June 2016

There are many genealogical records that are not available online.

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When I was researching in New York (state) recently, very much information was discovered in the local libraries, courthouses, and historical societies.  Don’t forget to contact these places about what resources an organization may have.




When looking at deeds, please remember the time frame of the recording of the deed.

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The deeds are recorded when they are brought to the courthouse, NOT the original date of the deed.


So, if you are looking for someone who may have purchased/sold property sometime between 1850 and 1852, make sure to look in the index for the deed after 1852.  The deed could have been recorded much later.



The son (and sister of my great-grandmother) of my direct ancestor (Orlow) is named Martin Boris Babcock.  From where did his name come?

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One idea for the name “Martin” is that this was the same name as Orlow’s brother – Martin V. (do not know as yet for what the V stands), was killed at the battle of Cold Harbor in the Civil War.



The name “Boris” is a mystery.  More than likely, Boris was the name of an ancestor of Orlow, or an ancestor of his wife (Phenie).  However, thus far, an ancestor of this name has not been found.  At this time, the only ancestors I know of for Orlow is his parents – nothing before them.  I have found 3-4 generations earlier for Phenie, but no Boris has been found.


I will continue to search!



Typically, the Grantor and Grantee indexes only include the names of the first grantor and the first grantee.  However, sometimes the actual record may list multiple grantors or grantees.  So, when searching for a deed concerning your direct ancestor, also search for records of the ancestor’s extended family.  You may find records that are applicable to your ancestor.

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It is very important to always record the citation for each of the sources one is using.  The same holds true for a deed that was found in the County Recorder’s Office.

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Sometimes the information on the spine can be lengthy – title of the book, “letter” of the book, dates covered, etc.  Instead of writing down the information, take a photograph of the spine.  Of course, it is important to first ask someone in the office whether or not this is permissible.  I have been in some offices where one can photograph the actual documents, and some offices where it is only permissible to photograph the spine.



When trying to locate the exact location of the land shown in the deed record of your ancestor, have you tried looking at the neighbors mentioned in the deed?


The neighbors named may help in finding the exact location of the deed.  And, the neighbor’s name may be helpful in finding your ancestor in the census – especially if the ancestor’s name was spelled a different way than what is an accustomed why of spelling it.



When looking at a deed or will, do you realize that the document in the book is usually a clerk’s transcription of the document AND of the signature.  If your ancestor made a mark (X), that is what is shown.  However, if your ancestor signed the original document, the signature will most likely look like the same handwriting as the document.  Sometimes the clerk would try to match the signature, but that is usually not likely.

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