Land records can provide valuable information for connecting individuals and family groups. There are several sorts, including land patents, land deeds and land warrants. Michelle Goodrum explains quite well the difference in her blog post Land Records for Genealogists: Deeds, Patents and Grants. What’s the Difference? for The In-Depth Genealogist.
All of these sorts of land records are represented in some form or fashion within the McKemie One Name Study. Some listings are simply indices which would dictate further digging to get the actual record. However, there are a few instances of scanned documents shared on the site, as well.
What can you learn from land records? You can learn the names of individuals and establish relationships between known individuals. It is not uncommon for wives, children and grandchildren to be named and identified as such. You can also connect family groups by understanding the actual locations of the properties detailed in the record. The FamilySearch wiki is an amazing resource for learning more.
In looking at old Scottish land records, we find the Register of Sasines (pronounced say-zin, like raisin). There are several mentions listed in the Land Records Department of McKemies associated with land transactions between 1605-1694. Some of these would predate the family group linked to Francis Makemie of Presbyterian fame. He is said to have been born to Scottish parents, though, and so some conjecture is fair and might eventually lead to concrete evidence.
Clarification of a couple of traditions helps to understand some of what is recorded in these records. In one, Andrew M’Kamie is list as being “of Berneauld” while in another Robert M’Kamie is “in Dunalunt”. Using “of” indicates ownership of the land named. Using “in” means residing on the land named. Following up on these listings, and the others as noted in the publication, Origines Parochiales Scotiae: The Antiquities Ecclesiastical and Territorial of the Parishes of Scotland, Volume 2, Issue 1, will be fun.
In addition to the property details, we also have fun and interesting facts connecting the surname to the land, including towns, landmarks and more.
Have you discovered some interesting facts while researching land records? Do you have any to add to the site? Let me know!