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Locating Your Roots Paperback – March 4, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
It's not a tricky subject, but it can be a dry one, with terms and graphs most people don't think about. This book introduces all those concepts plus shows you how to approach them for the benefit of your family history.
The author tells you all about plat books, city directories, maps, tax records and probate, down to receipts; all as they relate to land ownership. She also tells you some very important things about how your ancestors got that land in the first place, which with colonists and pioneers is exceptionally helpful.
Land records can be confusing. Many times while introducing terms she shows you how to avoid pitfalls you can come across while trying to decipher these records. There is also a thorough glossary and locality reference in the back.
This is an important book for intermediate genealogists. To truly understand your ancestors and to solve some of the puzzles they left behind, you will need to use land records. This is a helpful resource, and definitely one you'll come back to past that first reading.
The biggest trouble with researching land records is that what's easily available online varies greatly from one location to another. In fact, simply what's available at all may vary from one location to another! The land records of the original colonies are different than those of the public land states. The information contained in deeds will also vary even within a given location.
Having said that, you can find some really wonderful information in land records that may not exist anywhere else. Ms. Hatcher serves as an excellent guide. She walks you through the differences in types of land records and what information they're likely to contain. Full use of land records is an absolute must if you expect to push that family tree back from 1850 or so. Even in more recent times, land records will give you more detailed information and better substantiation in some cases than what you'll find elsewhere.
Ms. Hatcher includes information in the book on the different surveying systems (very important to land records), what records to access, where to find information on county formation and boundary changes, and even how you may be able to access the needed information without traveling to the county in question. (This varies by location, of course!)
One point which especially resonated with me was her commentary about burned courthouses. Most of us have encountered a "burned county" at some point in our research. But as Ms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Concise, easy to ready, and full of wonderful information I wouldn't have known about had I not read the book. Highly recommended.Published 20 months ago by Woodsea8885