Documents filed with the county recorder's office are indexed alphabetically by the names of people, companies and organizations that have filed the documents.
The index will be on a computer terminal, although indexes for much older documents may be on microfiche or in bound volumes.
The recorder's office name index will list:
- the name of the person or business that did the transaction, called the grantor (such as the person selling a piece of property)
- the name of the person or business with whom the transaction was done, called the grantee (such as the person buying the property)
- the date the transaction was recorded or filed at the recorder's office
- a brief letter-code notation of what kind of transaction it is (such as "deed" for a property deed of sale)
- a document number for the transaction, which you use to look up a copy of the actual document (such as a deed of sale)
Thus on a mortgage loan, the index will list the person or business who received the loan, the bank or person that made the loan, the date the loan document was recorded, a notation such as ``d.t.'' (an abbreviation for a ``deed of trust'' or mortgage loan), and the recorder's document number you can use to look up the deed of trust.
The index does not list the address of the property. To determine that you need to look up the document itself using the document number.
Thus if a person has purchased two pieces of property, those would both be listed on the index as deeds under the person's name. But you can't tell from the index what the addresses are for the two properties or which deed relates to which piece of property. To get that information you'd need to look up the actual deeds.
Sample Name Index
To see what a name index looks like, go to:
Click on the acknowledge disclaimer link and then the Official Public Records search.
Now type a common name into the search boxes, such as Smith, John
You'll see a list of documents and for each document a document number, a date, an abbreviation for the type of transaction and the names of the parties to the transaction.