29 September 2010

Workshop Wednesday: Land Records

With the recent addition of new daily blogging themes at Geneabloggers, I decided to make my own Wednesday theme, Workshop Wednesday.  I thought I would share information about workshops I have attended.  The challenge is to provide information without giving away the presenter's hard work.  So, I thought I would share how I am using the information provided in my own research.

I recently attended a Beyond the Basics workshop at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  One of the workshops was Land Records and Tax Lists, presented by Margery Graham, C.G.  I have very little experience with land records.  I have looked at land records at Bureau of Land Management website and found a deed index for Ontario County, New York, 1789-1845 online.  My gggg grandfather's, Alexander Glover, land transfers can be found at this website.

A basic introduction to land records was presented and it took me back to my Michigan History classes when we learned townships and the 36 sections of land.  Land record terms and examples were given and discussed. 

The most important part of the workshop, for me, was the handout on "Using Land and Deed Records to Solve Your Pedigree Problems", by Myra Vanderpool Gormley.  One of my unproven relationships is that of Huldah Rowley's parentage.  Everywhere I look on the internet it states that Hopkins Rowley is her father.  But, not one of the records is sourced.  A cousin, Carol, is working on this, also.  Carol, is trying to find proof that will satisfy the D.A.R.  So, I am hoping (and praying) that if I look into land records I may be able to find a clue that will help us.

In 1792, Hopkins Rowley owned land in Shoreham, Addison, Vermont.  He was still living in Shoreham, Vermont at the time of his death, 1 September 1831.  Family History Library has the microfilm for Land Records 1789-1880 for Shoreham, Vermont, after emailing Carol she told me she has already ordered the Index.

The Gormley article states, "This research requires time, patience and hard work; but the rewards are great."  I don't mind hard work, but patience isn't my strong suit.  Myra Vanderpool Gormley also says, "Land records are probably the most valuable genealogical sources available."  What do you think?


  1. Did you solve your Rowley mystery via the land records? I'd love to hear about how you did it.

    Myra Vanderpool Gormley

  2. Myra, Unfortunately, I haven't but your resource mentioned above was excellent. I don't think I have put enough time into straightening the Rowley family out yet. A Vermont visit is probably needed.