I’m continuing in my never-ending quest to find information on my ancestor, John Smith. One of his great-grandsons had a short biography which indicated that John was an early settler of Danville, Kentucky so I’ve been trying to find the “missing link” to find John’s parents and to prove a jump from the Danville area to Russell County.

When working in pre-1850 time period, land records and tax records become your best friend. However, when looking at the tax records for the times, I see FIVE different men named John Smith! In order to attempt to tell these 5 men apart, I am turning to land records.

I always feel like I am missing something when I read multiple deeds. They are often quite long and the metes and bounds descriptions tend to make my eyes cross! But the records are so important, I felt that I HAD to find a way to see all of the information in one snapshot. I thought about how a Family Group Sheet gives you all of the basic information for each member of the family and based on that, decided to modify a family group sheet specifically to show information on all of the land transactions for a specific person. I’ve decided to call it a Family Land Sheet.

My idea was that each part of a group sheet would have an equal partner on the land sheet.

Child’s name = County and Book, Birth becomes Date of land purchase with the name of seller, Death becomes Date of land sale with the name of buyer, Marriage becomes witnesses and people mentioned in the deed (neighbors).

I decided to shorten the top section so that I only have names and birth-death information. And I decided I would like to have a column for the number of acres and amount paid as well as a column for comments.

Here’s the top of my Group Sheet

Group Sheet Word

And the top of my Land Sheet.



So now I’m beginning to go through the deeds that I have scanned and filling in the information and even though I’m just getting started, I can see that it is going to be a tremendous help.

Coming up next – how to create this sheet in Microsoft Word.