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Archiver > ROOTS > 1998-10 > 95133

From: "Douglas, Marcus" <>
Subject: Land Patent Records
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 08:30:05 -0400

I received a wonderful package yesterday from the Bureau of Land

>From their website at
<>; you can search through "two million
federal land title records for the Eastern Public Land States, issued
between 1820 and 1908". These states include Alabama, Arkansas,
Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
Ohio, and Wisconsin. These are original purchases of the land from the
US Government to a single individual.

>From their website you can search through various counties in the above
states and view a copy of the actual land patent as it was originally
issued. As a bonus, for $1.50 you can order a certified copy of the
patent online! Extra certified copies of the same patent are only .50
cents! Two weeks ago I went into their site, found the land patent of
my g-g-grandfather from 1860 in Arkansas, and ordered three copies for
$2.50. Yesterday they arrived from the Bureau of Land Management and
look fantastic. They're printed on brown, old-looking parchment paper
and include the indented certified seal of the "US Department of the
Interior - Bureau of Land Management".

While this land patent in itself doesn't really offer any additional
clues that can aid in your genealogical research (I just ordered it for
a souvenir), they also include a nice letter with it and a form for
requesting more paperwork on that particular land patent from the
National Archives. Additional information that may be available in a
case file from the National Archives includes cash receipts,
applications, and witness affidavits. So the case file may indeed have
those valuable additional clues for your research as well as giving you
additional souvenirs such as the actual signature of your ancestor (the
land patent was filled out by the Recorder, not the ancestor).

The form is extremely easy to fill out and has two options - one for the
National Archives to bill you, or you can give them your credit card so
they'll ship the information as soon as they find it. According to the
form it's $10, but may be more if quite a bit of paperwork is found
(wouldn't we LOVE to be so lucky as to have a whole volume of papers!).
I think it's worth the $1.50 just to get the form!

To make things even better, yesterday I just found out that two of my
g-g-grandfather's sons purchased land adjacent to his in 1889. So now
I'm going to head back to their website and order some more copies!

I hope this information helps someone fill up their genealogy scrapbook.


Marcus Douglas

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