Research helpers

Deed and land research helpers for Baltimore region

(MSA Series IDs like S1190, SE17, and CE9 can be entered at Archives records to get to these databases.)

Note: The Helper buttons below use pop-up windows. If you do not see them, you must tell your browser to accept pop-ups for this site.

Jump to: Warrants/patentss   |   Leases   |   Deeds   |   Land Commissions   |   Surveys   |   Rent rolls   |   Taxes   |   Other

Series ID
Contents/notesHints and helpers
(Open in new window)
Warrants, patents, etc.    
Settlers' Index1634-1680S1503Index 117References to entries in Patent Books which indicate names of those transported as well as those who did the transporting. Generally, these are records of warrants (for land).
Warrants index (whole state)1636-1842SM129Index (persons) to warrants
6 PDF files (538 MB total)
Also listed under SE36

Originals (in order of usefulness):
  SE23: Patent records (next)
  S1285: Warrants (paper, 1699-1793 scanned and available @ Archives)
  SM230: Warrant record, 1681-1685, WC#4 (scanned microfilm)
  S23:Warrant record, 1661-1967, not scanned.

Patent Record (books)1637-1979SE23Patent books
Put online on July 30, 2020 at my request.
184 PDF files (about 30 GB total)
For those after about 1720, see BA Patented and Unpatented Certificates above.
Confusion factor: patent books are also listed in series S11 and SM2, which each give slightly different information concerning availablity. (See Patent records helper above.)
Patent Record (books) old1657-1815SE24Old patent books. First 16 (1657-1683) are online (1.9 GB total). Include warrants, etc.The certs and patents were transcribed starting in about 1726 and are in SE23. These "old" books are in amazingly good condition. They can be referenced if pages are missing in SE23. Most of these have an index for that Book, but search through all pages of the indexes, as there are multiple in some books.
Patent Record1657-1975SM2Patent books.Same as SE23, but 188 PDF files.
Caveat record1740-1976S5List of 821 casesChallenges to patents. List gives name of tracts, people involved - but no data online. Hint: Go to bottom to change display to 1000 per page, so all 821 items are displayed, so you can use the Browser's search function on the whole list.
BA Patented Certificates1704 - 1965S1190

Alphabetical list of Patented Certificates (surveys)
5561 entries - Original surveys for patents since about 1724
Alphabetical list (with a few anomalies)

My simplified list of Patented Certificates

Unfortunately, the Archives has made these indexes very difficult to use.

Sometimes the link in the 1st column returns a list of groups of hundreds of entries by number (e.g., 200-299) with no names, so you have to hunt for the one you want, knowing that they are in alphabetical order. And when you get to a page that is supposed to display a range of a hundred entries, the messed-up sorting ends up with a jumble, for example selecting 1-99 gives a list starting with 11-49, then 6, 7, and 8, continuing with 83-89, then 9, 1 (listed twice), then others. To make matters worse, sometimes the same link returns a completely unknown form for entering a "filter", with no hint on how to use the form.

Clicking on the link in the 3rd column returns a strange list in "MSA Citation" order, which has no relation to reality. Reordering (by clicking on a heading) does not result in any meaningful order.

You can instead use Advanced Search to determine the Patented or Unpatented Certificate number and link to data. Enter the name or part of the name.

Best choice: use the links in the 4th column for a single, proper, easy to use, numerical list (which is alphabetical) that I created.

BA Unpatented Certificates1669-1898S1213

Alphabetical list of Unpatented Certificates (surveys)
1852 entries - Original surveys for those not patented, and leases
Alphabetical list (with a few anomalies)

My simplified list of Unpatented Certificates

Patent Index (Index 54) S1426Alphabetical by owner name
434 PDF files (about 1 MB each, 470 MB total) (grouped: a-ab, ac-adams, adams-addams, etc.) Whole state - Alphabetical by person's name - easy to use.
Suggestion: Download and save all first.
Provides liber/folio for Certificate and Patent, year, area, county
BA Tract (Patents) Index1658-1965S1582

Alphabetical list by tract name (by County)
11,358 items, provides name, area, liber/folio of certificates and patents, no data online.
Very large, so use only if you a desperate!

This data contains lots of entries for parcels that are no longer in Baltimore County. Hopefully, some day, this will provide links to images. Until then, use SE23 or Patented/Unpatented Certificates above.

My consolidated, simplified, smaller list (BA) is here

Other Counties are in S1580-S1602.

