 1827, but not reviewed and certified until 1829?  Is there something – genealogically – that two year+ span is telling me?  Where can I find the patents?  Note, I will be going back over those two videos mentioned above, I believe the Family Search video gave some great information on where patents can be found, and Lord knows, I am a slow study, so the more I review them, the more the information will sink in.  Or, at least that’s my hope.


  1. Margaret Isabel Lindsay, The Lindsays of America (1889; Reprint,Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc, 2008), 141
  2. Membership Application, Frances E Whitney, 336908, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Administration Building, Washington, DC
  3. “Michigan, Deaths, 1867-1897,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11628-35989-58?cc=1452402 : accessed 1 July 2014), Nancy S Orton, 16 January 1878; citing page 50-51, West Bay City, Bay County, Michigan, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL Microfilm 2363666
  4. “New York, Land Records, 1630-1975,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32578-539-44?cc=2078654 : accessed 4 July 2014), Warren > Deeds 1826-1831 vol D-E > image 358 of 572; citing County Clerk, County Courthouse

No comments:

Post a Comment