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Federal Land Records
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The homestead final affidavits are available as well as all other land in the "western" states that was purchased directly from the federal government. The homestead process consists of multiple stages, each of which can have documentation and a date associated with it. These stages include the declaration of intention, homestead proof, and a final affidavit. There will also likely be other documents in the form of affidavits, receipts, public notices, and so on, each of which may also have dates of their own.

The Federal Land Records online database uses the final affidavit date indicating the end of the application process. This will likely be some years, possibly even more than a decade, after the declaration of intention is dated. However, when searching physical land records (such as tract books and published indexes of these records, like the Oklahoma Homestead Records), entries are more commonly ordered by the date of the declaration of intent that initiated the homestead process. We will be working with FamilySearch on a future project to index the homestead records other than the final affidavits and make them available online.

To access the Federal Land Records website click HERE.

Instructions for using the Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records

  1. Select Patents on the upper left.
  2. Select a state and optionally a country you want to search.
  3. Fill in the Name Fields. This is an exact match search, so be aware that sometimes less information is better. For example, if the name on a property record is "J W Smith" a search for "John Smith" will not find the entry.
  4. Click the Search Patents button at the bottom of the screen.
  5. When you find a record you want to view, click on the record number underlined in blue in the Accession column.
  6. The next screen will open on the Patent Details tab. You can click on the Patent Image or Related Documents tabs for additional information.
  7. On the Patent Image screen you will see a button to Add certified copy to Cart. This option can be used if you want to purchase a certified copy with an embossed seal from the Bureau of Land Management. If you just want a copy of the document without the certification, you can right click on the image and print a copy on your printer.
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