BA Tract (Patent) List S1582 This link is rather useless! And strangely, it is different than the S1582 link above.
Each time it is clicked, it may lead to a different display, apparently dependent on what you did before (as saved in a "cookie"). Sometimes, it leads to a form, with no instructions on how to use it. When it does manage to display a list of "books", achievable only after deleting the "cookie", the list is sort of reverse chronological order (by Liber) (but not in any rational order by Liber name) and then by folio within each liber of those in Baltimore County - it is hard to use since it is broken up into small pieces (one per liber) and each is not in any recognizable sequence - and does not provide links to online data anyway. Besides, it has serious mistakes, e.g., clicking on what should be Liber "6 (1663)" returns a long list of 284 entries that includes Libers 6, BC&GS#6, EE#6, EI#6, GGB#6, PL#6, and Y&S#6. Only one entry is actually in "Liber 6".
Here is a full assembled list in Liber order for BA (thru 1857) allowing search.
Note that the "Liber Order" is not actually by date, but seems to be some "historical" order that the books were found in when indexing first began. To see actual images, go to SE23.

Lists for other counties can be found by going to Plats

Leases - index1707-1771Index to GGB A and GGB B (index by tract namess)
Contents of Books GGB A and GGB B (by leesee surname)
During the most recent re-bindings of this material, it appears that the books were mislabeled, resulting in the material in the book labeled GGB A being what should be in GGB B, and vice versa.
GGB C is those not in Baltimore County when the book was transcribed from the originals (about 1835). E-mail me if you need a photo-copy of any lease.
Leases1707-1771S16GGB A (Aryon-Kersey) mislabeled GGB B
GGB B (Lacy-Young) mislabeled GGB A
GGB C (also in series SM231)
Lease agreements1704-1742S1005-17AA/BAScharf collection (all paper records at Archives)

Combined list for BA
Deeds, etc.   
Land records indexes1658-1815Note: The following 7 items include multiple versions and copies of indexes for the same set of land records. I have tried to make sense out of them and provide clarification here, but have not succeeded. You should look through all of the indexes for the time period you're interested in. I hope these notes help.
Provincial Land Records Index1658-1790SE17
Index 139
(Vol 680)
Alphabetical index, surnames and tract names
Provincial Land Records Index1658-1815SM961 PDF file, 298 images (153 MB)
Index by surname and tract name
All also contained in SM97?
Provincial Land Records Index1658-1815SM95same as SM96
Provincial Land Records Index1676-1815SM971 PDF file, 627 images (277 MB)
Index by surname
Seems to have entries not in SM96
Provincial Land Records Index1676-1815SM237 PDF files (300 MB total)
Land records index1774-1790SM991 PDF file, 281 images (25 MB)
Index to books DD#6, TBH#1, TBH#2, JG#1
Also included in SM98.
Land records index1676-1815SM981 PDF file, 329 images (179 MB)
same as ??
Provincial Land Records1658-1777SM22/S552Books S, BB, FF, JJ, MM, NN, WRC, TL2, PL3, TP4, PL5, PL6, PL8, EI3, EI8, EI9, BT1, BT4, DD2-DD5
AoMOL Volumes 41, 49, 51, 57, 65, 66, 717, etc
Provincial Land Records1709-1774S1286Land records, books TP4, EI3, BT1, DD2, DD5
in AoMOL Volumes 720, 699, 702, 724, 726
Contains transcription and original
General Court,
Western Shore
1777-1805SM93/S501Land record, books DD6, TBH1, TBH2, JG1, JG2, JG3B, JG4, JG5, JG6, JG7 (Only Book TBH1 online in AoMOL Vol 728)(request made to Archives to put rest online)
Ejectments1679-1778SM601 PDF file (47 MB), Alpha by tract name - "Ejectments, Partitions, Common Recoveirs, Fieri Faciass"
Lands conveyed by act of Provincial Court (also found in S550)
List of books referenced
Original books in Huntington Collection
Tract index of deeds - BA Co1798-1851CE15/C2841Alphabetical list (by 1st 2 letters)
Lists all deeds for each tract name. Provides page-by-page look-up
Deed indexes
for these.
(requires log-in)

BA County deed index, 1655-1851
Sometimes it is hard to read the deed book designation in the old indexes. This list should help.     
This is an index into the indexes:    
CE34BA County deed index, grantee/grantor combined, 1659-1800 (This is not the preferable index to use.)
Index into index
CE35BA County deed index, grantee/grantor combined, 1851-1921
Grouped by years: 1851-1874, 1874-1895, 1895-1904, 1905-1914, 1915-1921
By 1st letter of surname, 1st letter of given name
Most have online index into index, but helper files following:
Summary of indexing schemes
Indexes into indexes:

BA County deed index, grantee/grantor separate
Grouped by years, same as CE35 plus 1922-1940, then by decade after that
Summary of indexing schemes
Each index has index at start.

