Sunday, April 28, 2013

Speaker Profile-Angela Packer McGhie

Saturday, 11:00 a.m., S424, “Researching in Federal Land Records”

Imagine reading an affidavit from your ancestor written in 1865 where he states he has made a settlement and “erected a log house 16 x 16 feet with roof, floor, doors and windows and is a comfortable house to live in.” And that he has “plowed, fenced and cultivated thirty acres of land and has thereon 200 rods of fencing with stable and corral and orchard.” Those details would be worth adding to your family history.

Would you like to learn that your ancestor who lived in Oregon had arrived in the state on 26 October 1853, was a native citizen of the United States born in Dixon County, Tennessee in 1827, or that he had married his wife Nancy on 3 July 1857.

Would you expect to find a copy of your ancestor’s naturalization certificate in land records? What about your ancestor’s Civil War service discharge papers? These genealogical gems and more can be included in federal land records.

Now not all land entry papers contain these types of details, but depending on the type of file, you may locate rich genealogical information. If your ancestor purchased land from the federal government or established a homestead, you will want to learn how to search these records.

“A drawing of an early homestead family,” digital image, Bureau of Land Management Photo Library, ( accessed January 6, 2012).


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