Notes from the past…

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The dirt on land records


While reading my Google Alerts this morning, I ran across a very interesting post that discusses land deeds. Amy Yencer from Old Fashioned Housekeeping talks about what land records are and where they can be found, and includes definitions of the numerous terms to be found in a land documents:

Aliquot Parts – were used to represent the exact subdivision of the section of land. Halves of a Section (or subdivision thereof) are represented as N, S, E, and W (such as “the north half of section 5″). Quarters of a Section (or subdivision thereof) are represented as NW, SW, NE, and SE (such as “the northwest quarter of section 5″). Sometimes, several Aliquot Parts are required to accurately describe a parcel of land. For example, “ESW” denotes the east half of the southwest quarter containing 80 acres and “SWNENE” denotes the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter containing 10 acres.

If you’ve visited the Bureau of Land Management site and located records for your ancestors, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to understand all that location jibberish? Most of the time, I’m happy just to figure out the county!

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Daily Journal 25 Oct 2009: I knew there was some reason that I didn't become a lawyer!

And I think it’s because all that legal language gives me a headache!

I have been studying all these real estate documents that my grandfather was involved with since I got home from work this afternoon and I’m about all bugged out.

Basically what they show is a lot of real estate deals that he was a party to, mostly as a seller. Not a surprise. He was a land developer.

I have saved 4 documents:

  • 1 with his and my step-grandmother’s signatures,
  • 1 with their address in Fort Worth,
  • 1 that contains what may have been among his last signatures, as it was dated about 1 1/2 months before his death from liver cancer, and
  • 1 document that contains my step-grandmother’s address in Stephenville, TX, dated about 15 years after my grandfather’s death and only about 2 months before her death

The document containing my grandfather’s signature written just weeks before his death is particularly poignant, as the writing is uneven and a bit shaky, obviously not the forceful and confident signature found on earlier documents.