Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Among the most valuable resources for genealogists to prove family relationships and to discover clues to new relationships are land records. Many people think only about buying and selling acreage when someone asks them about land records. As a result, many genealogists often do not delve into land records as much as they should, thereby missing important information To help researchers learn about and utilize these important resources, Patricia Law Hatcher has written LOCATING YOUR ROOTS: DISCOVER YOUR ANCESTORS USING LAND RECORDS.

     Because the majority of early settlers were farmers, the most important thing to them was land. Since owning a piece of land with good soil was a top priority, the need for acreage was the strongest reason for people to immigrate from overseas to America and to migrate to wherever land was available as well as affordable. Therefore, land records provide a common resource pertaining to pioneer ancestors and may be the only documents to furnish details about them.

     Using numerous helpful examples scattered throughout the text, the author explains how to locate land records, understand the different types, record the information, and interpret what you find. In addition, she discusses how to make sense of the public land survey system and the plat metes-and-bounds descriptions. To entice more genealogists to take advantage of these under-utilized resources, Hatcher’s publication points out the various facts that may be found or deduced from land records and how they may open new avenues for research. Deed books, especially older ones, may contain a variety of documents, such as grants, surveys, mortgages, prenuptial agreements, powers of attorney, and bills of sale of slaves.

     Valuable data also appear in three appendixes. They contain a 26-page state-by-state locality reference, which supplies background information and statewide references; a 4-page general reference containing a bibliography of works about specialized resources (old handwriting, for instance); and a 33-page glossary.

     Hatcher is to be commended for packing a wealth of information into a book that will make family historians better researchers. A copy of LOCATING YOUR ROOTS: DISCOVER YOUR ANCESTORS USING LAND RECORDS should be on the bookshelves of all genealogical libraries.

     The 211-page volume has soft covers, an attractive front cover, illustrations, maps, charts, appendixes (which includes a glossary), and a general index. To the book's price of $37.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #2595) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website ).

     This death notice can be found on page 22 of the March, 1938 (Volume 59, Number 2) issue of The Texas Druggist. (Surnames are capitalized for emphasis and some punctuation added for clarity.)

     ”Elbert S. DUNN, 54, Neches, died at his home, Monday, Dec. 13th. Mr. Dunn died following a week’s illness of heart trouble.

     He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Mary SIMPSON DUNN, and three sisters.”


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