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Genealogical Research III

Originally posted in GERMAN-AMERICAN-L by Nancy Ring-Kendrick on Tue, 05 Jan 1999 .

Using Records in the National Archives for Genealogical Research, taken from the National Archives and Records Administration General Information Leaflet Number 5:

LAND RECORDS:

Land records (dated chiefly 1800-1974) in the National Archives include bounty-land-warrant files, donation land entry files, homestead application files, and private land claim files relating to the entry of individual settlers on land in the public land states. There are no land records for the original 13 states and Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and Hawaii. Records for these states are maintained by state officials, usually in the state capitol. The donation land entry files and homestead application files show, in addition to the name of the applicant, the location of the land and the date it was acquired, residence or post office address, age or date and place of birth, marital status, and, if applicable, the given name of spouse or the size of the family. If any applicant for homestead land was of foreign birth, the application file contains evidence of naturalization or of intention to become a citizen. Supporting documents show the immigrant's country of birth and sometimes the date and port of arrival. Genealogical information in records relating to private land claims varies from the mention of the claimant's name and location of the land to such additional information as the claimant's place of residence when the claim was made and the names of relatives, both living and dead.

There is a name index to land entries in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, and Utah for the period 1800- July 1, 1908, and for land entries after 1908 in the public land states. The staff will search the index if the full name of the applicant and the name of the state or territory in which the land was located are given. (Cousin Pat, are you reading this????) A search of the records for all other public land states or territories, 1800-1908, requires, in addition to the applicant's name, (1) a description of the land by township, range, section, and fraction of section or (2) the name of the land office, type of entry, and certificate number. an inquirer may be able to obtain the legal description of land by writing to the county recorder of deeds in the county seat of the county in which the land was located.

The several western regional archives hold at least some of the following: original tract books, abstract books, land entry case files, survey plats, and correspondence relating to land entries for their regions.

Genealogical Records in the National Archives:

"The National Archives has custody of millions of records relating to persons who have had dealings with the federal government. These records are deposited in the National Archives facilities in Washington, DC. area and in the eleven National Archives Regional Archives throughout the United States. The records most useful for genealogical research are briefly described throughout this leaflet. These records may contain full information about the person or give little information beyond a name. Searches in the records may be very time consuming as many records lack indexes. The National Archives staff is unable to make extensive searches, but, given enough identifying information, will try to find a record about a specific person.

The original records, subject ot the restrictions and limitations described below, may be freely consulted in the National Archives facility that has custody of them. In addition, many of the most heavily used records have been microfilmed, with copies available for research use at more than one facility. Photocopies of most of the records can be supplied for a moderate fee per page. If ;you are unable to come to the National Archive, you may hire someone to do research for you. Many researchers who work for a fee advertise in genealogical periodicals, which are usually available in public libraries. A more detailed description of records of genealogical interest is contained in "Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives," and in guides to the records in each regional archive."

 

 
 
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