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Chain of Title

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A list of successive owners of a parcel of land, beginning from the government, or original owner, to the person who currently owns the land.

To show that a title to a piece of land is a marketable title and is free to transfer, a person must know who had ownership of the land at any point in time. In addition, the seller should be able to trace the way in which each person came into the chain of title. An abstract of title contains a condensed history of the title to a piece of land in addition to a summary of conveyances. This history appears on public record so that title to land can be checked.