[APG Public List] How to find land when location unknown and no deed has been found

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FVGS bvlittle at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 3 20:13:48 MST 2010

I am assuming that you have deeds to the land but no metes and bounds 
descriptions. You track the land forward or backward or both until you 
get the description that allows you to create a plat of the land. In 
order to locate the land you will probably have to do the same with a 
number of the neighbors mentioned in the deeds until you can find an 
anchor that allows you to locate the land.  Anchors are typically mouths 
or forks of creeks or possibly a crossroad. It sounds easy; it isn't. 
I've spent literally over a hundred hours (and sometimes more) in some 
cases before I was able to successfully locate a tract.

The plat books might help you; they may be available on microfilm.

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FVGS

PO Box 1273
Orange, VA 22960
bvlittle at earthlink.net

CG, Certified Genealogist, is a service mark of the Board for 
Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certified 
genealogists after periodic evaluation, and the board name is registered 
in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

On 12/3/2010 9:58 PM, MFP wrote:
> Five men were listed on the Duplin County, NC tax lists of 1811 but no 
> location was found for the lands on which they were taxed. I am hoping to
> find the location of those lands. Following the advice of listmembers, 
> during these past ten months I did the following:
> 1. purchased a NC Research book by Helen LEARY;
> 2. purchased a study of land records by LINN;
> 3. purchased a book on genealogical research in general by VALWOOD.
> I have read every word the authors wrote in those three books on use 
> of land records, several times.
> In neither of those books did I find any directions and/or research 
> strategy for locating the
> lands on which those five men were taxed.
> So, I went to Kenansville, Duplin Co., NC courthouse,  and, using the 
> census as my guide to neighbors, platted all the
> neighbors' lands surrounding those of the four men remaining in Duplin 
> County  by 1820. I went ten persons before the person of interest and 
> ten persons after that person----don't know where I found that 
> idea-----and I used land records as closely dated to the 1811 tax 
> listings as I could find.
> Back home, I put all my little plats together, again using the census 
> as my guide, and lo and behold, there are a couple of "holes" in the 
> plats.
> I also looked up and copied, deeds of land that belonged to witnesses 
> to the deeds I platted.
> Is there anyone on this list who has the time and knowledge to tell me 
> what next? How do I find the deeds to lands that are "holes" in my plats?
> BTW: the entire time I was in Kenansville, a law firm was using 
> something called plat books, so I did not get to become familiar with 
> them. The assistant at the desk informed me the law firms' researchers 
> take priority when it comes to use of courthouse materials. I was in 
> Kenansville ten days, but only eight at the courthouse.
> Mag Parker
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