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[[Image:Land Patent Flavius Dilts1.png|thumb|200px|Land Patent Flavius Dilts1.png]] [[United States Land and Property|United States Land and Property]]  
 
[[Image:Land Patent Flavius Dilts1.png|thumb|200px|Land Patent Flavius Dilts1.png]] [[United States Land and Property|United States Land and Property]]  
  
Land patents from 1788 to the 1960s show information about people who obtained the title to their land directly from the government (rather than from another individual). This includes land obtained through military bounty land warrants, land grants, cash entry sales, credit entries, homesteads, mineral or mining, and timberland claims.  
+
Land patents show information about people who obtained the title to their land directly from the government (rather than from another individual). This includes land obtained through military bounty land warrants, land grants, cash entry sales, credit entries, homesteads, mineral or mining, and timberland claims.  
  
Several million federal land patent records are available online at the Bureau of Land Management – General Land Office Records (BLM-GLO) site. For a [http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 Land Patent Search], the minimum information needed is the State where the land is located and the name of the person receiving the land patent.
+
Several million federal land patent records from 1788 to the 1960s are available online at the Bureau of Land Management – General Land Office Records (BLM-GLO) site.  
  
 
== Value of Land Records  ==
 
== Value of Land Records  ==
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== Value of the BLM-GLO Land Patent Search  ==
 
== Value of the BLM-GLO Land Patent Search  ==
  
The [http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 Land Patent Search] is an index to millions of ancestors in federal land patents from 1788 to the 1960s at the National Archives. Start with this index to get the information needed to obtain the applications for land patents which may be a rich source of genealogical information about a family. The same Internet site also provides access to '''images of patents''' for the eastern federal land states.  
+
The Land Patent Search is an index to millions of ancestors in federal land patents from 1788 to the 1960s at the National Archives. Start with this index to get the information needed to obtain the applications for land patents which may be a rich source of genealogical information about a family. The same Internet site also provides access to '''images of patents'''.  
  
 
== Jurisdictions  ==
 
== Jurisdictions  ==
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The thirteen original colonies and their five daughter states (Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee) are considered state land states. Texas and Hawaii have unique histories and are also state land states. The remaining thirty western states are federal land states. The online BLM-GLO Land Patent Search is primarily for goverment-to-individual land conveyances in federal land states west and south of the original thirteen colonies.  
 
The thirteen original colonies and their five daughter states (Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee) are considered state land states. Texas and Hawaii have unique histories and are also state land states. The remaining thirty western states are federal land states. The online BLM-GLO Land Patent Search is primarily for goverment-to-individual land conveyances in federal land states west and south of the original thirteen colonies.  
  
Land transfers from a state land state to an individual, or later transfers from '''individual to individual in any state''' are found in their respective state or county land offices and are '''not''' part of the BLM-GLO Land Patent Search. Those types of land transactions can usually be researched in the [[Portal:United States Land and Property|land and property]] records at county courthouses or state archives.<br>  
+
Land transfers from a state land state to an individual, or later transfers from '''individual to individual in any state''' are found in their respective state or county land offices and are '''not''' part of the BLM-GLO Land Patent Search. Those types of land transactions can usually be researched in the [[United States Land and Property|land and property]] records at county courthouses or state archives.<br>  
  
A separate Texas General Land Office online Land Grant Database search is available at http://wwwdb.glo.state.tx.us/central/LandGrants/LandGrantsSearch.cfm
+
For land in Texas, check out their General Land Office online, especially the&nbsp;[http://www.glo.texas.gov/cf/land-grant-search/index.cfm Land Grant Database Search]
 +
 
 +
For land in Pennsylvania, check out&nbsp;[http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/land_records/3184 Land Records at the Pennsylvania State Archives]
  
 
== Who Is in the Land Patent Search  ==
 
== Who Is in the Land Patent Search  ==
  
The BLM-GLO [http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 Land Patent Search] index '''only''' lists people who were actually granted a federal land patent. All military bounty land, grants, cash, pre-emption, and credit entry patents should be indexed. Among homesteaders only about 40 percent of initial applicants finished the process and received a legal title (patent) to their homestead. Among timberland applicants only about 25 percent received their patent.  
+
The BLM-GLO Land Patent Search index '''only lists people who were actually granted a federal land patent'''. All military bounty land, grants, cash, pre-emption, and credit entry patents should be indexed. Among homesteaders only about '''40 percent''' of initial applicants finished the process and received a legal title (patent) to their homestead. Among timberland applicants only about '''25 percent''' received their patent.  
  
