American County Histories

County Land Records Bridge Gaps For Families

Sharon Tate Moody, board-certified genealogist, explains how land transfer records can really make a difference for researchers and family historians looking to solidify time lines and relationships when birth, marriage, and death records are lost or destroyed. In Land record treasures are far from ho hum she gives several examples where records of land transfers were able to not only confirm a marriage but also to establish a trail for a family from one county to another.

Accessible Archives lets you search the full text of its American County Histories collection where you can find a wealth of information for counties in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. To see if your family could benefit from a look in the archives check this list of counties in American County Histories Collection.

Most of these large county volumes were compiled and published between 1870 and 1900 and have long formed the cornerstone of local historical and genealogical research. They are encyclopedic in scope and virtually limitless in their research possibilities. To get an idea of how much time is covered, the counties of Delaware volumes cover 1609 to 1888.

From the Archives

In New Castle County, Delaware you will find gems like this:

The place known as “Cowgill’s Corners,” near Little Creek Landing, was, prior to 1760, in the possession of Joshua Clayton, who, by will January 21, 1761, devised it to his granddaughter, Eunice Osborne. He had previously conveyed to his daughter Sarah, widow of Thomas Cowgill, eighty-eight acres, a part of “Willingbrook,” May 11, 1750. The other tract was known as “Higham’s Ferry,” on which was the mansion-house. Eunice Osborne left the property to her children,— Elizabeth, wife of Henry Cowgill; Mary, widow of Israel Asten; Eunice, wife of Peter Edmonson; and Tabitha, wife of Jabez Jenkins. The latter sold to Henry Cowgill, January 3, 1794, one undivided quarter-interest in the lands of Eunice Osborne. He settled at the Corner, which took his name. Jabez Jenkins, November 12, 1711, bought of Richard Richardson one hundred and eighty-eight acres of land, a part of a large tract called “St. Andrew’s,” adjoining the land of John Clayton, and which was northwest of “London.” This tract of “St. Andrew’s “ is now owned by D. Mifflin Wilson. Jabez Jenkins’ land passed to his son, Timothy, and from him to his son Jabez, who, August 7, 1815, sold it to Sarah, wife of John Turner and Jonathan W. Mifflin.

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