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Old 02-06-2008, 07:49 PM
 
1,007 posts, read 105,707 times
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Default Where/how can you trace your land?

Hi All -

I heard the tail end of a radio interview with a woman who traced the history of her land back hundreds of years. It may have been a UK property, as the woman was British, but I can't be certain. She found out very interesting things such as, before her current house was built, another on the same spot had been burnt to the ground. Prior to that a meeting house of some sort was there.

I'd love to find out about my land, particulalry as I'm just steps from historical Revolutionary War sites, where bones from that era have been found. No, not thinking my house is on historical land of some sort... but, a long time ago, there was mention that my land might have housed a brewery/bar.

Is it possible to easily find out this info? Where would I look? Would it be free, such as an online search?

Thanks very much... VV
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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In California you can order what I believe is called an Alta Survey which traces land ownership back to Spanish Land Grants.

I would think a Surveyor in your area could help.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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Not sure of how things work in your locale, KittensPurr, but in Ontario you simply go to the local land registry office and get them to pull the deed registry sheet for your property.

It will show the original size of the lot, subsequent subdivisions, owners, sale amounts, mortgage amounts, mortgage holders, etc.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
In California you can order what I believe is called an Alta Survey which traces land ownership back to Spanish Land Grants.

I would think a Surveyor in your area could help.
Thanks, Ultra. I'm rather naive on these things... but, where is the surveyor getting his info? In other words, is there a public office where this sort of info is housed, so that residents can venture in to find out for themselves... or better yet, an online site?

Someone here mentioned before about obtaining home records (deeds or something)... Town Hall, City Hall... can't remember. But, the records were also online. You can pull up your property & see when it was built, who currently owns it, etc. I looked at it a year ago (can't remember which site nor which gov't office handles this otherwise I'd begin there), because I remember there being an error. It listed my house as having asbestos siding, yet that was professionally removed 20-30 years ago. My point is, I found this out online.

It's not an urgent project or anything. Just curiousity... particularly if I could get the info for free. Better yet, if online.

Thank you for responding... VV
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerguy1 View Post
Not sure of how things work in your locale, KittensPurr, but in Ontario you simply go to the local land registry office and get them to pull the deed registry sheet for your property.

It will show the original size of the lot, subsequent subdivisions, owners, sale amounts, mortgage amounts, mortgage holders, etc.
Hi Corner -

Thank you. There must be something like that in Boston that's free. Didn't even think... I probably should have posted this in the Boston forum... Ah, well. I know names of offices differ from state to state.

Okay, I'll search around online to see which office houses this info. Would be great to see.

Thanks again... VV
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Here (Florida) and in Texas you should be able to go to the Tax assessors office and trace the ownership of your land. This is what has to be done when a home is purchased but only back to the previous owner and to ensure they hold clear title to the property in order to have the right to sell it too you.

It sounds fascinating to find out all that about your property. Kind of makes me wonder what went on here where I live years ago.

Another thing I found out from a friend whose Mother is a lawyer for the EPA, they have a system set up where you can put in any address in the whole US and it will tell if there has been any EPA related problem with that area, buried cables, gas lines, dumping and so forth.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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Thanks Lindsey for the info. Yes, I agree... not just the house, but the land history is fascinating. I'd like to know which sort of "ghosts" wander my cellar each evening...

My house was built in 1890. My grandfather, fresh off the boat from Ellis Is., bought it in 1895 & it's been in the family ever since. That's all the facts I know.

In the 60's... one of the local 90+ year old men mentioned to a relative that this spot was originally a makeshift brewery/bar for the Revolutionary War soldiers, then a house, then a brewery/bar again, before this current house was built. I'm just a short walk to Boston Harbor & literally less than a hundred yards from where Washington chased the Brit's out of the Harbor, so anything is possible.

This old guy would have been 20-yrs old when my house was built, so would have been around when the 2nd brewery/bar was in full swing. Maybe that's why he wandered passed the house... looking to be invited in for a drink! I'm sure they obliged... I guess as I'm preparing to move, tossing old things & going through others, combined with restoring this old Victorian (no, not me... the house! Geesh!)... I'm curious as to where it all began.

I just found this info online at:
http://www.genealogyforum.rootsweb.com/gfaol/resource/MA/Guide.htm: (broken link)

"The deeds for Massachusetts were recorded in town records until the creation of counties, roughly 1643.

Several Massachusetts counties were later divided into deed-registration districts... The important county of Suffolk (Boston) has its deeds (1629-97) published as "Suffolk Deeds", 14 volumes. It should be obvious that you must allow for variations in where, when, and what local land records survive.

This also brings out what I said earlier that finding the location of particular records is a study in itself."


There are many archival libraries listed after this... so I can begin calling around. They may not have the info... but can guide me to where the records Corner mentioned above are housed.

I love mysteries...
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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I would LOVE to hear what you find out. I love history. I used to live in Mass when I was younger.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
I would LOVE to hear what you find out. I love history. I used to live in Mass when I was younger.
Sure, I'd be happy to update as soon as I find out anything. May take months, but it might help others should they decide to go the same route. Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:56 AM
 
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We got an abstract with our first house. It was a recording of all the transactions on the house. It was very interesting to read through, who lived there, etc. Not all houses have that but many of the older houses might.
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