Now I had a neat spreadsheet of land records I extracted from the Wexford County, Michigan index books. What should I do next? There were so many deeds, and I was not equally interested in them. Or, at least at the moment I created my list from the index, some were more important to me than others. I copied every one I could find for my names, just to be sure I would not have to go back over the books again. With such a long list, it was not possible for me to purchase copies of every deed. So I did what any good project manager would do, and designed a form to collect the information from the records, it looks like this:
You can see the information I was interested in, it pretty much follows the format of a warranty deed. Just to clarify, I recorded:
- The date I was extracting the information
- The date of the land transaction, this is usually at the bottom with the signatures and notarizing
- My initials/name as the person who extracted the information
- The location of the transaction, I actually recorded the county and state the deed was recorded in.
- The Grantor, the person or entity selling the land.
- The Grantee, the person or entity purchasing the land.
- The names of the witnesses
- The type of deed, warranty, quick claim, whatever it was
- The date the registrar received the deed to record
- The name of the Registrar
- The location of the land, usually a county and township
- A description of the land, varies with location but is written out in the deed.
- Any notes I felt I needed to make
- The “consideration”: what was paid for the land.
Tomorrow: How a filled out form looks. What did I learn?
With regard to my spreadsheet, Just a disclaimer, again. They are selected records only, not complete indices. There may be transcription errors. I searched the indices for family names, but many not have recorded every deed for every family. I recorded both the grantor and grantee for each deed, and created a spreadsheet of the results. I may or may not have further information on these transactions, but it will not cost you anything to ask, and I will share anything I have.