Guide to Land Records for Genealogical and Historical Research

Land records are a valuable source of genealogical and historical information. Records documenting the sale and ownership of land may cite the kinship between parties or provide other vital records information. For example, a deed may state that a father sold land to his son or include the birth name of the buyer or the seller's wife. Land records may infer the approximate date when a person moved to a town or when a building was erected. They may also include the residence of the parties, if they did not live in the town where they were buying land.

 

Microfilmed Town Land Records of the Colonial Period to circa 1900

 

This microfilm collection was created in the 1950's by the Genealogical Society of Utah, affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and constitutes the majority of land records held by the State Library. The land records collection dates from the 1600's to the early twentieth century. The microfilms are arranged alphabetically by town and within each town, by year, although in some towns, such as Windsor, the years covered overlap in certain volumes.

 

Each town's collection of land records includes some form of indexing. Most town records include an index in each volume for that particular volume. For some towns, such as Bethany, there is additional index available on microfilm. Compiled indexes of a number of towns may be arranged in various ways. Farmington's index is arranged in separate sections by grantor and grantee. The Bolton index is a combined grantor/grantee index with grantor listings on the left page and grantees on the right page. Some are a strictly alphabetical listing, interfiling grantor and grantee entries. Most of the original records are still held by the town.

 

Each microfilm boxtop label gives general information about the reel's content, as in the Bristol example, shown below:

Bristol Land Records
Vols. 33-38,
1872-1880
LDS #
1316004

 

A side label offers the user more information, including years covered for each volume:

Bristol Land Records
1. Vol. 33 (cont.),

 

Quitclaims, 1875-1876
2. Vol. 34, Warrantee Deed, 1872-1877
Vol. 35, filmed with

Vols. 45-46
Vol. 36, NOT FILMED
Vol. 37, NOT FILMED
3. Vol. 38, Quitclaims, 1876-1880

 

Indexing resources vary. Most volumes have an individual index, with varying degrees of completeness. Some town clerks have consolidated their town's individual indexes, although most were not microfilmed. If we lack the index you need, you must either search each individual volume's index or contact the town clerk's office and ask about the availability of land records indexes.

 

The Society filmed only those volumes that the microfilm operator deemed of genealogical value, and we have noted in the research guides and side labels those volumes not filmed. We suggest you search these unfilmed volumes, as many of our patrons have found genealogical information. The unfilmed, original volumes are still located in the offices of the respective town clerks.

 

The State Library Staff at the History and Genealogy Information desk has access to a database that lists these land records - giving volume numbers, years covered in each volume, Connecticut State (CSL) microfilm reel number, along with the LDS film number.

 

Published and manuscript land records

Some examples of subject headings that researchers may want to use to find land records in our library catalog or manuscripts catalog are:

 

  • Land -- Connecticut -- [name of town]
  • Land Grants -- Connecticut
  • Land -- Records -- [name of town]
  • Land Titles -- [name of town]
  • [name of town]. Land Records