Online Land Record Course–Starts 26 October

Land records can contain significant genealogical clues. These records can also be confusing for researcher who is unfamiliar with their structure, purpose, terminology, and organization. Starting on 26 October, we’ll be hosting a 5 session class on using and interpreting land records in the United States.  I’ve used land records extensively in my thirty-some years of family history research and have used them to solve a variety of genealogical research problems. Join us and discover more about this wonderful set of records.deeed-example

Lectures will be conducted via GotoWebinar and will be recorded for those who are unable to attend live, have connectivity issues during the presentation, or who wish to hear the material again.  Registration is limited to the first twenty-five students who register.


  • Week 1–discussion of different types of deeds, terms and definitions, record keeping practices and procedures, types of land ownership, and women’s property ownership changes over time.
  • Week 2–discussion of metes and bounds legal descriptions, property descriptions in metes and bounds states, pre-Federal land records, and general research strategies in those states.
  • Week 3–discussion of legal descriptions in federal land states, property descriptions in federal land states, and an overview of federal land records (bounty lands, cash land sales, homestead claims, etc.).
  • Week 4–online demonstration of actual land record searches using indexes and records selected from online materials at FamilySearch.
  • Week 5–online demonstration of search techniques and approaches to the federal land patents hosted at the Bureau of Land Management website.


Homework is optional–there’s no grade. Students are encouraged to participate in the homework. Documents will be posted to our online private forum for students to read and discuss. Homework will consist of posting a brief analysis of a specific record or problem. Students can substitute a document of their own choosing–as long as it is the type of record actually being discussed that week.

  • Week 1–two local land records
  • Week 2–two metes and bounds deeds
  • Week 3–research problem in a federal land state
  • Week 4–a “can you find” it problem where records needed are available free online at FamilySearch.
  • Week 5–no “homework,” but problems will be posted to our discussion forum a week before the lecture.

Schedule–lectures (attendance is not required as they will be recorded and available for download):

  • 26 October 7:00 pm. central time–lecture 1
  • 2 November 7:00 pm. central time–lecture 2
  • 9 November 7:00 pm. central time–lecture 3
  • 16 November 7:00 pm. central time–lecture 4
  • 23 November 7:00 pm. central time–lecture 5

Discussions–if there is sufficient interest, we will have optional discussions on the Wednesday following the lecture at 7:00 pm central time. Those discussions will be recorded and available for download for those interested.

Registration is only $40. All handouts are included and there is one for each lecture. These are new presentations created just for this course. Students also get download copies of the lectures for their personal use.


4 thoughts on “Online Land Record Course–Starts 26 October

  1. I’m a first-timer. I registered through Paypal on the 22nd, but am unsure how to view the webinar. Should I have received a link?

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