These schemes tended to persist in less populaous places until very, very recently (several decades ago), as automation and the ability of to record, archive, sort, manipulate and search by digital means became very economic.
Quote: jav said:I know there are abstract and torrens property, in looking up the property where I am living and all of the properties listed on my abstract are listed as B, not A, not T. What does this mean? Does it mean both? I understand that properties can be partial. I find it odd that all land on my abstract are listed as B. I have asked several people and can not get a straight answer.
Frankly, I am uncertain what you are talking about or asking, though your question seems to me to suggest some confusion about the underlying mechanics of land recording and registration.
Generally, the two approaches are record books relying upon indexing by a grantor/grantee index, also compiled by the recording authority and a land registration system (Torrens) where the records are arranged and indexed by property. Most jurisdictions use the former.
By contrast, title abstracts are usually created ex-judicially and privately by abstracting companies which have usually obtained an essentially complete copy of the underlying records for a jurisdiction. These abstracts would have no binding legal significance EXCEPT to the extent that they accurately reflect the underlying recorded records.
That is to say that IF the abstract company has faithfully memorialized the record title in its abstract, then the abstract might be some evidence of the record title, but it is the underlying records which have the real legal significance.
Since the inception of the United States (and even a century and a half before the Revolution) land records were both recorded and indexed by county clerks using indexing schemes which somewhat varied. The variation in these indexing approaches were necessitated by tradeoffs between manually handwriting entries in ink on Index pages and efficiently scanning these indices with the transactional volume became heavy. One of the problems presented was what to do when a particular Index page became filled.
The very earliest schemes tended to have two index volumes (one Grantor and one Grantee) with one or more consecutive pages dedicated to each letter of the alphabet. New entries were then consecutively added based solely on the first letter of the last name or first letter of a corporate name of the grantor or grantee. This meant that to find all of the grants for a particular person, say John SMITH, you had to physically scan the ENTIRE Index page for "S", including any continuations. The entries were NOT contemporaneously alphabetized, as this would typically require a manual sorting and rewriting of the entries, which would hav ebeen both cumbersome and time consuming, while also introducing the possibility of transcription errors.
In small and backwater counties where transactional volumes were light, this imposed a minimal burden on researchers. But in places where the total transactional volume was high and/or for letters with a high incidence of last names, this quickly became unwieldy as pages were continued and continued (often not consecutively) and many pages had to be consulted to examine all of the possible places a transaction might be indexed.
This resulted in the emergeance of a variety of alternative indexing variations, such as having pages dedicated to combinations of Last and First Name intials "S - J" for John SMITH or first two initials of the last name "Sm" or some other combination "Sm - J". As incidence of first and last names is not symmetric across all letters of the alphabet, more sophisticated schemes for reserving appropriate numbers of pages for future use also developed.
The title abstract companies emerged when private entities found it MORE CONVENIENT to replicate a county's records and then to construct their own indices and/or organize the data around parcels (essentially a private quasi Torrens system) than to send personnel to the sometimes remote courthouse to search official records. A smaller jurisdiction might not support its own title company or abstract company and such a company in an adjacent or nearby county might create the abstract rather than travel to the courthouse for each new search.
But in most places, these private title plants and title abstracts have no official function whatsoever and the orgnanization of such abstracts and the codes in use would have little legal consequnce EXCEPT to the extent they reflect purposeful differentiation in the underlying data.
The very need for title abstract companies in an era of automated and well indexed public records readily and instantly available online seems rather suspect EXCEPT in instances where a jurisdiction is so backwards or its presentation of the data so cumbersome and uneconomic to create an ongoing value to such private sector alternatives!
As a practical matter, I would encourage you to carefully read the recording statutes and the cases for your jurisdiction. Then, I would place primary reliance on the recorded records of the official recorder. If the meaning of the codes are UNKNOWN to the personnel at the abstracting company, they may have little or no consequence at all.
Alternatively, take the abstract with you to the courthouse and show it to a title searcher researching records or take the abstract to a real estate attorney. Someone will probably recognize these codes and can tell you what they mean.