Baltimore City deed index, 1851-present
Summary of indexing schemes
Indexes into indexes:
Baltimore County Deeds1659-1851CE661832-1849 online. See following for 1659-1800All available at  
1659-1800TE1"Security" copyUse these if an image is missing or blurred in the primary source above.
Huntington collection, TE1-108 through TE1-153
Land Commissions
County1727-1831CM164HWS#3 (178 images) 1727-1737
HWS&BB#4 (128 images) 1737-1762
These are online in TE1-112 and TE1-113 in E-books (one image displayed at a time with some images missing).

I have downloaded both and created a single file for each to facilitate searching. Available here: HWS#3 (260 MB) and HWS&BB#4 (465 MB)

The filming of HWS&BB#44 failed to show the page numbers on most images. These helpers provide a list of the contents of each and give the page number and, for HWS&BB#4, the image number in the file.


Papers - County1785-1851C349List of 334 case files - included in S1472 belowOnly one online is 1822 petition and survey to straighten Old Court Road, now Joppa Road, Towson to Perry Hall.
Rest not online, but list gives details such as plaintiff, defendant, parcel name or subject
Papers - City1852-1908C203List of 162 case files - included in S1472 below
Docket - County1821-1851CE444Book D, pgs 1-73 (150 images)Scanned, but not online
Docket - City1851-1922CE445Book D pgs 73-140 (150 images)
Equity and Land Commission index1785-1908S1472Index 81 - 1 file (2 MB)
Alternate - local file with notes (1.5 MB)
Contains information on names of parties, tract name.
Includes C349 and C203 above.
Baltimore City/County1784-1851C2042
List of contentsAbout 100 files, mostly road surveys and ejectments
Now found in under Baltimore County
List of contentsMostly surveys of additions to Baltimore City.
Now found in under Baltimore County
s/a C2843
List of contentsExtraneous surveys from Baltimore and further.
Surveys1764-1804CM145Contains early surveys. Following are images of indexes from the books. Images of the actual surveys are not online.
  William Smith (1764-1768)
  George G Presbury (1782-1790)
  Thomas Gist (1790-1804)
Henry W. Archer (d. 1898)CM1244List of tracts (up to "M") - not useful
CM13242 files. Contains:
File #1 (12 MB):
  Archer's Index [images 5-124]
  List of 915 Patented Certificates as of 1928 [images 128-183]
  List of 528 Unpatented Certificates as of 1928 [images 184-218]
File #2 (5.6 MB):
  List of patents and unpatented not listed above (see image 1 for notes) most prior to 1774
CM124310 files, 152 MB total
(Mostly Harford County.) Transcription of surveyor's books of Thomas White, Daniel Scott, David & William Clark, John Love, James Calder & Patrick Doran, and James Steel and a set labeled Harford Colonial Certificates.
Rent Rolls/Debt books
Rent Rolls Tract Index1639-1776S1428Index 56 (cards) All counties except AA.
15 PDF files - total 175 MB
Alpha by owner
Gives tract name, area, time period, reference (like #2-434, which is reference into SM130 - #2 points to Rent Book 2) Seems to only go up to Rent Book #12, so very few Baltimore County.
1651-1776S1429Index 57 (AA County)None online
Rent Rolls Tract Index1658-1775SM130
These are the index pages extracted from SM130.
Rent Rolls1639-1776SM130This series is broken down by counties.60 PDF files (50-100 MB each). Ones for Baltimore County:
 SM130-6, 1658-1773, index and folios 191-283 [images 36-128]
SM130-7, 1658-1771, index and folios 284-568 [20-306]
SM130-27, 1733-1774, index and folios 1-417 [24-445]
SM130-28, 1733-1774, index and f. 301-613 [16-323]
SM130-29, 1753-1770, index and f. 1-300 [17-319]
SM130-30, 1733-1774, index and folios 1-243 [14-257]
SM130-31, 1774-1790, index and folios 1-47 and 48-66 [9-65]
Patent list (rent rolls)1782-1790SM131This series is identifed as "Patent List", but is rent rolls. It is broken down by counties.11 reels MF. Item for BA (SM131-5) is scanned and supposed to be online, but it's a bad link. It is pages 48-66 in SM130-31 (above).
Debt Book, Index1753-1774S1430Index 58 (cards)
24 PDF files, only 3 are for BA County (total 33 MB)
Alpha by owner, gives tract name and reference
Reference is to year and folio.
Note: 1st (S1430-2) - BA begins on image 410
Actual books in S12 (incl Baltimore) and SM124 (no Baltimore) - none online.
Debt books1733-1775S12Books 5-9 (1754-1771) for Baltimore CountyOnly Book 5 (1754-1757) scanned (4 items?), but not online
1783 Tax list - surname index1783S1437Index 65, links to AoMOL Vol 81, which then provides 1 small file per countyProvides owner's name, tract name, size, hundred, page number in record. Go to Archives to view originals in S1161-18 through -29 (microfilm SCM871, which has been scanned)
Hopefully, these will be put online soon!
Downloaded and reformatted copy: 
1783 Tax list - tract index1783S1438Index 66 (but it isn't)Identified as "tract" index, but it is not. Points to same surname index as above which can be searched for tract name.
1798 Tax list (Federal)1798SM56/Vol 729Page-by-page display of 6000+ pages
Gives tract names, area, list of buildings, type and size of each, etc.
The Archives page (link on left) is pretty much useless. Use this link.
Tax list (City)1798-1915BRG4-1Name index, 1798-1808 (download and save - 8MB)
Tax lists for 1799-1800, 1801-03, 1804-08, 1809-12, 1818, 1822-1915
Generally alphabetical by surname
State Road Plats
(All counties)
About 43,000 plats
Look-up road plat from numbers occasionally found in deeds to find what was there before the road work.

