PICTOU – Deed searches have become more accessible again, thanks to the McCulloch House and Genealogy Centre service.
“We’ve had tried for a year for in-house use,” curator and site manager Michelle Davey said. “We’ve allowed our members to use it for the last couple of months. We now provide access to Property Online for researching historical deeds and property information. If someone comes in and pays the research fee of $5 a day, they can access the service.”
Deed searches were available in Pictou at the justice centre and later at the Municipality of Pictou County’s present location before the province closed the service.
The centre acquired access to the deed service from the province and pays a monthly fee to use it by looking up deeds sourced in Amherst on the series of laptops at the centre.
“This used to be available at the local Pictou office and now the closest access that people had to these records was to travel to Amherst,” Davey said. “A lot of people wanted to use it and we’re asking us questions we couldn’t answer because we didn’t have access. We can now offer the service to our community.”
Davey said deed dates can traced to the first time deeds were recorded and the information can elaborate or basic and vague.
“We can see the descriptions of original properties, like an apple tree and going four feet from it to the property line,” she said. “There’s a great variety.”
Historic and family deed searches are common, especially with regard to abandoned properties where plant life may have covered markers.
Teresa MacKenzie researches a deed on a laptop at the McCulloch House and Genealogy Centre. (Goodwin photo)