Some towns and counties kept records of chattel mortgages. These mortgages generally are for property other than real estate and can include: livestock, tools of a trade, merchandise in a store, household goods, and similar items. These records may or may not be available on microfilm or in digital format. Like other records, they can provide additional background on your relative’s life, social standing, and family relationships (sometimes). One advantage to these records is that your relative did not have to own real estate in order to appear in them.
Some ways to determine if these records exist in the location of interest include:
- searching the FamilySearch catalog;
- asking local librarians;
- contacting local historical or genealogical societies;
- asking researchers familiar with the area