Maryland Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can these Records Tell Me?
- 3 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 4 What Do I Do Next?
- 5 Citing this Collection
- 6 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
The collection includes land records for the years 1733 to 1968.
All Maryland land was first owned by the Calvert family proprietors who obtained it from the Crown. During the Revolutionary War, Maryland offered land grant lots as a bounty to entice recruits to fill Maryland's enlistment quotas. After land was transferred to private ownership, deeds and mortgages were filed with the county clerk. These records were created to follow the transfer of ownership and rights to individual tracks of land. They were instrumental in the formation of both local and state governments in Maryland.
What Can these Records Tell Me?
The documents in the collection may include:
- General transactions (purchases or sales)
The key facts found in most land records are:
- The names of interested individuals such as grantor (seller), grantee (buyer), and witnesses
- The date of the deed
- The legal description and location of land
- The amount of money exchanged
How Do I Search the Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the individual
- The location or approximate date of the land transaction
Search the Index
How Do I Analyze the Results?
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.
What Do I Do Next?
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- One deed does not usually give sufficient information about a couple and their children. A careful study of all deeds for the person or the family will yield a richer return of information.
- For each parcel of land owned, you should obtain two documents: (1) the deed that documents when ownership transferred to the individual or the family and (2) the deed that documents when ownership was transferred to someone else.
- Witnesses and neighbors, even those with a different surname, may have been relatives, in-laws, or even a widowed mother who has remarried. You may want to check the records of these witnesses and neighbors, especially if they are frequently found in your ancestor’s land records.
- Use the information to locate your family in census records
- Use the information to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records. Also search for immigration, military,and probate records.
- Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
- Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- Try viewing the original record. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives that can be verified by records.
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
- Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
- Search the indexes and records of Maryland, United States Genealogy.
- Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog
Citing this Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
- Collection Citation
"Maryland Land Records." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.