Granted Not All Deed Indexes are Equal

The first time I used these records I really did not know what I was doing and I incorrectly concluded there were no land deeds for my wife’s Drollette or Desmarais ancestors in Clinton County, New York.

I was wrong. When I used the grantee index to land records years ago, I assumed that the “D” portion of the grantee index had lumped all the surnames beginning with the letter “D” together. After all, that’s how other indexes to land records I used had been compiled. Why should this one be any different?

It was. The surnames that began with a “D” were separated out into different sections of the “D” index, depending upon the second letter of the name. It I wanted to find the index entry for Drollette, I needed to be in this section of the “D” index–the one where the second letter of the name was a letter “p” through “z” in the alphabet. This is shown in the first image accompanying this post.


Clinton County New York, Grantee Index Volume 3, p 142; digital image, FamilySearch.

And there on page 143 of the 3rd grantee index to deeds in Clinton County, New York, was an entry indicating Isiah Drullette [or some such variant spelling] had a deed recorded in 1860.



Clinton County New York, Grantee Index Volume 3, p 143; digital image, FamilySearch.

Yes, recorded in 1860. It may have been executed in 1860 as well, but land records are indexed in the order in which they are recorded and that date of recording is the date that is listed in the index.


Note: My recent webinar on using local land records on FamilySearch discusses this and other examples. 



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