24 March 2016

Norfolk County (MA) Transcribing More Than 250,000 Deeds

[Editor’s Note: A pop up screen will encourage you to subscribe, you can just shut it down and access the article]

... But anyone studying the nearly 200-year-old deed today might not be able to easily glean those reflections by Adams or the other particulars of the document. Handwritten in the flowing cursive style of the day, the densely-packed words are a challenge to read.

Now a nearly completed initiative by the Norfolk County registry is promising to make it much easier for modern readers to decipher the contents of the Adams deed and other old land records. In what officials say is the first project of its kind in New England, the registry in Dedham is transcribing into type all the county’s handwritten deeds from the time of its founding in 1793 to 1900, when the office switched to typing its documents...

To access the records, visit the Norfolk County Register of Deeds Records Database. It is recommended that you use Internet Explorer or Firefox and do NOT use Chrome, since Java is required and currently not supported by Chrome.

There are pay and free options.  I’d start with the free option and see if that is sufficient for your needs.

In North Carolina, many register of deeds offices have placed older indexes and/or complete runs of their deeds online.  

Has your local deed office or equivalent put records online?

Do you know of a local project which will improve access to records important to family history research? 

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