U.S. Land Records: How To Use Them for Family History - September 2023

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Learn how to use property research in your family history, from learning how to find deeds, plat maps, patents and other land records to mapping your ancestor's property, and applying the records to your family history research. By the end of the course, you'll have discovered new clues and resources that will give you insight into your ancestor's life.

Using Land Records to Research Your Ancestor

The story of the settlement of the United States is a story about land and land ownership. Almost always, your U.S. ancestors probably saw land ownership as a key to prosperity and security. When your family first owned land was an intergenerational milestone. Where exactly they lived, how much land they owned, how they acquired and disposed of it...answering these questions often reveals family relationships, vital events, and compelling stories about how your family fit into U.S. history.

In addition to 7 written modules, this interactive course has quizzes, hands-on exercises, five video tutorials, supplementary readings and worksheets to help you organize your discoveries.

DATE: September 25, 2023 - October 22, 2023

Over the course of 4 weeks, you’ll learn:

  • Why land records matter in genealogy
  • What land records may reveal about your family history
  • How to find and interpret deeds
  • How to understand property descriptions
  • A brief history of public land sales in the US
  • What military bounty land is
  • How to apply the records to your family history research


About the Instructor

Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A. is a professional writer, instructor, and internationally-recognized lecturer. She has written eleven books, including the Family Tree Magazine Polish, Czech & Slovak Genealogy Guide, and hundreds of magazine articles. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine. She blogs about her family history at The Accidental Genealogist.

How do Family Tree University workshops work?

Take the course at your own pace! 

From the course start date, you’ll be able to log in to view and access your lessons and start interacting on the discussion boards. Your instructor will check in regularly to answer all of the questions and provide feedback. You will have access to your courses anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone, and can study when it's most convenient for you.

After the course end date, the course will become read-only for one year. You will continue to have access through your dashboard to the materials, but the discussion boards will be closed. The materials are yours to keep. You can download them onto your desktop to access online or offline.

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