Did Ya Know

In the Beginning…!

January 20, 2017

So, did you ever think how the practice of keeping land records came to be? I mean, it had to start somewhere, right? I am sure this will not come as a surprise but, the practice was started as a way for the government to find out who owned what so they could TAX us! According to this account from the LTI course, it all started across the pond in England. When William the Conqueror took over the English Throne in 1066, one of his first official acts was to order a census taken of all persons possessing any estate or interest in land. It took twenty years to complete this census and when it was complete in 1086, the compilation became known as the “Doomsday Book,” said to be so named because it spared none and judged all men without bias or preference, like a biblical Last Judgment. This census was made to aid the Crown in collecting taxes and was the first official record of real estate ownerships. Well, as you can imagine a lot of things can change in 20 years, so the book was soon out of date. It wasn’t until 1199 that all conveyances were required to be enrolled with the Chancery Court. It wasn’t until 1536 that the government decided to enact the Statute of Enrollment that stated no conveyance would pass title unless it was made in writing and was enrolled within six months. So there ya have it, our business got its start with the Crown wanting taxes. Off with their heads!