Nebraska, Homestead Records from Nebraska City and Lincoln Land Offices (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Nebraska, Homestead Records from Nebraska City and Lincoln Land Offices, 1863-1908 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Nebraska, United States|
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|National Archives and Records Administration|
What is in the Collection?
This collection includes homestead entry case files and land entry case files from the Bureau of Land Management. Records from this collection encompass the years 1863-1908. The records are arranged by final certificate number. The homestead entry case files include documents required to qualify for a homestead, such as:
Many immigrants also included their naturalization certificates with their application.
The Homestead Act of 1862 was signed into law after the secession of many Southern states from the Union.
The Homestead Act allowed for settlement of land in non-populated 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.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
Key genealogical facts found in most final certificates and homestead patents include:
- Application and final certificate numbers
- Name of applicant
- Description and location of land
How Do I Search the Collection?
To search the collection it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate time period when they purchased land
- The description of the land
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
What Do I Do Next?
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.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- 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.
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Citing this Collection
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.
- "Nebraska, Homestead Records from Nebraska City and Lincoln Land Offices." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA RG 49. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
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