I'd like to share my recent experience working with Carter County deeds. As I mentioned before, tracing a chain of title using deeds is no mean task. It requires a fair amount of persistence. To facilite identifying deeds which reference a common property (often not easily accomplished using the deed indexes), I created an Excel spreadsheet with key deed information entered for each property for which a member of my family was a grantee or grantor. Once I had the properties entered into the spreadsheet, I scanned the spread sheet for metes and bounds that were the same or similar. The writing on these deeds is sometimes difficult to interpret, so even though two deeds may each describe the same property, I sometimes made errors in the reading of the metes and bounds. Even so, it was not hard to find a number of matches among the properties in my spreadsheet. I organized my spreadsheet with columns for "Bounds" (landmarks); "Metes" (directions and distances); "Acreage"; "Reference" (deed book and page number); "Date" (Date of survey or recordation); "Comments"; and a "Mapped/not Mapped" indicator. Deed analysis spreadsheet As you see, I used the "Comments" column to link multiple references to the same property. This process is still in its early stages, so I will refine it as I gain experience with the deeds and as my database of deed images increases. I have also spent some time trying to relate deed maps and cited land marks to aerial photos of the county. I find that I can get some pretty good clues as to the actual location of properties by relating the size and shape of the properties to contemporary landmarks, particularly roads and tree lines. My next visit to the Courthouse will definitely include getting images of current property legal boundries in the areas that I am researching.