Deed Books are mysterious things to so many genealogists. They contain much data on family relationships, locations, times, and places. So let us look at the deed books and the finding aids for them.

Deed books can be found in the courthouse at the county level, at FamilySearch LDS web site, or at a state archives on film. Some counties have scans of the deeds online, but most of these are modern instruments.

The first finding aid is the general index called Grantor-Grantee or Direct-Indirect (or in Louisiana Vendor-Vendee Index). For reference a Grantor index is an alphabetic list of sellers and a Grantee index is an alphabetic list of purchasers. This index covers a large number of deed books over a period of years in rough alphabetical order by surname and often starting with the oldest item within each letter of alphabet. It covers land transfers and mortgages.

The other finding aid is the index found in each deed book. This is usually found in the front or back of the deed book and covers only that one book. Unlike the Grantor Grantee index everything in the book is listed. This includes deeds, mortgages, deeds for slaves, livestock deeds, marks & brands, bonds for county officers, and even some marriages in early records.