Nebraska, Homestead Records from Nebraska City and Lincoln Land Offices (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Collection Time Period

Records from this collection encompass the years 1863-1908.

Record Description

This collection includes homestead entry case files and land entry case files from the Bureau of Land Management. The records are arranged by final certificate number. The homestead entry case files include documents required to qualify for a homestead, such as:

  • Applications
  • Petitions
  • Affidavits

Many immigrants also included their naturalization certificates with their application.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in most final certificates and homestead patents include:

  • Date
  • Application and final certificate numbers
  • Name of applicant
  • Description and location of land

How to Use the Record

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details and lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • Use the name, location and date to find the family in census records.
  • Use the description and location of land to find the family in land records.
  • Use the description and location of land to find the family in probate records.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for nearby land owners with similar or variant spellings of the surnames.

Record History

The Homestead Act of 1862 was signed into law after the secession of many Southern states from the Union.

Why the Record Was Created

The Homestead Act allowed for settlement of land in unpopulated areas. It established a land acquisition process that required filing an application, improving the land, and filing for the deed of title. Any citizen or intended citizen could file an application for 160 acres of land, as long as they had never fought against the U.S. Government. Homesteaders had 5 years to build on, farm, and improve the land. After five years, a homeowner could file for a land patent or deed at a local land office. The local land offices forwarded the documentation to the General Land Office in Washington D.C. with a final certificate of eligibility.

Claimants paid $1.25 an acre. Service in the Union Army was counted towards the residency requirement after the Civil War. Not all homesteaders were able to qualify for ownership of the land due to harsh soil and weather conditions. Once the railroads were in place, homesteading increased due to the ease of travel.

Record Reliability

Information in these records is usually reliable but depends upon the reliability of the informant.

Related Websites

Nebraska Land Records

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

"Nebraska, Broken Bow Homestead Records, 1890-1908." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 25 March 2011. entry for William Brown, township 19 North, range 17 West, section 28; citing Homestead Records; Bureau of Land Management General Land Office, Washington DC.

Sources of Information for This Collection

Nebraska. Homestead Final Certificates. RG 49. National Archives and Records Administration, Bureau of Land Management General Land Office, Washington DC.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 25 August 2014, at 21:24.
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