Homesteaders who never obtained a patent because they did not finish are NOT in the Land Patent Search, but they ARE in the application papers. It is possible to get copies of unfinished applications. However, to see such application papers you must figure out another way to [[Grants from the Federal Government (Public Domain)#Legal_Description_of_the_Land|obtain the legal description of the land]]&nbsp;they started to homestead.  
+
Homesteaders who never obtained a patent because they did not finish are '''not in the Land Patent Search''', but they '''are in the application papers'''. It is possible to get copies of unfinished applications. However, to see such application papers you must figure out [[Grants from the Federal Government (Public Domain)#Legal_Description_of_the_Land|another way to obtain the legal description of the land]]&nbsp;they started to homestead.  
  
 
== Using the Land Patent Search  ==
 
== Using the Land Patent Search  ==
  
Open the Land Patent Search on the Internet at [http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 General Land Office Patent Search]. You may be asked to enter your zip code. Select the State where the land is located or select -- Any State -- Enter the last name of the person receiving the Land Patent. More advanced users can also enter the Land Description and other Miscellaneous information. Then click the '''Search Patents'''&nbsp;button at the bottom.  
+
Open the&nbsp;[http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 General Land Office Patent Search]. You may be asked to enter your zip code. Select &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;-- Any State -- &nbsp;Enter the last name of the person receiving the Land Patent. More advanced users may also enter the Land Description and other Miscellaneous information. Then click the '''Search Patents'''&nbsp;button at the bottom.  
  
'''If the results list is too long''' redo the search with one or more of the following  
+
'''If the results list is too long''' redo the search using one or more of the following  
  
 
*a particular state  
 
*a particular state  
 
*a particular state and county  
 
*a particular state and county  
 
*a first name  
 
*a first name  
*a first name and middle name
+
*a first name and middle name  
 +
*a Land Description
 +
*other Miscellaneous information
  
I'''f the results list is too short''' redo the search with one or more of the following<br>  
+
I'''f the results list is too short''' redo the search changing one or more of the following<br>  
  
*delete a name  
+
*delete the middle name  
 +
*delete the middle name and first name
 +
*change a particular county to -- Any County --
 
*change a particular state to -- Any State --  
 
*change a particular state to -- Any State --  
*change a particular county to --Any County --
+
*delete other details. The fewer the search parameters, the larger the result list will be.  
*delete other details. The fewer the search parameters, the larger the results will be.  
+
*use wildcard symbols in names:&nbsp;% in place of multiple characters; _ in place of single character  
*use wildcard symbols in the names:&nbsp;% = multiple characters; _ = a single character.
+
*Look for a spelling variation of names. For ideas see&nbsp;[[Guessing a Name Variation|Guessing a Name Variation]]
*Look for a spelling variation of the patentee’s name. For ideas see [[Guessing a Name Variation|Guessing a Name Variation]].
+
  
'''If an ancestor is on the results list'''&nbsp;print out the page
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'''If an ancestor is on the results list''' click on the Accession number to view Patent Details
  
*Click the ancestor’s name
+
*Click the '''Printer Friendly'''&nbsp;button to print<br>
*Click the '''Printer Friendly''' icon
+
*Click on '''Patent Image''' tab to view, save, or print
*Click the '''Print''' icon.
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*Click on '''Related Documents''' tab to view, save, or print
*In many cases you can also view an image of the patent or download the image file.
+
  
'''To obtain the patent application paper''''''s, known as the case file '''check out the following
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'''To obtain the application and support documents, known as the case file '''check out  
  
*The&nbsp;[http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/reference/default.aspx#id=04_Document_Requests%7C02_Land_Entry_Case_File Reference Center]&nbsp;at BLM, select Document Requests, Land Entry Case File.
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*The&nbsp;[http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/reference/default.aspx#id=04_Document_Requests%7C02_Land_Entry_Case_File Reference Center]&nbsp;at BLM, select Document Requests, Land Entry Case File.  
 
