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Land Records 101 (Download)

Family Tree University Independent Study Course

By Diana Crisman Smith

Format: Download

SKU# Y3117

When you're trying to pinpoint ancestral residences, determine wealth or even trace descendants, land records can often provide answers—once you get past unfamiliar terminology and survey systems. In this course, you will master the basics of US land records research, including what documents to look for (online and offline), how to "plat" land and how to make the most of these often-overlooked resources.


  • Definitions and terminology used in property and deeds
  • Locating and platting land using the "metes and bounds" method
  • Locating and platting land using the federal "rectangular survey" method
  • Special programs, such as military bounty lands and the Homestead Acts
  • Finding and using records at the Bureau of Land Management website
  • Finding and gleaning the most from land records

Check out this video from the course to get a taste of what you'll learn:


  • Genealogists new to US land records research
  • Experienced researchers who want to expand their knowledge of land records
  • Homeowners/residents who want to trace the history of their house
  • People interested in the history of land ownership and how it's changed over the years


  • This course assumes you understand the basics principles of genealogy and have done some investigation into your family history. If you are a total beginner, consider taking the Discover Your Family Tree course before enrolling in this class.
  • A protractor or compass
  • Graph paper (although you can also use plain paper and draw your own sections)
SKU Y3117
Author/Speaker/Editor Diana Crisman Smith
File Type ZIP
Format Download

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Your price: $50.00

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