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01 April 2013

A Land Patent is Just the Beginning

If your US ancestor obtained a federal land patent, remember that there is documentation of how and why he obtained that patent--probably at the National Archives. If your ancestor purchased the land on some type of cash or credit sale, the file probably won't contain a great deal of information. But if he obtained it via a military warrant, homestead, or pre-emption claim (among others), there will be more information in that application file.


  1. In one Bounty Land Warrant application file, I got my 3x ggrandparents' 1799 marriage date, place, by whom, her maiden name, where/when/how her husband died, where/when he enlisted, served, where they lived before/after they moved to OH, when their house burned down, where she lived in 1851 and 1855 and affidavits from people who knew both of them. Best $30. I EVER spent.

  2. They can be great records if the widow survived. My wife's Kentucky ancestor gave the same information that yours did--except there was not a house fire involved. The lawyer did refer to the widow as not being "too swift." I thought he could have left that out. It was a great record though.