The Order in Which They Were Hauled to the Courthouse

Records are recorded by local officials in IMG_20160929_085551the order in which they are brought to the courthouse. Generally speaking this is relatively close to when the even took place–people generally have vital events recorded quickly.

The record where it is most likely to be a problem is with land deeds. For a variety of reasons, some deeds are not recorded promptly. People forget, things get temporarily lost, etc. Often the failure to record a deed is not realized until the purchaser dies and the family wants to sell the property and realizes the deed of purchase was never recorded.

Consequently it is imperative to search deeds for sometime after the transaction took place. It is not unheard of for a deed from the 1840s to be recorded in the 1880s or even after.

Learn more about land records in my October 2016 land records class.



3 thoughts on “The Order in Which They Were Hauled to the Courthouse

  1. Mary Vermiglio

    The court house in my “home” county burned in 1850. People had to bring in proof to prove their ownership. That’s how I found proof of my 3rd great-grandfather who died in the 1830’s.

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      That’s a good point. Even in counties that were not burned, one will occasionally find an affidavit regarding property ownership filed amongst the deeds.


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