Interpreting North Carolina Land Records with David McCorkle

April 14th, 2017 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

North Carolina, W144, “Interpreting NC Land Records,” 2:30 pm, Wednesday, 10 May 2017

S414, “NC Land Grants Overview,” 9:30 am, Saturday, 13 May 2017

David McCorkle is a North Carolina native with all of his father’s ancestral lines arriving in the state prior to 1800. He will be giving two lectures on North Carolina land records discussing the different types, where and how to find them, and their use in genealogy. Many of these records are similar in other states.

W144,”Interpreting NC Land Records,” covers all types of land records, while S414,”NC Land Grants Overview,” will focus entirely on land grants which are his specialty. Land grants are more complicated than other land records because the land grant process consisted of multiple steps at both the county and state level, often taking several years to complete. This resulted in multiple sets of records for each grant, some of which have been re-cataloged, refiled, and even reformatted several times. Understanding the history is important to being able to locate and interpret grants you are researching.

David has created a free website to help unify these records and make them easily available. It contains searchable names, dates, and locations for over 200,000 land grants issued by North Carolina from 1663 to 1960, some of which are now in Tennessee. These are linked to high quality images of the contents of all 200 patent books containing the written “metes and bounds” for each grant. For thirteen counties, there are images of loose documents such as surveys and warrants. This project combines public domain data obtained from the State Archives of NC (which has generously granted permission for its use) along with purchased digital copies of their microfilm reels. David has tried to make the website as easy to use as possible, and welcomes suggestions for improvement.