Casefile Clues

01 April 2014

A Recorded Copy of the Patent

I'm at a crossroads of sorts on obtaining information on Montvill Harness' property in Santa Fe County, New Mexico.

Armed with the legal description of his homestead, I emailed the county office responsible for the recording of deeds in Santa Fe County to see what it would cost to obtain a copy of:
  • the recorded copy of the deed of acquisition (the patent)
  • the recorded copy of the deed (or land transaction) where the property left Montvill's possession.
The "deed of acquisition" in this case it the land patent from the federal government. What I'll probably get is simply a recorded copy of that patent. Given that the patent was probably recorded in the county in the late 1910s, it will most likely be typed. I'm not even certain why I requested it. 

I have a copy of the patent from the National Archives. I probably don't need a copy of the recorded copy of the patent. The patent from NARA is the original record of the patent. The recorded copy is a derivative copy and it's doubtful there's some notation on it that reveals some big detail. 

What I want is a copy of the land transaction where the property is transferred from Montvill's possession to another person's ownership. The clerk couldn't find it. Of course it was the document I really wanted that the clerk could not find. 

There are several possible reasons for this. Some are more possible than others. Those main reasons are:
  • it was never recorded
  • it was indexed wrong
  • the clerk overlooked the entry in the index
  • the property was transferred by a will and there is not a deed recorded
  • the property was transferred by some other court action and no deed is recorded (doubtful that this transaction would generate some type of deed with the judge as grantor)
The copy of the record copy of the patent is only $1. I may request it simply to find out when it was recorded. I may ask the clerk to look at the following page to see if it also mentions the property in question in case the deed of acquisition and disposition were recorded one right after the other.