We all have things we can learn, especially when our research crosses into new areas and time periods.
Last year, I was searching land records on a John Gibson in Pittsford, Vermont. A search of the grantor/grantee indexes located a deed of sale, but no deed of purchase could be located. When I encounter this situation in the Midwest, my usual procedure is to look for some type of inheritance or will that is not mentioned in the deed books. In the South, it’s a good approach as well.
While I wanted to determine how John acquired his property, other things and projects got in the way.
I aquired a copy of Digging for Genealogical Treasure in New England Town Records mainly because I had hoped it would give me a little more perspective on “warnings out” and a few other nuances of New England with which I am not familiar. To be frank I had forgotten about John Gibson and his deeds–or at least put him so far on the back burner that he was out of my peripheral vision.
In reading Digging for Genealogical Treasure in New England Town Records, I came across a discussion of what to do when a deed of acquisition cannot be found. In addition to inheritance (which I don’t think is the case with John Gibson) “chances are the land was a grant from the town.” (1996 edition, p. 37).
It had not dawned on me that there could be land grants in with the town records. After all, in the Midwest and the South that’s not how things are done, so it can’t be done that way anywhere else.
Had I made a diligent search at the time, I’m certain one of my genealogy colleagues would have mentioned the town records to me. But sometimes it’s nice to discover things for oneself instead of throwing a question online and hoping someone magically can answer the question.
Reading how-to materials is an excellent way to do that–even if you have forgotten about your problem.