This is a simple way to find free, online, county property records and other county record sets in the US (counties vary in what digitized records are available online).
I’ll be working on a family member’s estate for the next few months and have needed to find out if property taxes for past years have been paid.
The Old Way
I usually just google the county I need, “official website durham county north carolina” for example, go to the official county website, fiddle around for 5 minutes until I find the county assessor/etc link, and search from there.
The New Way
This site simplifies the process: http://publicrecords.netronline.com/
At NETROnline.com (Nationwide Environmental Title Research, LLC) you select the state by clicking on the map or the state name link below the map, then,
You’ll be shown a list of all counties with online websites
You’ll select the county you want
You’ll be shown a list of direct links to any online records for that county
Select the record set you need to search and you’ll be immediately taken to the official county website and record set where you need to perform your search.
In my case, I needed to go to the Assessor’s office and search for a property to see if the property taxes were current. I was able to search by name or address. So for Durham County, NC I would select the Assessor/Collector link.
Durham County, NC also has the Register of Deeds online which allows you to search recorded deeds to see who else has a financial interest in the property (a bank, etc.) and the Register of Deeds here has Marriage Records searchable online.
You might want to try looking up your own records before searching for someone else’s. You’ll know what should be available online with your own records and will figure out any quirks in the online search system. That said, each state I’ve used has been pretty straightforward.
Counties/Parishes vary in what they offer online but may include:
property records, including all previous owners, and taxes paid by year
maps of properties, boundaries
deeds, including who else has a financial interest in a property (deeds often include scans with more personal information than the online index)
Best in your searches!