Sunday, June 28, 2009

US Land Patent Searches

One valuable resource for genealogists and family historians in tracing and documenting their family history includes land patent records. Researching land patent records can be very difficult and tedious, but some of the basic records are now available to research online at the Bureau of Land Management and General Land Office Records. You may be wondering what is a Land Patent. Simply stated a Land Patent occurred when a particular piece of property was transferred from the hands of the government to the an individual or when there was a land ownership transfer. This was encouraged by the United Staes government by many methods including land in lieu of payment for military personel and allowing people to have 160 acres of land for the cost of the filing fee to name a few.
This encouragement occurred as a way of assisting with the expansion of the country from the east coast to the west.

If you have not used land records in your research, you may not know what information is available in these treasure trove records including the name, location, size of the homestead, marriage and/or immigration information. The marriage and/or immigration information was occasionally requested by the government when requesting a Land Patent. To learn more, please refer to the FAQ of the site. The information that is available on this site includes the following information: patentee, date of issue, the land office, mineral reservations, a legal land description and the amount of acres issued. Unfortunately you are unable to view the application which would possibly include information about immigration, marraige, etc. This information can be obtained by contacting the NARA (National Archives and Records Administration).

If you would like to research in the Land Patent Record Search click
here. Have fun!
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