How to Search County Records
Searching in the Registry
The Registry of Deeds houses the recorded image of all documents related to the ownership of real estate, such as deeds, mortgages, liens and surveyor’s plans/maps.
Recorded documents and plans are assigned a sequential identifying number known as the book and page and are then scanned into the Registry’s computer system. The resulting images are available for viewing and printing from public access terminals at the Registry office or over the internet. Land records cover from the year 1753 to present, and plans range from 1828 to present. Records prior to these dates may be found in York County or Massachusetts (based on how far back research is being conducted). To assist customers in finding documents and plans, the Registry has available indices which contain names of all parties on the document that are either grantors or grantees. Plan indices contain the title of the plan, the record owner, and all street locations in and around the surveyed site.
You may conduct a search in the Registry by looking for name or book and page number. None of our records are indexed by street address. If you do not know the name of a person who owns a property, that information may be obtained via tax records (some of the cities and towns have property tax information online) or you might call the assessor’s office in the city/town where property is located and ask for the current owner’s name. No matter the type of document being researched, you must have a name to begin the search process.
Plans may be researched by name of record owner of the property that has been surveyed, by name of the project, and by street names (either specific street on which property is located, or surrounding street names as well). Our indices list every possible name that is contained in a plan to aid in a successful search. Keep in mind that ONLY plans that have been recorded are available for view. Plans are not automatically recorded with regard to each Deed that is recorded.
Our staff is available to show you how to use Registry computers in conducting your search. Please keep in mind that the staff will acquaint you with the tools to use our system, but cannot assist in the actual research.