These three series contain overlapping time periods and series of plats. It appears that each plat was randomly included in one or the other of the three series.

1930-2017S1624These have been moved!
They can now be found only at At the top, obscured in the yellow bar, "State Highway Plats" is a link to a search form. Use the "By Plat Number" field or click on one of the Series numbers listed below it.
Contains 31,016 plats:
   1932-1976 #1-45680
   1978-1987 #46458, 506434 (2 items)
   2010-2017 #58303-60434 (12 items)
   1930-1931 AAA-ZZ (#92005-95900)
1930-2001S1625Contains 9,719 plats:
   1932-2001 #153-91619
   1930-1931 AAN-ZQ (#92068-95891)
1966-2018S1742Contains 2,674 plats:
   1966-2018 #33669-91089
   2002-2003 #91183-92202
Right of way plats (BA Co)1949-1987C2140About 3,500 itemsFrom Plat books 15-21 and other plats. Order of list is Plat Books 15, 15A, 15B, 15C, 15D, TBS16, GLB1-21, R1A, R1, and then right-of-way plats about #10550 to #50000 in no particular order. Contains interstates and State roads.
Block maps - CityC284521 maps of city - JPG and PDFIndex map (with links to maps)
or access CE225 through
or use tax records to find block number for current address
Block Books - City1851-1988CE9/CE10/CE165Lists all deeds for a block for time period: 1851-86, 1887-1904, 1905-13, 1914-21, 1922-27, 1928-35, 1936-42, 1943-47, 1948-53, 1954-59, 1960-66, 1967-76, 1977-88
Cannot access through Archives
Sample of data
Access through (with log-in)
(12,226 items)

Sort of alphabetical by main name, but not completely. Use filter on description to reduce display to name of interest. Sort by date does not work! A few items link to images.

Divorces, foreclosures, estates, etc.
Only the list of descriptions is online, but description lists all the names and what the case was about.

Equity Court (County)
(4,443 items)
1815-1851C295Chronological order
Consolidated, smaller, easier to use list.
Equity Court (City)
(1,865 items)
1851-1870C168Chronological order
Consolidated, smaller, easier to use list.
Real Property Searchn/aProvides information about current properties - owner, deed reference, block number (in the City), etc.(Remember not to enter "Rd", "St", etc. in Street Name field.)
Plats.netn/aMostly a handy list of links as detailed above.Use the Advanced Search function to find tract by name.

Other helpers for Baltimore area records:


Updated 5 Dec 2021