Everyone hits a brick wall in genealogy, where the birth and death records just aren’t easy to find. In that case, try some different records. One good source you may try: historic land records. Deeds often contain information on who sold what to whom; who inherited what from whom; or how some land was divided among a family. Historic tax records on land also sometimes have interesting information, such as co-ownership.
One example from Flickr
Most archives have land records, and many have an online way to search the index and then order a copy of the record you want for a small fee. Just as an example, you could use these sites in Great Britain.
- For English and Welsh records see Public Record Office Leaflet: Tithe Records in the Public Record Office. Scottish records are held at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.
- Legal Terms in Land Records is a useful glossary of obscure terms which occur in property deeds.
- Robin Alston’s Country House Database “represents a first attempt at listing country houses in the British Isles from the late medieval period to ca. 1850, together with an index to all the families so far traced as having occupied them”.
- Estate Records held by Kings College, Cambridge.