*The&nbsp;[http://www.archives.gov/research/land/ Land Records]&nbsp;page at NARA.
 
*The&nbsp;[http://www.archives.gov/research/land/ Land Records]&nbsp;page at NARA.
  
 
== Other Sources for Finding Land Patents  ==
 
== Other Sources for Finding Land Patents  ==
  
*The BLM Eastern States Office has an index to all patents issued after 30 June 1908.
+
*The BLM Eastern States Office has an index to all patents issued after 30 June 1908.  
 +
*:Eastern States Office
 +
*:7450 Boston Boulevard
 +
*:Springfield, VA 22153
 +
*:Telephone: 703-440-1600
 +
*:Fax: 703-440-1609
 +
*:
  
:Eastern States Office
 
:7450 Boston Boulevard
 
:Springfield, VA 22153
 
:Telephone: 703-440-1600
 
:Fax: 703-440-1609
 
:Internet: http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/
 
  
 
*The Family History Library and the Eastern States Office have an incomplete card file that indexes pre-1908 patents issued in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wisconsin. These are on 160 microfilms.
 
*The Family History Library and the Eastern States Office have an incomplete card file that indexes pre-1908 patents issued in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wisconsin. These are on 160 microfilms.
 
+
United States. Bureau of Land Management. Card Files. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Land Management, [19--]. (FHL films 1501522-681.)
:United States. Bureau of Land Management. Card Files. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Land Management, [19--]. (FHL films 1501522-681.)
+
  
 
*The pre-1908 land patents are also being indexed and placed on compact discs for computers. The Family History Library and other repositories have copies for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. They are found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under [STATE] - LAND AND PROPERTY.
 
*The pre-1908 land patents are also being indexed and placed on compact discs for computers. The Family History Library and other repositories have copies for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. They are found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under [STATE] - LAND AND PROPERTY.
 
 
*Indexes for the same states along with Missouri are available on the Internet. For an information packet, telephone the Bureau of Land Management at 703-440-1564.
 
*Indexes for the same states along with Missouri are available on the Internet. For an information packet, telephone the Bureau of Land Management at 703-440-1564.
  
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Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records [http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 Land Patent Search]  
 
Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records [http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 Land Patent Search]  
  
[http://wwwdb.glo.state.tx.us/central/LandGrants/LandGrantsSearch.cfm Texas General Land Office Land Grant Search]  
+
[http://www.glo.texas.gov/cf/land-grant-search/index.cfm Texas General Land Office Land Grant Search]  
  
 
Constance Potter “[http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2003/winter/little-town-in-nara-2.html Genealogy Notes: De Smet, Dakota Territory, Little Town in the National Archives, Part 2]” Prologue (Winter 2003), 35:4 at http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2003/winter/little-town-in-nara-2.html  
 
Constance Potter “[http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2003/winter/little-town-in-nara-2.html Genealogy Notes: De Smet, Dakota Territory, Little Town in the National Archives, Part 2]” Prologue (Winter 2003), 35:4 at http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2003/winter/little-town-in-nara-2.html  

Latest revision as of 21:47, 11 January 2013

Land Patent Flavius Dilts1.png
United States Land and Property

Land patents show information about people who obtained the title to their land directly from the government (rather than from another individual). This includes land obtained through military bounty land warrants, land grants, cash entry sales, credit entries, homesteads, mineral or mining, and timberland claims.

Several million federal land patent records from 1788 to the 1960s are available online at the Bureau of Land Management – General Land Office Records (BLM-GLO) site.

Contents

Value of Land Records

Land records were created by the government to prevent or help resolve ownership disputes. They can be used by genealogists to determine residence. If the land was later passed to relatives, you may be able to use wills or deeds showing the transfer as evidence of personal relationships. In some cases the patent application papers contain genealogical information.

Patents show the name of the patentee, date, legal description of the land, patent number, and the land office that issued the patent. This information can be used to obtain land patent application papers. It may also help you locate papers showing the subsequent disposal of the land.

Application papers for federal land patents may have detailed information about family members and previous residence as shown in dozens of papers including land application forms, citizenship applications, Family Bible pages, marriage or death certificates, newspaper clippings, and affidavits.

Value of the BLM-GLO Land Patent Search

The Land Patent Search is an index to millions of ancestors in federal land patents from 1788 to the 1960s at the National Archives. Start with this index to get the information needed to obtain the applications for land patents which may be a rich source of genealogical information about a family. The same Internet site also provides access to images of patents.

Jurisdictions

Federal vs. State Land States.png

The thirteen original colonies and their five daughter states (Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee) are considered state land states. Texas and Hawaii have unique histories and are also state land states. The remaining thirty western states are federal land states. The online BLM-GLO Land Patent Search is primarily for goverment-to-individual land conveyances in federal land states west and south of the original thirteen colonies.

Land transfers from a state land state to an individual, or later transfers from individual to individual in any state are found in their respective state or county land offices and are not part of the BLM-GLO Land Patent Search. Those types of land transactions can usually be researched in the land and property records at county courthouses or state archives.

For land in Texas, check out their General Land Office online, especially the Land Grant Database Search

For land in Pennsylvania, check out Land Records at the Pennsylvania State Archives

Who Is in the Land Patent Search

The BLM-GLO Land Patent Search index only lists people who were actually granted a federal land patent. All military bounty land, grants, cash, pre-emption, and credit entry patents should be indexed. Among homesteaders only about 40 percent of initial applicants finished the process and received a legal title (patent) to their homestead. Among timberland applicants only about 25 percent received their patent.

Homesteaders who never obtained a patent because they did not finish are not in the Land Patent Search, but they are in the application papers. It is possible to get copies of unfinished applications. However, to see such application papers you must figure out another way to obtain the legal description of the land they started to homestead.

Using the Land Patent Search

Open the General Land Office Patent Search. You may be asked to enter your zip code. Select      -- Any State --  Enter the last name of the person receiving the Land Patent. More advanced users may also enter the Land Description and other Miscellaneous information. Then click the Search Patents button at the bottom.

If the results list is too long redo the search using one or more of the following

  • a particular state
  • a particular state and county
  • a first name
  • a first name and middle name
  • a Land Description
  • other Miscellaneous information

If the results list is too short redo the search changing one or more of the following

  • delete the middle name
  • delete the middle name and first name
  • change a particular county to -- Any County --
  • change a particular state to -- Any State --
  • delete other details. The fewer the search parameters, the larger the result list will be.
  • use wildcard symbols in names: % in place of multiple characters; _ in place of single character
  • Look for a spelling variation of names. For ideas see Guessing a Name Variation

If an ancestor is on the results list click on the Accession number to view Patent Details

  • Click the Printer Friendly button to print
  • Click on Patent Image tab to view, save, or print
  • Click on Related Documents tab to view, save, or print

To obtain the application and support documents, known as the case file check out

Other Sources for Finding Land Patents

  • The BLM Eastern States Office has an index to all patents issued after 30 June 1908.
    Eastern States Office
    7450 Boston Boulevard
    Springfield, VA 22153
    Telephone: 703-440-1600
    Fax: 703-440-1609


  • The Family History Library and the Eastern States Office have an incomplete card file that indexes pre-1908 patents issued in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wisconsin. These are on 160 microfilms.

United States. Bureau of Land Management. Card Files. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Land Management, [19--]. (FHL films 1501522-681.)

  • The pre-1908 land patents are also being indexed and placed on compact discs for computers. The Family History Library and other repositories have copies for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. They are found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under [STATE] - LAND AND PROPERTY.
  • Indexes for the same states along with Missouri are available on the Internet. For an information packet, telephone the Bureau of Land Management at 703-440-1564.

Related Content

United States Land and Property

Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records Home Page

Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records Land Patent Search

Texas General Land Office Land Grant Search

Constance Potter “Genealogy Notes: De Smet, Dakota Territory, Little Town in the National Archives, Part 2” Prologue (Winter 2003), 35:4 at http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2003/winter/little-town-in-nara-2.html

GeoCommunicator provides, searching, accessing and dynamic mapping of some BLM activities, such as the Public Land Survey System (PLSS).

The Family Maps series of Land Patent Books and Texas Land Survey Maps series. County maps "for original settlers whose purchases are indexed either in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management database of the Texas General land Office database." (Arphax Publishing)

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  • This page was last modified on 11 January 2013, at 21:47.
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