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The theory of estates in land for genealogists

You might as well face it, the amount of information contained in land records is huge, but it is locked up in arcane and often obsolete legal terminology. Understanding the language unlocks the information in these old records. The modern concept of land ownership or estates have their origins in the 13th Century in England and the methods of land ownership in the United States are derived almost entirely from very early English precedents. The word "estate" itself, dates from feudal times and comes from the Latin word status when a person's ownership of land was connected to his political and personal status in the community.

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