DeedMapper Deed Entry Form

How to force the DeedMapper software program to display the Deed Entry Form every time a new deed is entered.

I received and installed the DeedMapper 4.2 upgrade about two weeks ago and immediately wanted to get started platting some of the 19th century New Jersey deeds that I have transcribed this year. Problem is, when I launched the program, I did not know where to start. I expected the Deed Entry Form to open when I opened a new deed, but it did not. All I saw was a vast empty screen:

deedmapper-main-windowThe DeedMapper Plot View screen

Here is how to activate the Deed Entry Form:

deedmapper-edit-deed-button

In the Plot View window, click the Edit Deed button shown above, just to the left of the Annotate button (the one that looks like a T). The Edit Deed button also appears on the Table View window.

deedmapper deed entry form
The DeedMapper Deed Entry Form simplifies deed data entry but is not enabled by default.

The Deed Entry Form was one of the enhancements in version 4 of the software that simplifies data entry but is not enabled by default. To force the program to open the Deed Entry Form every time a new deed file is started go to View > Options  and select the Text View tab. Under New deed entry on the left, click the radio button to select Deed entry form. The next time you open the program the Deed Entry Form will display automatically.

deedmapper view options window

I have used my new DeedMapper software upgrade to successfully plat three metes and bounds style surveys of land that I believe are relevant to my early Carson family research in Mercer County, New Jersey. The next order of business is to actually place these plat drawings on a contemporary New Jersey map. I have consulted a gazetteer to hone in on what hamlet or township various features described in deeds were located in to track down the proper maps.

deedmapper data entry form with first call
The land described in this 1842 deed from Abraham Rogers and wife to Aaron Eldredge was acquired by Daniel Carson just a few years later. The data entry form above shows the first call in the survey.

Carefully reading, transcribing and platting deeds surveyed using metes and bounds methods will reveal relationships and neighbors, and is a useful exercise in your genealogy research.

Preparing for IGHR 2016

facade of the harwell goodwin davis library at samford university
Harwell Goodwin Davis Library at Samford University, home to IGHR. Photo by author.

I am eagerly awaiting the start of IGHR (Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research), the oldest genealogy institute in the United States. 2016 marks the last year it will be held at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. I attended in 2011 and 2012, and am enrolled for the 2016 institute which starts next month.

I was fortunate to get registered for the sold-out Course 7, Metes & Bounds & Land Plats. In 2012, I took Advanced Land Research at SLIG with Rick and Pam Sayre, but this promises to be an even more hands-on class. We will be outside (in Alabama, in June!) part of the time doing compass and orientation work as well as hands-on with historic surveying methods. There is also time scheduled for a practicum, putting skills to work. I intend to search my files in advance for a few different metes and bounds deeds from New Jersey and Virginia to have with me in case we get to work on our own projects as part of the class.

To that end, I am purchasing the latest upgrade to my copy of DeedMapper, which I will be dusting off and installing on my laptop, and will also watch this series of nine short videos on YouTube by Direct Line Software, the folks who bring us the DeedMapper software.

Will you be attending IGHR this year? What are you doing to prepare?

Web Sightings: Kentucky Tax List Articles

Tax records are among the most under-utilized records by genealogists. Kandie Adkinson has a comprehensive series of articles on historic Kentucky tax records online that may help bridge that gap.

Kandie Adkinson NGS Presentation on DVDA presentation on DVD by Kandie Adkinson, an expert on Kentucky land and tax records

When I go to national genealogical conferences, I am typically overwhelmed by the sheer number of available classes. With so many simultaneous great sessions it is difficult to choose among them. Narrowing the selection down to one is darned near impossible, but is necessary due to the laws of physics. I can only be in one place at a time.

One way I make the cut is to see what classes are being recorded that would then be available for purchase. Not all sessions are recorded. Even if recorded, some topics lend themselves to live viewing because of the use of visual aids like PowerPoint. If a class is recorded, then I may choose to purchase the DVD rather than attend in person.

It was for these reasons I came home with the DVD from Kandie Adkinson’s presentation at the National Genealogical Society’s 2014 annual conference in Richmond, Virginia. The presentation was titled: “Kentucky Land Patents: Mind Bogglers or Treasures?” I have listened to this presentation perhaps 7 or 8 times now, and wish I had chosen to attend her talk in person. It is that good.

Because of the quality of Adkinson’s talk, I recently decided to search for more information about her and other material that she may have published. I learned that Kandie Prather Adkinson is an Administrative Specialist with the Land Office Division of the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office with more than 30 years experience with land records. She also received an award in 2011 from the Kentucky Historical Society for two articles about tax records published in Kentucky Ancestors, the state genealogical journal.

Why am I telling you about this great content from a DVD and a printed journal from 2010 in an article about web resources? As I have learned, four articles about Kentucky tax records authored by Adkinson were published in 2015 at Kentucky Ancestors Online, a digital publication of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Here are the direct links to all four of Kandie Adkinson’s fantastic articles on Kentucky tax records, covering the time period from 1792-1880. Click on the links under each image below to read the full article.

kentucky-tax-lists-1792-1840
Tax Lists (1792-1840): An Overlooked Resource for Kentucky History and Land Titles

kentucky-tax-lists-1841-1860
Tax Lists (1841-1860): An Overlooked Resource for Kentucky History and Land Titles

Kentucky Civil War Tax Lists
 Kentucky Tax Lists: Revenue Collection During the Civil War (1861-1865)

kentucky-tax-lists-1866-1880
Kentucky Tax Lists: Revenue Collection after the Civil War (1866-1880)

Perhaps after reading these articles you will be encouraged to delve into tax research whatever the geographic location of interest to you. I know that I will definitely pursue Kentucky tax records on my next visit to the Family History Library in January 2016 in an effort to learn more about my early Bingaman ancestors who were supposedly living there by 1798.