Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BLM federal land questions

From: Diane

I read with interest your recent post on the trip you made to the National Archives to get more info about ancestors land records. I discovered via the BLM website my husband’s grandfather made a purchase of land in California. My question is this, since I have what seems to be similar to what you posted on your website does that mean if I were to make a trip to the National Archives in Wash DC I would find paper documents with more info than was on the BLM site? Along with this Land Patent Details file I downloaded two Land Patent Documents. If there is more than this at NARA I’d love to make a trip. I never thought I’d find anyone on my family or husbands family that might make a trip worthwhile. I live in Yorktown, VA so it is not that difficult to get there.

I just started researching my husband’s family before Christmas and have found so much information and am eager to continue. I enjoy reading your blog (and others) and have been a sponge absorbing information from tons of online webinars, blogs and websites. Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

The final patents found at the Bureau of Land Management website are  pretty, but they don't begin to tell the whole story.

I checked -- and YES you want to get the complete files over at NARA 1 in Washington, DC. Unlike "cash" entry sales (where there is typically only a receipt for cash payment) your husband's grandfather's federal land purchases are "homestead" entries. Expect these to have many pages, including details about the ancestor, his family and his home.

This is the information you'll need to retrieve the first file you mentioned.
  • Accession Nr:868984  
  • Document Nr: 029941
  • Land Office: Los Angeles, California
  • Homestead Entry Original
  • Issued 6/21/1922
  • George Oswald
  • Record Group: 49
Since this is a homestead, you can expect a large file with annual reports from the applicant (Oswald) as well as witnesses as they discuss the development of the land to satisfy the homestead requirements.
There is another California land entry for George Oswald that you haven't mentioned. Could this also be your husband's grandfather? See: 920506

This is the information you'll need to retrieve the second file you mentioned:
  • Accession Nr:979045
  • Document Nr: 056998
  • Land Office: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Serial Patent
  • Homestead Entry - Stock Raising
  • Issued 5/12/1926
  • George Oswald
  • Record Group: 49
This is also a homestead entry, however I've never seen one that was under the authority of the Homestead-Entry - Stock Raising [emphasis added] Statute of 29 Dec 1916. Perhaps you can share the contents with me, for a future blog entry?
NOTE: There are several other George Oswald entries at the Bureau of Land Management GLO (Government Land Office) website. Search this time for "Any State" and "Any County" plus George Oswald. Here is the hit list I received.
You definitely want to go to the Archives to retrieve these files. Take your digital camera to reduce copy costs. Remember to:
  • Copy everything, front and back, unless the back side is blank.
  • Worry about analysis once you are home.
  • Pay close attention to witnesses, as they may be extended family members.
This is why I wrote the original blog post -- so folks will delve deeper into the documents that surround these land transactions. Glad somebody was listening.

There are also the tract books, but I haven't done research with them yet, so I cannot advise here.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)
Your friend in genealogy.

1 comment:

  1. :) Happy New Year You and Your Family! :) I
    had a Deed to Family Land, which had the longitude and latitude to My Family's Land on it. Unfortunately, the Deed was stolen. ( I know precisely why it was stolen- as well, My Family's Land has a mine on it, which was once excavated, by a Family Relative, whom spent 100K of his own funds- to find nothing.) HOW do I go about locating My Family's Land??? Thankyou for all you do. Sincerely,
    Anonymous P.S.(***I can't recall the longitude and latitude)