“A property abstract catalogues, in chronological fashion, all legal documents pertaining to a parcel of land. Included are references to deeds, mortgages, wills, probate records, court litigation, and tax sales–the essential legal proceedings that affect property ownership. The abstract reveals the names of all people who have owned the property, how long each owner had it, and how much it sold for when it changed hands. Only rarely, however, does it mention buildings or capital improvements to the property. The abstract is a good starting place for research of a historic building because it deals with real property and not specifically the buildings and other improvements. The abstract also confirms that there are no outstanding liens or back taxes.
Title abstracts have recently become less popular, and owners have turned to a simple title guarantee. Usually, either the property owner or a mortgage holder has custody of the abstract; but a previous owner might hold an out-of-date version. For historical research purposes, an older abstract is as useful as a current one; thus it may be worth determining whether a property owner or mortgage holder has the abstract.”*
The following is an alphabetical list of individual included in abstracts that the museum has. If you would like more information, contact us.
*For further information, go to: University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee