Tract index

Tract index

A tract index summarizes real property transactions and may be available in the offices of Recorder of deeds in some U.S. states. The index presents each section (one square mile) in a two-page representation, usually by presenting the northwest quarter-section as the top half of the left page. The other quarter-sections are placed in map relationship to the northwest. In each quarter-section area, all transfers are listed in chronological order, often regardless of any subdivisions of the quarter-section. Each entry includes several cross-reference details, such as the names of the grantor (seller) and grantee (purchaser), the volume and page of the Deed books, the date, and other identifying characteristics of the transfer (for example, the type of deed).

Typically, when one quarter-section fills with its listings of transactions, a new volume is begun, so that all transactions in a period are found in the same volume. Also, the number of sections within a jurisdiction dictates how many volumes are needed for a single period.

Only a few states require their recording offices to maintain this type of index. Among these states are Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. In addition, some other states permit recording offices to maintain tract indexes (for example, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin).

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