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.

Series ID
Contents/notesHints and helpers
(Open in new window)
Warrants, patents, etc.
Warrants index (whole state)
SM129Index (persons) to warrants
6 PDF files (538 MB total)
Also on microfilm at Archives at SE36

Originals at Archives (in order of usefulness):
  S1285: Warrants (paper, 1699-1793 scanned, available @ Archives)
  S23: Patent records (original books)
  SE23: Patent records (microfilm, most scanned; only Book 17 online)
  SM230: Warrant record, 1681-1685, WC#4 (scanned microfilm)

BA Patented CertificatesS1190Alphabetical 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 into difficult to use indexes.

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, it does not process the "Back" button on your browser correctly, sending you to a nearly blank page with a form for applying "filter", with no hint on how to use the form.

Clicking on the link in the 2nd column returns a strange list.

You can instead use Advanced Search in 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 3rd column for a single index I created.

BA Unpatented CertificatesS1213Alphabetical 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 Record (books)SE23List of patent books
Only book #17 online (340MB) - others scanned, but must go to Archives to view them.
For online images of earlier ones, see BA tract (Patent) List (link below in this column). For later, after about 1720, see BA Patented and Unpatented Certificates above.
Patent Index (Index 54)S1426Alphabetical by owner name
433 PDF files (about 1 MB each) (a-ab, ac-adams, adams-addams, etc.) Alphabetical by person's name, whole state - easy to use - suggest that you download them all first and save them.
Provides liber/folio for Certificate and Patent, year, area, county
BA Tract (Patents) Index (1658-1965)S1582Alphabetical list by tract name
11,358 items, provides name, area, liber/folio of certificates and patents, no data online.
Very large, so try 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, see next item or Patented/Unpatented Certificates above.

My consolidated, simplified, smaller list is here

BA Tract (Patent) ListS1582? Do not attempt to use the link at the left!
Each time this link is clicked, it leads 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 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. To make matters worse, the "back" function on your browser then leads to an empty page, not the one you came from!
Here is a full assembled list in Liber order (thru 1857) allowing search (and links to some images)
Note that the "Liber Order" is not actually by date, but seems to be some "historical" order that the books were found in when cataloging first began.
Deeds, etc.
Provincial Land Records Index (1658-1790)SE17
Index 139
(Vol 680)
Alphabetical index, surnames and tract names  
Provincial Land Records Index (1658-1815)SM971 file to download (277 MB)
Index by surname and tract name
Note: SM97 labeled 1658-1777, but file downloaded is for 1658-1815.
Provincial Land Records Index (1658-1790)SM237 PDF files (300 MB total)
Provincial Land Records (1658-1777)SM22Land records
SM601 PDF file 47 MB, Alphabetical by tract name
"Ejectments, Partitions, Common Recoveirs, Fieri Faciass"
Lands conveyed by act of Provincial Court
List of books referenced
Original books in Huntington Collection
Tract index of deeds - BA Co (1798-1851)CE15/C2841Alphabetical list (by 1st 2 letters)
Lists all deeds for each tract name. Provides page-by-page look-up
Deed indexes
for these.
(requires password)
CE32/CE33BA County deed index, grantee/grantor, 1655-1851Sometimes 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, combined, 1659-1800 (This is not the preferable index to use.)
Index into index
CE35BA County deed index, combined, 1851-1921
Grouped by 1851-1874, 1874-1895, 1895-1904, 1905-1914, 1915-1921
By 1st letter of surname, 1st letter of given name, grantor/grantee combined
Most have online index into index, but helper files following:
Summary of indexing schemes
Indexes into indexes:
CE166/CE167Baltimore City deed index, grantee/grantor, 1851-presentSummary of indexing schemes
Indexes into indexes:
DeedsTE1"Security" copy of Baltimore County deeds, 1659-1800Use these if an image is missing or blurred in the primary source above.
Huntington collection, TE1-108 through TE1-153
Rent Rolls
Rent Rolls IndexS14281639-1776, Index 56 (cards)Alpha by owner, gives tract name, area, time period, reference - unknown what reference is
15 PDF files - total 175 MB
See S1429 for Index 57 for Anne Arundel County.
Rent Roll Indexesn/aThese are the index pages extracted from the files in the next two items:
  SR4376-6, SM130-6 (1658-1773), images 2-34
  SR4377-1, SM130-7 (1658-1771), images 1-19
  SR4386-1, SM130-31 (1774-1775) and SM131-5 (1782-1790), images 4-8
Rent RollsSM1301639-1776Microfilm version of S18
60 items, most scanned, viewable at Archives. Ones for Baltimore County:
SR4376-6, 1658-1773, pgs 191-283
SR4377-1, 1658-1771
SR4384-1, 1733-1774 (not scanned)
SR4384-2, 1733-1774 (not scanned)
SR4385-1, 1753-1770
SR4385-2, 1733-1774
SR4386-1, 1774-1775, pgs 1-47
  (see SM131 for pgs 48-66)
Patent list (rent rolls)SM1311782-179011 reels MF, 1 for BA is scanned
BA is supposed to be online, but bad link
1783 Tax listS1437Index 65, links to AoM Vol 81, which then provides 1 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 indexS1438Index 66 (but it isn't)Identified as "tract" index, but it is not. Points to same surname index as above.
1798 Tax list (Federal)SM56/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 the link on the right (Index).
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
1799-1907, generally alphabetical by surname
State Road Plats 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. The Archives access mechanism also has a very aggravating error.

31,028 platsContains:
   1932-1976 #1-45680
   1978-1987 #46458, 506434 (2 items)
   2010-2017 #58303-60434 (12 items)
   1930-1931 AAA-ZZ (#92005-95900)
10,241 platsContains:
   1932-2001 #153-91619
   1930-1931 AAN-ZQ (#92068-95891)
1,801 platsContains:
   1966-2018 #33669-91089
   2002-2003 #91183-92202
Right of way plats (BA Co)
C2140About 3,500 itemsFrom Plat books 15-21 and other plats. Order of list is roughly Plat Books 15-21 and R1A and R1 mixed in and then right-of-way plats about #20020 to #45880 in no particular order. Contins interstates and State roads.
  Alternate format for access by book or r/w plat number.
(Only works correctly if you first delete the cookie
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 - City (1851-1988)CE9/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 password)
Chancery 1760-1853
(12,226 items)
S512Sort 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.

Chancery 1815-1851
(4,443 items)
C295Chronological order
Chancery 1851-1870
(1,865 items)
C168Chronological order
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 7 July 2019