There are a number of ways to find deed information. The following are the most common ways to find deed information: 

  • Deed index – A deed index is an index kept by the Register of Deeds Office which contains full copies of the deed as recorded by the clerk. Deed indexes are usually kept on a county wide level. Different jurisdictions have different systems and formats for there deed index. An example of a type of deed index is an alphabetical listing of all deeds recorded within a particular county.
  • State archives – Many states have programs which preserve public records such as deeds. These programs usually make microfilm copies of the records available for viewing, usually at a state library or state historical society, or provide the microfilm for sale. 
  • Deed books – There are a number of commercial deed books for sale that contain abstracts of recorded deed information. These companies are also developing CD-ROMs that contain land record information.
  • Microfilm copies of deeds – Some organizations rent or sell microfilm copies of old deed records.  
  • Libraries – Many libraries also contain microfilm copies of county records such as deeds. Contact your local library to see if such records are available. 
  • Title search – An examination of county records to determine the property’s title history by a commercial agent such as a title company, an attorney, or escrow officer.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Research a Deed?

Deeds are very important documents which affect ownership interests and rights in parcels of real property. An experienced real estate attorney can make certain that all proper locations and venues where deed information may be located have been searched. A real property lawyer also can help you understand the terms of a deed and help you defend any attacks on the title to your property.