Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday's Tip - Use the Improved BLM General Land Office Website to Find Federal Land Patent Locations

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Use the improved and revamped Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) General Land Office (GLO) website to find Federal land patents and survey maps of your ancestors land grants.

The Bureau of Land Management website for the General Land Office records is  http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/default.aspx.

The page provides information about Land Patents, Survey Plats and Field Notes, and Land Status Records.  The description says:

"Welcome to the Bureau of Land Management(BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site. We provide live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and the present. We also have images related to survey plats and field notes, dating back to 1810. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States."

If you click on the "Search Documents" tab near the top of the page, the "Search" page (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx) provides a number of search fields on the "Search Documents by Type" tab.

The user has to select a Location (State required, County optional) and either Names or Land Description or Miscellaneous.

On the screen above, I selected "Kansas" in the "Location" field and entered Last Name = "smith" and First Name = "devier" in the "Names" field.

I clicked on the orange "Search Patents" button and saw:

 It appears that Devier J. Smith had two land patents in Cheyenne County, Kansas.  They were both in Township 3 South Range 40 West, in Sections 11 and 10.

I clicked on the link for the first one on the list and saw the "Patent Details" tab information:

The table information included the names on the document, miscellaneous information about the patent, document numbers, survey information (160 acres) and the Land Description.  The "Land Description" provides the aliquot parts of the land obtained - in this case there are two different parts - the W1/2SW1/4 (West half of the Southwest quarter) of Section 11, and the W/1/2NW1/4 (West half of the Northwest quarter) of Section 11.

Further down the page is a map.  If you click on the check box under "Map" in the "Land Description" section (circled in red on the screen above), then the GLO page will zoom in and show the Township and Section, and in some case, the aliquot parts.  Here is the map for this specific patent:

When I checked the boxes, this message appeared:  "Due to data limitations, we could not map the aliquots or lots of this land description. The township and section are shown."

The user can zoom in using the Zoom Bar on the left to see more detail with geophysical features shown under the township and section squares:

I didn't see a way to save the map other than to take a screen shot or use the Snipping Tool and save the image.

Back on the "Search documents" screen, the "Patent Image" tab provides an image of the Patent granted to the person for the land:

The user can order the Patent for a price, or can print (using the print icon) or download a PDF (using the download icon) of the Patent.

The "Related documents" tab on the "Search Documents" page provides a list of the other patentees in the Section:

The user can click on each of those to find the land description and land patents for those persons too.

I clicked on the "Surveys," "LSR," and "CDI" links in the left-hand column and there was no information for this specific section.

I have written before about finding land location using the GLO patent information, the Earthpoint.us website and Google Earth in Finding Henry Carringer's Land Patents, and Location, in Cheyenne County, Kansas (posted 24 July 2013).

Judy G. Russell wrote Thank You BLM! two weeks ago highlighting her experience with the BLM GLO website but she entered a specific land description (state, township, range, section, aliquot parts) to find her ancestor's land.

The addition of the Map function to the BLM GLO website is a significant addition that makes it easier to determine where the land was located relative to present-day geophysical features.  The Google Earth method is still "cool" and useful.  

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/06/tuesdays-tip-use-improved-blm-general.html

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

1 comment:

SearchShack said...

Thank you for today's tip - I've used this site before to look for SHACKFORDs but it's always great to read your tips and check back to see if there have been additions to a particular database and in my case I found 17 SHACKFORD land patents when I'd only found four in an earlier search! Looking forward to more fun research matching the right person to each patent.

And even though the directions say you have to first select a state, you can now search all states by selecting ANY STATE! (It's an option at the bottom of the list of states).