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Land Records

One of the interesting subject matter of study of genealogists is the land records, where they study and analyze different land entry case files. The land records are the considered to be the documentation of the transfer of land from government ownership to public ownership. According to the national archive statistics, there are nearly ten million land records preserved in the archives. Numerous files cover cases are recorded in about thirty public land states. All the cases which are being filed as land records have the majority of the military bounty land warrants, which were filed before 1908 or after 1908 as the land entry files. If someone wants to access the information of the land records, it depends on three categories of transactions.

Land records for about twenty states are not meant for public access, they could only be obtained from the government archive of a particular state. This includes about 13 colonies including places like Kentucky, Hawaii, Tennessee, Maine, Vermont, Texas, and West Virginia.

Related Land Records

Land records could also be obtained from the following resources, which are easy to access-
Tract books: the Tract books are available for the purpose of land entry case files which are arranged according to the legal disposition of the land. This includes range, section, township etc. Generally, the tract books are separated in two broad geographical distributions- the western states and the eastern states.

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In case of the western states, you can avail the tract book from the National Archive Building in Washington DC. Here you can find information of land records about states like Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Information on Land Patents

You get information about the land patents, its rights and the legal documents, which form as an evidence of transferring the ownership of the land from the US Government to the private individuals. Apart from paperwork and documents, you can now even search for the land patents from the online resources of western and eastern states of the country. It is important to note that, the online resources include completed or patented land entries. The case of the land records which has been relinquished or cancelled will not be available on the online sources rather it contain much useful information for the search. For more information, the researches could use the tract books also.

Usefulness of Land Records

The land entry case files contain information useful for the genealogists and for legal professionals. The land record case file may yield useful information depending upon the type and the time period of land entry. It would provide new information about the family history, ancestors, title and issues about the usage of the land. The land record document could be attested to an individual’s age, place of birth, military service, citizenship, economic status, literacy and about any kind of information  of family members. The land records information could also be useful for census reports, court records and for even for pension records.


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