Genealogy‎ > ‎Genealogy Resources‎ > ‎

How to obtain Homestead/Land Records

  1. Go to the Bureau of Land Management website.
  2. Click on Search Land Patents
  3. You'll be asked for your own zip code.
  4. Choose one of the three tabs: Basic, Standard or Accession/Serial #.

Basic Tab

Select State and Patentee (Homesteader) last name (first name optional)

Up comes everybody in that state who was granted a land patent with that name. It will also list the county name, issue date, land office, document # and accession for each patentee. This list can be long, especially if the homesteader you are searching for has a common name.

Click on the Patentee Name and four tabs should show: Patent Description, Legal Land Description, Document Image and Certified Copy. If you click on Document Image - and if a copy of the land patent is on file - you will see a copy of the land patent issued. A big smile shows up on my face if I can print out a PDF copy of the land patent.

Standard Tab

If you know some of the location where the person homesteader such as county, township, etc. try filling in some of the data on this page and you should see a shorter listing of pateentees than in BASIC, maybe just the person you are looking for.

Accession/Serial #

When searching for land patents, one rarely knows the accession/serial number.

If you click on the "Certified Copy" tab, look in the lower right corner of the window for "land entry file". Clicking on this will take you to information on land entry files. Instructions on how to acquire the land entry file for the patentee and the cost is provided.

I have ordered several of these files and have been amazed at the paperwork and information that was generated in the homesteading process. The files I have ordered varied in size and information. Every once in awhile I have found an item dear to a family historian.