1) Land Records on FamilySearch
There are land records for only four states (Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Washington, and some individual counties for other states) on FamilySearch, and they are all browsable collections (meaning there is no index for them). Those collections are waypointed by counties and then by record book titles. The grantor and grantee indexes are part of the digitized collections, are can be used to find individual deeds for a specific person.
Why aren't there statewide, or even individual county, land record collections on FamilySearch in browsable collections? Those records are very useful, and we know they have the microfilm images. Perhaps they need approval from the individual counties or states to digitize them and publish them on FamilySearch. Are there projects to digitize and index those land records - especially the grantor and grantee indexes that provide information for individual records? I hope so - the indexes are name-rich, while the actual deeds are not that name-rich, although having an index of the witnesses and neighbors mentioned in a deed would be very useful.
2) Probate Records on FamilySearch:
The situation is better for Probate Records. There are statewide (or individual county) probate or estate record collections on FamilySearch for 31 states the last time I checked. These are not indexed, but are browsable. They are usually waypointed by county, and then by the probate record book titles. They can be efficiently used by finding index entries in the probate indexes that define either/and an estate file name or entries in the probate court clerk record books.
Why aren't there statewide (or individual county) digitized probate record collections on FamilySearch in browsable collections for the other states? These records are very useful to researchers, and we know they have the microfilm images.
We know that there are statewide collections of probate record images, taken from the microfilms, because they provided statewide collections to Ancestry.com back in 2013, and Ancestry indexed them (albeit poorly) and put them online as statewide databases in September 2015.
3) My view has been that "many 'brick wall' problems will be solved once land and probate records are available to researchers in digitized record collections."
I appreciate that we have so much digitized now, but there is so much more almost there. I'm just impatient, I guess.
Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver