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Pre-territorial settlers acquired their land from France, Great Britain, and Spain. When Mississippi became a United States territory, there were many disputes over the earlier land claims. The records created in resolving these land disputes are found in the American State Papers, Class 8 and 9, which are on microfilm at the Family History Library. Lists of the names in these papers are in:
McMullin, Phillip, ed. Grassroots of America. . . Salt Lake City, Utah: Gendex Corporation, 1972. Family History Library (Family History Library book 973 R2ag index; fiche 6051323.)
First Settlers of the Mississippi Territory. Nacogdoches, Texas: Ericson Books, n.d. (Family History Library book 976 R2f; film 1421793 item 22; fiche 6051448.)
Names of early settlers are also in the Natchez Court Records described in Mississippi Court Records.
Mississippi then became a public-domain state in which land was distributed through U.S. general land offices (the earliest of which opened in 1807), and several state land offices (which opened in 1892).
The Bureau of Land Management has an online index to land patents in Mississippi. The patent search usually provides a digital image of the original patent.
Federal land case files are kept in the National Archives. Patents and copies of tract books and township plats are at:
Bureau of Land Management
Eastern States Office
7450 Boston Boulevard
Springfield, VA 22153
These federal files are indexed on Family History Library compact disc no. 9 pt. 255. Territorial and state land records are at the Mississippi Land Commissioner's office in Jackson.
The Bureau of Land Management has an index and digital images of the original survey plats for Mississippi. The original survey creates land boundaries and marks them for the first time.
The Family History Library has copies of Mississippi territorial land and court records for the years 1798 to 1817 (Family History Library films 904447-51). These are arranged alphabetically by surname.
After original title to the land was granted, deeds, mortgages, and subsequent transactions have been recorded in county offices. In Mississippi, county land records have been kept by the chancery court since the creation of each county. The Family History Library has many county land records. For example, from Adams County the library has deeds (1780-1886), deed indexes (1798-1899), and original Spanish records (1781-96). Additional county land records can be obtained from the various county courthouses.
Mississippi Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.