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Provisional, Territorial, and Federal Land Office Records
Oregon land records during the period, 1845 to 1849, were filed with the provisional recorder. The record contains a description of the land claimed, and may name adjoining land holders.
Individuals who settled in the Oregon Territory before December 1, 1855 were eligible to receive donation land claims. The earlier, provisional claims were voided. The size of the piece of land was dependent upon the date of the arrival and the marital status of the claimant. The applications for these free lands may provide birth, marriage, citizenship, migration, or other valuable information.
Index and records:
Abstracts of the donation land claims are published in: Genealogical Material in Oregon Donation Land Claims, 5 vols. (Portland: Genealogical Forum of Portland, 1957-1975:
- At various libraries (WorldCat)
- Family History Library FHL film 823831 item 7; fiche 6051173; book 979.5 R2g
A published index to the claims is Oregon State Archives, comp., Index to Oregon Donation Land Claims (Portland: Genealogical Forum, 1953-57)
Distribution of the remaining unoccupied land was administered by the General Land Office (FHLO) through land offices in Oregon. Most of the local FHLO records are now kept in the National Archives—Pacific Alaska Region (Seattle). Patents and copies of the tract books and township plats are at:
- Oregon State Office
Bureau of Land Management
333 S.W. 1st. Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
- Oregon State Office
The original tract books, plats, and land entry case files are at the National Archives. Many of the records are now online at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) internet site. The records are indexed at the general BLM site.
After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions are recorded by the county auditor in the form of deeds and mortgages. These may be obtained from the appropriate recorder or clerk in each courthouse. The Family History Library is acquiring land records from the counties and digitizing them and they are found on FamilySearch Historical Records. Search the Wiki under the county for more information.
Many of the country records can be found on the internet by using a search engine and terms such as county name (e.g. Douglas), Land, Records. Information on Oregon Land records can also be found at the Oregon State Archives.
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- Oregon, Benton County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Oregon, Columbia County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Oregon, Douglas County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Oregon, Polk County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Oregon, Wasco County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Oregon, Yamhill County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)