Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

December 15, 2005

Old Document Images

by @ 12:39 pm. Filed under Registry Ops, History

Tony’s blog entry from a few days ago about our plans to scan our 1639-1855 records drew this emailed comment:

I am a new reader of the Lowell Deeds Blog and I’m hooked!
I look forward to Tony’s updates about gaining on-line access to
the town records of 1630 to 1855.

As an amateur genealogist and historian always looking for dates, names,
maps and other bits of information about Lowell, the area towns and local
residents, I relish the opportunity to be at home but still able to continue
my research.

Of course, I’ll be searching the Blog Archive for past articles.
Your current articles on population statistics and other census data are
useful and interesting as well. Do I need to learn a blog vocabulary?

To the pros Dick and Tony - keep on blogging. I thank you for giving us access.

Standards & SSNs

by @ 12:30 pm. Filed under Indexing

Here’s an email I received from another registry with a question about Indexing Standard 2-1 which states that registries will not accept documents that contain social security numbers.

We have a question regarding Page 4, Secion 2. Social Security Numbers: Paragraph 2-1 DOCUMENT PRESENTED FOR RECORDING: Are death certificates supposed to be included with documents accepted with a SS # (copy then made, SS # whited out and scanned and copy made leaving SS# and saved in file)?

Here’s my response:

I think you’re correct. Indexing Standard 2-1 says that no document containing a social security number shall be accepted for recording. State or federal tax liens are identified as exceptions to this rule. After we adopted this rule (June 2005), someone pointed out that city and town clerks are required to collect the social security numbers of decedants (along with a variety of other information). The forms used by some clerks for death certificates do include social security numbers. Since the law requires the clerk to collect that information (although it doesn’t require the clerk to put it in the death certificate), I think we should accept death certificates that contain SSNs but once we have taken possession of them, we should make an unaltered non-public copy and then white out the SSN on the original and scan that for our public records.

Comments Are Coming

by @ 12:27 pm. Filed under Website

A number of you have accepted my invitation to become contributors to this blog by submitting comments. Unfortunately, we don’t have the comment feature fully operational yet. If you have something to say and can’t get it posted as a comment, please send me an email with your comment and I’ll include it in a new blog entry (attributing it to an anonymous reader to protect your privacy). Sorry for the inconvenience, but thanks for your participation.

Snow Removal

by @ 10:01 am. Filed under Website, Registry Ops, Current Events

You may have noticed the photo of an unshoveled courthouse on the front page of our website (www.lowelldeeds.com). A blog reader sent this comment:

Why doesn’t your maintenance man clean the snow? All private citizens are required to clean their own snow. Shouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, the registry of deeds is just a tenant in the courthouse; we have no control over its upkeep or maintenance. That is the responsibility of the maintenance staff which is employed and under the supervision of the Administrative Office of the Trial Court. This is not the first time – issues, shall we say – have arisen with the maintenance of this building. Calling up the chain of command in the maintenance department has proven pointless, so we have resorted to sharing our concerns with the readers of our blog. It may have been a coincidence, but 30 minutes after we first posted the picture, the sidewalk and stairs were cleared of snow.

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