Determining landowning neighbors of your landowning ancestor in federal land states (where property is generally described in townships and sections) requires knowledge of the legal description of the property. You have to know where the property is located. This can be obtained on the deed of acquisition or sale, a will where the property was bequeathed, an estate inventory, etc.
Deeds in federal land states infrequently mention adjacent landowners. Here are some places to determine who those nearby property owners are:
- county atlases of landowners–frequently called platbooks
- property tax records–often organized geographically
- tract or parcel indexes that index land transactions geographically