Deed citations with long lists of grantors or grantees

I am working through some deed books and have crafted the following citation

Clarke County, Alabama, Deed Record B: 28-30, Stephen Noble to L.B.R. Noble et al., deed of trust, 9 March 1823; imaged, FamilySearch ( accessed 16 March 2024), Image Group Number 8193658 > images 295-296 of 922.

My question is whether to include more than the first name listed on the record before using et al. Interestingly, the corresponding index for this deed book lists one of the other grantees (Payton/Peyton).

Submitted byEEon Sat, 03/16/2024 - 18:08

mbcross, whether a citation should include any names of the parties to a deed is a judgment call. Basically, we have two situations:

  1. If the citation is attached to a narrative statement that identifies the parties, then the citation would not need to repeat that identification.
  2. If the narrative discusses someone mentioned in a deed but not a major party to the deed, then clarity would dictate that the attached citation identify the principal parties. Otherwise, readers might not connect, say, a textual discussion of Sam Smith to a deed between, say, Stephen Noble and L. B. R. Noble.

Within this framework, if you need to identify a deed by names your judgment might be to cite just "Noble to Noble" as opposed to citing every Noble involved in the transaction. Remember:

  • The purpose of a citation is the identify the document and any strengths or weaknesses that would affect it's reliability.
  • The purpose of a citation is NOT to report all the juicy details from the document. Relevant details go into our narrative discussion.

A deed index will typically index the principal parties and only the principal parties. If there are six grantors and three grantees to a single deed, all would be the indexed. However, the deed index would not index someone cited as a neighbor, a witness, or a prior owner.