Title can be run forward or backward. Meaning, when creating a title chain you can start from the first document in the past (a patent) and work to present day. Or, you can work from present day back to patent. The name of the present owner is simple but the name of the person originally acquiring the land is a challenge.

Below is a brief overview of how to run title backward or from present to patent. 

These days, you can find county documents online. However, in some circumstances, it is required to go to the county clerk and comb through the documents in person.

First, run the name of the current property holder. This will return a list of documents that have the property owners name in them. It will show the recording date and instrument number or book and page. Review and confirm this is the correct property you are working on. Record the grantor and grantee name(s), recording information, legal description, any discrepancies, grants or reservations, and mineral rights.

You will need to work your way backward through the documents that pertain to the tract of land you are working on by searching the previous grantor’s name to where they became grantees. You should be able to track documents all the way back to the patent deed where the original conveyance begins.