San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SMCGS Databases: Early Land Records

One of the first databases posted on the SMCGS website was the Early Land Records Index.  This index, mainly compiled by Russ Brabec with a little help from Cath Trindle consists of nine volumes of early records.
The index includes:
  • Patent   1-3 covering the years 1856-1921. Images of these volumes are available on FamilySearch  --  Land Patents were granted by the US Government on land they had acquired.  Most of the early patents in San Mateo County were verifying claims of those who had been given Spanish land grants.  Subsequent transfers of those original land patents are is made by deed.  It is possible to declare that the original patent has been transfered to an individual, which can give protections not necessarily transferred by deed.
  • Record of Deeds   1-4 covering the years 1855-1866.   Images of these volumes are available on FamilySearch.  FamilySearch has images of deeds well beyond these initial 4 volumes as well as images of many of the indexes that were created over the years.  These are all browse only, but are not difficult to navigate and find the records you are looking for.
  • Mortgages 1-2.  These records are available from the San Mateo Country Recorders Office.  These are just the first two of many Mortgage volumes available in the County Record Repository.  They can help provide a better picture of the worth of a property as amounts are often no included in the deeds.

For other early land records of San Mateo County see


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