I have now also just discovered that the Grantor/Grantee Indexes and Land Records (1838 – 1927) for DeKalb County, Illinois are now available for viewing at FamilySearch. I was happy to discover that this information exists because I do have some research interest in this county back to the 1875 – 1885 time period.
Remember the key part of discovering this. You need to frequently visit sites and see if any new additions have been incorporated since your last visit. I simply looked at the Illinois databases available within FamilySearch and saw this new database as of July 29, 2012.
There is also a very nice FamilyHistory Wiki entry that gives a great deal of information about these records, how to use them, related websites, related Wikis etc at:
You cannot search by surname in an indexed manner but it does appear that the images can be selected in smaller amounts based on whether you are looking for someone who was considered a “Grantor” (seller) or “Grantee” (buyer). The data is also broken out in manageable year ranges.
You will be in essence looking at the Grantor/Grantee Indexes as Microfilm images. There are separate Grantor indexes and separate Grantee indexes. So if you know of an ancestor that may have been an initial buyer of land in DeKalb County in Illinois, then you want to look at the “Grantee” indexes for the year you believe the event occurred. If you do not know the year you just have to browse through each book within the surname group that would apply to your ancestor. The names are not in complete alphabetical order but in order by the first letter of the surname. So you just have to look within the groupings of the names to look for an ancestor.
Yes, there is some work. But imaged indexes can still be very, very helpful in limiting the searching you have to do. True, a digitized computer index of the names would be great but that does not exist for this data. All is not lost in browsing through the material images as they exist. It may not take as much time as you may think.
The index information can ultimately steer you to the exact location where the transaction paperwork is noted by using the “Book” and “Page” part of the index. This is also available as images within the same database.
The index books show the following columns of information that you can extract about the land transaction:
- Description of Property
- When Filed
Use the Book/Page information to review the images in the actual land records data that exists within the same database.
I actually made one quick discovery of a land transaction from the Index for a surname of interest and then I went to the book/page number and read the full transaction. You can print the pages or save the images as JPEGs.
So if you have any research connection to DeKalb county, Illinois you may want to run quickly to the above links I provided and start looking through the data for any possible land transactions your ancestors may have done in this county, whether they were a buyer or seller or ultimately both.
It is easy and quick. My discovery probably took about 15 minutes.
I plan on spending much more time combing the online images to see if I can see any more transactions during the time periods noted.
Give it a try yourself.
Schaumburg Township District Library