How to Search Cherokee County, GA Land Records Online

Yay! Genealogists with Georgia ancestry are in luck. We can search Cherokee County Georgia land records online and (hopefully) bust through some brick walls. Here’s how to get started:

Intro to Searching Cherokee County, GA Deeds Online

Cherokee County GA Index Book Search

You’ll arrive at a page with two search engines:

Cherokee County GA Deed Index Book Search

The search engine on the left (“Index Book Series”) allows you to look up the names of your ancestors or other individuals who have bought and sold land in Cherokee County, GA. You can also look up where companies, churches or other entities bought and sold land. An index page will look like this:

Cherokee County GA Deed Page

The search engine on the right (“Book Type”) allows you to look up the actual deed record where your ancestor bought and sold the land. It will look like this:

Cherokee County Georgia Deed Record

Now comes the fun part.

How to find your Ancestor in Cherokee County Georgia Deed Books

  1. In the lefthand search engine (“Index Book Series”) choose the index book you would like to search. These index books are divided roughly by year, though you may have to search more than one deed book to find your ancestor.

Cherokee County GA Deed Index Book Search

These are the approximate years that each deed book covers:

  • Deed Index No 1 – 1832 to mid-1850’s
  • Deed Index Volume 2 – Mid 1850’s to late 1870’s
  • Deed Index Volume 3 – Late 1870’s to to late 1890’s
  • Deed Index Volume 4 – Late 18890’s to approximately 1910
  • Deed Index Volume 5 – Approximately 1910 to approximately 1919
  • Deed Index Volume 6 – Approximately 1920 to 1930
  • The rest of the deed books are listed by year

2. Choose whether to search the “Grantor” or “Grantee.” The “Grantor” is the seller and the “Grantee” is the buyer. For genealogical purposes, I recommend searching for your ancestor as both the Grantor and Grantee. In many cases, your ancestor may have bought or sold land from a family member and finding every transaction can help you put the story together.

3. Once you’ve chosen which Deed Index you want to search, and whether you want to search for a “Grantor” or “Grantee,” enter your ancestor’s last name in the “Last Name” field and click “Show Results.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 11.57.21 AM

4. You’ll see an entry that looks like this. Click the magnifying glass.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 11.58.59 AM

This will take you to scanned copies of the actual deed index.

5. Click the magnifying glass with the plus sign at the top of zoom in so you can read the names. From here, scan down the list to find your ancestor’s name.

Pro tip: Don’t stop once you’ve found your ancestor’s name for the first time. They may have been involved in more than one land transaction.

In the below example, L. B. Hughes is involved in two different land transactions with two different sellers.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.03.21 PM

6. From here, you can see vital information such as the name of the buyer and the seller of the land, the date the transaction took place, the date the transaction was recorded in court, and whether the transaction was a Deed (sale), Mortgage or something else, such as a Power of Attorney. And best of all, you can find out in which Cherokee County Georgia Deed Book the sale was recorded. This is what will allow you to find out where your ancestors lived.

In the below example, G. J. Holbrook bought land from J. T. Hendrix. The sale took place on 23 Nov 1903, and it was recorded at the courthouse on 19 Dec 1903. In the last two columns, you can see that you’ll find the record of the sale in Cherokee County Deed Book GG p. 150.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.08.17 PM

7. To see the actual deed record, you’ll need to use the righthand search (“Book Type”) bar on the Index Book Search.

In Book Type choose “Deed.” Enter the Deed Book (these are always letters) and the page that you would like to see, then click “Deed Search.” Here’s what you would enter to find the entry in the example above:

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.13.45 PM

8. Clicking “Deed Search” will open up a new browser tab. You’ll see a page that looks like this:

Cherokee County GA Public Records Deeds.png

This is a scan of the original recording of your ancestor’s land transaction. (Keep in mind that this is also a copy. The actual deed, along with a seal, would have been given to the person buying the land. You can search “land deed with seal” online to see some examples.)

9. From here you can print this out, save it as a PDF or click the “Zoom” button to zoom in and read the text on your screen.

Pro Tip: This text can be hard to read, so I’ve made you a cheat sheet to help you find vital info like the buyer’s and seller’s names, county of residence, amount of sale, and the district, section and lot number where your ancestor bought or sold land.

Free Cherokee County Georgia Land Deed Cheat Sheet

Click here to get your Cherokee County Georgia Land Records Cheat Sheet!

10. The deed record is where you will find where in Cherokee County, Georgia your ancestor bought or sold land. At the top lefthand side of each deed will be a little box that shows the name of the seller, the name of the buyer and some numbers. Like this:

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.25.16 PM.png

Those numbers indicate where the land was located. In this case, the lot number is 301, the section number is 14, and the district number is 2.

These numbers are written backward in order of the size of the parcel of land. District is the large, section is the second largest, and lot is the smallest.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.33.33 PM.png

The “district” is written last. All of modern Cherokee County falls into district 2, so this number should never change.

The “section” is written in the middle. In this case, the land is in section 14. You can use a map such as the 1895 Map of Cherokee County Georgia from the National Archives to find the section where your ancestor lived. In this case, section 14 is located in the middle of Cherokee County.

1895 Cherokee County GA Map
(Source: The Library of Congress)

The “lot” is the smallest piece of land, and this indicates exactly where in section 14 this person bought or sold land. You can find Cherokee County land lots by using the Cherokee County Online GIS system. Click here for my blog post and video on using Cherokee County’s GIS to find your ancestor’s land.

Do you have any questions about searching for your ancestors in Cherokee County, Georgia land records, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

And don’t forget to click here for your Cherokee County Georgia Land Records Cheat Sheet.

Happy detecting!

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