Where I Found the Land Records of my RUPE Ancestors in Maryland

So much like a never-ending detective story, Cathy, you think the mystery is going to be solved … only to be continued 😀

Janice Webster Brown of Cow Hampshire, New Hampshire’s History Blog wrote this comment in the Genealogy Bloggers group on Facebook about my most recent post Proof of Patriotic Service During the Revolutionary War for Jacob RUPE in the series on my 6th great-grandfather. I was flattered by this compliment which makes the research and writing more rewarding.

To help solve some of the mystery in Jacob RUPE’s history I turned to MDLandRec, a digital image retrieval system for land records and indices for Maryland counties. The service is currently being provided at no charge to individuals who apply for a user name and password.

Our kids always make fun of us for reading the directions before we set up any kind of electronics in our home. I admit I didn’t do this for the Maryland Land Records site. I stumbled a bit before I found my way around. I should have taken some time to look at their Help guides.

My advice is to take a look at the guides, don’t do what I did. It would have saved me some time as I was under the false impression, after my first login, that the land record instruments were only available and/or searchable for 1964-2016. I was going to give up on the site however all searches for information on earlier land records in Maryland pointed to the site. Also, the Wiki on FamilySearch Maryland Land and Property was very helpful in confirming the older records are on the site.

Getting back to the MDLandRec site, for early records you need to click on Active Indices (see p. 24 of 38 in the other MD counties guide). There are likely many different scenarios for searching for specific land records due to what is available for each county. I’d like to give an example using my Jacob RUPE and one of his land records I was searching for.

Jacob RUPE bought Rhineharts Folly in Baltimore County in 1770 from Frederick Rhinehart. This was a “known,” not a fact until I could prove it, found in Theron A. Rupe’s narrative “From Oberhoffen to America” as mentioned in my posts, Rhineharts Folly in Pipe Creek Hundred, Baltimore County, Maryland and Proof of Patriotic Service During the Revolutionary War for Jacob RUPE.

For this time period and county, MDLandRec has a Grantee Index 1653-1849, Grantor Index 1655-1849, and an Index for 1659-1800. There is also a Tract Index 1798-1851.

Since I knew the names of both the grantor and grantee as well as the tract name I could use any of the first three indices. The Tract Index begins in 1798, too late for the 1770 deed I was searching for. The Tract Index would prove helpful in tracking future owners of Rhineharts Folly but first things first. To use the grantee and grantor indices you need to know the meaning of the two.

If you work with land records, you have to keep these straight. Grantors sell; grantees buy. Or, put another way, the grantor is the sell-or and the grantee is the buy-ee. (Yes, it’s silly, but it helps keep them straight!)
~ Amy Johnson Crow in her post 5 Misspelled, Misused Genealogy Words… and How to Get Them Right

Since my 6th great-grandfather Jacob RUPE was the grantee or buyer I checked the Grantee Index:

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

With the information found on the index (No., Folio, and letters AL at the top of the column)  I went back to the search page and entered Book B and Page 265. The search turned up two results – one description being AL B.

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

This took me directly to the land deed.

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

The deed continues on pages 266 through 268. Instead of saving each page separately I entered the page range into the bottom box on right. This allows the display of up to 10 pages. This is such a great feature! It allowed me to download the entire document in one file eliminating the necessity of merging the pages into one document.

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

I took a screenshot with the page range (4 images) to help with my source citation. The land record and source citation “reminder” were saved to Jacob RUPE’s media file with the file names (MRIN Filing System):
MRIN00554 1770 Frederick Rinehart to Jacob Rupe land deed.pdf
MRIN00554 1770 Frederick Rinehart to Jacob Rupe land deed source.png

This done I was able to move on to the next search until I found ALL the land records I was looking for plus a few bonus ones:

  • 1770 Frederick RINEHART to Jacob RUPE
  • 1778 Christopher SHROD to George WEAVER
  • 1785 George WEAVER sold land to Peter ZEP
  • 1787 Jacob RUB to Johannes SHOWER
  • 1787 Martin RUB to Peter TRUSHAL
  • 1788 Jacob RUB to Henry RUB
  • 1793 Henry RUB to Jacob BOBLITS
  • 1798 Henry ROOP to Jacob BOBLITS

The files have been attached to each individual in my database. Next, I will write the source citations and transcribe the documents. I’ve already read through them and found several clues that confirm known facts and others which may disprove some assumptions. And the story continues…..


Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann Jacob RUPP
Parents: Johann Jacob RUPP Jr. and Maria Apollonia FETZER
Spouse: Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER
Parents of spouse: Johannes NONNENMACHER and Maria Barbara STAMBACH
Whereabouts: Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Pennsylvania, Maryland
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 6th great-grandfather

    1. Johann Jacob RUPP
    2. Heinrich Thomas “Henry” RUPE Sr.
    3. James ROOP
    4. Gordon ROOP
    5. Gordon Washington ROOP
    6. Walter Farmer ROOP
    7. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
    8. Fred Roosevelt Dempsey
    9. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

21 thoughts on “Where I Found the Land Records of my RUPE Ancestors in Maryland”

  1. Maryland is a great state for land record accessibility. As far as I can determine all deeds and surveys are online. The only land records not online are the original patents (there is an online index to them, but they are still on microfilm) and land that was conveyed without deeds, such as in probate and equity courts (although many of these cases are online–both probate and equity- it all depends on the county).

    Cathy, great results and good luck in your future research.


    1. Eileen, I was surprised to find Jacob and his friend Mr. Daker in the deed book as grantors in 1774. They were the admins of the estate of Andrew Welty and were selling his land for the estate. I’d already found the will, admin bonds, inventory, etc. but would not have thought to check for a land deed.
      Now I wish my Rupe/Roop line had stayed a bit longer in Maryland. 🙂
      Thank you Eileen.


      1. There is not always a deed, depends on whether it is sold for probate, inherited or conveyed via court order or proceeding. Maryland had a Chauncery court which was an early equity court. Some Chancery records are online at FamilySearch (browsable). I know that Carroll County’s are but am not sure about other counties. Oddly, enough, I found them under the county in plats.net (see my post at http://www.oldbonesgenealogy.com/using-plats-net-for-maryland-court-records/) but I do not see any for Baltimore County.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is where I found the plat for Rhineharts Folly, under Baltimore County. I’m all over the place trying to figure out what the different records are. Thanks Eileen for your help.


  2. This is the second blog I’ve read today about land records—the other one was by Jake Fletcher about records in San Mateo, CA. I must admit that I am intimidated by the prospect of doing this kind of search. But it is really helpful to read these posts and realize why it is worth doing! I will have to get to this in my next pass through my family lines! Thanks for the tips. I actually have a fair number of MD relatives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been so busy looking for the land deeds etc. that I’m way behind on reading. I’ll be sure to check out Jake’s post as I have some WV families who went that way. Hope you find something interesting in the MD land records. Thanks Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I gave up on my reader a long time ago. Too inconvenient, and I never remember. If I can’t subscribe by email or WordPress, I don’t bother…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll have to check for Grandfather Nicolaus Barrick my Patriot. Rumor was he helped build the Courthouse. Have yet to find out if it’s true. I know he was in Maryland and then he went back into Pa. I enjoyed this piece. Thanks for this resource.

    Liked by 1 person

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