Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Searching for William Sever's (1729-1809) Land Records in Kingston, Mass.- The Deed Indexes

I received an email recently from a fellow who has purchased the "Squire Sever" house in Kingston, Massachusetts, which stands at 2 Linden Street.  He wanted background information about William Sever (1729-1809) so that he could substantiate when the "Squire Sever" house was built, perhaps around 1760, ostensibly by William Sever himself.

William Sever House (Wikipedia Commons)

I provided an ancestors report and a descendants report for William Sever (1729-1809) from my RootsMagic database so that he might be able to trace the owners of the house after William Sever died, and also the ancestry of William Sever.

My next step is to search for and obtain land deeds from Plymouth County, Massachusetts for William Sever.  Perhaps there is a grantee deed for land in Kingston from which we can determine the earliest date that it might have been built.

The Massachusetts Land Records, 1620-1986 record collection is on FamilySearch, with over 5.7 million record images.  The collection must be browsed, which means it cannot be searched by name.

I clicked on the "Browse through 5,766,135 images" link to see the list of counties in this collection:

Since Kingston is in Plymouth County, I clicked on "Plymouth" on the screen above.  This brought up the list of land record "volumes" available in the County offices:

Since William Sever likely was given or purchased the land in Kingston on which to build his house, I should first look at the "Grantee" indexes, which is indexed by Grantee - the person who receives the property.  With a Sever surname, William Sever should be in the "Deed index (grantee) 1685-1801 I-Y" volume.

I opened that volume and was able to find the list of deeds for William Sever on image 311 of 575:

Well, it looks like there are 33 deeds on the list for grantee William Sever, starting in Volume 42 (1752-1754) and ending in Volume 58 (1774-1779).  Gulp.  That's just the left-hand page!

The next step is to write down the volumes and page numbers for each deed, find the deed, download it, rename it, and peruse it to see if it concerns land in beautiful downtown Kingston.

The Google Map for Kingston shows the location of the house:

 A street view image of the house on the southeast corner of Linden Street and Main Street:

Hmmm, the house on the image above looks nothing like the house in the 1936 photograph.  Did Google Maps place it wrong?  Or has it been significantly remodeled?  I'll have to ask my email correspondent.

UPDATED 15 July:  It looks like Google Maps estimate of the address location was wrong.  Several readers have offered advice on this.  Thank you!  The correct location is on the other side of the street about half way down Linden Street.

No matter, the deeds are waiting!  More in a subsequent post.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

bgwiehle said...
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