Time Passages, Genealogy of the Dakotas

 

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Dakota Land Patent Records

One of the most requested services we receive from researchers is to find the land patent records of their North Dakota or South Dakota ancestors. If you are interested in this type of research, we can help.

Step 1 - Research the Land Patent Records
The first thing we need to do is research the land patent records of North Dakota or South Dakota to determine if your ancestor's name is listed in these records.

To guarantee the best search, this is what would be helpful:

Who
-- The complete name of your ancestor who may have received a patent (first deed) to land from the United States government. Please include sufficient information to differentiate your ancestor from another person of similar name.

Where -- The county in North Dakota or South Dakota where you believe your ancestor may have received a patent to land from the United States government. If you know the name of the township, or the "township, range, section" legal description of the land, or if you can provide a photocopy of a deed or land ownership document of any kind, that would be great.

We will research the complete land patent records of North Dakota or South Dakota, and notify you by email of the results of our investigation. You will receive all information we are able to find regarding any land patent(s) listed in your ancestor's name. We charge $15 for this research service.

» Click Here to Research North Dakota Land Patent Records
» Click Here to Research South Dakota Land Patent Records
 
     

     
Step 2 - Acquire Photocopies of Your Ancestor's Documents
If our research finds that your ancestor's name is associated with one or more land patents in North Dakota or South Dakota, then you may want to acquire photocopies of the actual documents contained in your ancestor's land entry case file(s).

Perhaps you have done your own research and know that your ancestor was granted one or more land patents in North Dakota or South Dakota by the United States government.

In either case, if you provide the
complete name of your ancestor and the legal description (township, range, and section) of the land described in the federal land patent, we will be able to acquire photocopies for you of the actual documents contained in your ancestor's complete land entry case file(s). We charge $80 per land entry case file for this research service.

The process of acquiring land patent records from the United States government can take two or even three months to complete. Waiting for a response from the National Archives needs to be taken into consideration.

» Click Here to Acquire North Dakota Land Entry Case Files
» Click Here to Acquire South Dakota Land Entry Case Files
 
     

     
Step 3 - Search for a Deed of Sale
If you know the legal description (township, range, and section) of your ancestor's land in North Dakota or South Dakota, then it should be possible to acquire a photocopy of the deed of sale that was created when your ancestor or other persons eventually disposed of the patented land through voluntary or involuntary sale. The deed of sale will show the date the land was sold, the name of the purchaser, and the circumstances of the sale.

We will research the land records of the county in North Dakota or South Dakota that matches the legal description (
township, range, and section) of the land described in the federal land patent, and notify you of the results of our investigation. You will receive all information we are able to find regarding the land described in the federal land patent. We charge $20 for this research service.

» Click Here to Search for a North Dakota Deed of Sale
» Click Here to Search for a South Dakota Deed of Sale
 


     
If you have questions or need further information, please feel free to contact our Dakota Land Patent Researcher.
     

Mail :

  Don Smith
Dakota Land Patent Researcher
4977 Klitzke Drive
Horace, ND 58047-9726
     

Questions?

  Call Don Smith at 701-588-4541
     


Dakota Homestead Records
If your ancestor was granted a patent (first deed) by the United States government to land in North Dakota or South Dakota, chances are excellent that we will find your ancestor's land patent records for you!

Our highest priority is to provide unsurpassed quality of research and extraordinary personal service. If you are not 100% satisfied with the information that you receive from us, we will refund your money.


The Homestead States

Much of the United States was once "public domain" land owned by the federal government and transferred to individuals under laws enacted by Congress.

North Dakota and South Dakota are among the 30 states that were formed from the "public domain."

The other 28 states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The homestead and other land ownership records of the pioneers who settled the American West include many valuable documents that show ownership of land acquired under various federal laws designed to promote settlement of the western frontier.

Homestead and other land ownership records are rich in genealogical information, and provide two types of important evidence for genealogists. First, they locate individuals and families in a specific time and place with connections to other people in the neighborhood, and second, they clearly show family relationships.

Laws that opened up the American West

The Pre-emption Act of 1841 accomodated settlers who had established themselves illegally on land ahead of government surveyors. When the surrounding land was eventually surveyed and made ready for public sale, the "squatter" had the right to appear at the local land office and purchase up to 160 acres of their illegal holdings for $1.25 per acre to pre-empt or prevent any subsequent claims, as long as the settler could show proof of a dwelling and improvements to the land. The Pre-emption Act, repealed in 1891, legalized early pioneer settlement on unsurveyed lands, and recognized squatting as a legitimate means of establishing a homestead. Many homestead files contain documents of proof related to the Pre-emption Act.

Beginning in 1862, the United States Congress enacted a series of laws that totally transformed the American West.

Land grants were given to the four transcontinental railroads to extend rail transportation from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The Homestead Act was adopted, offering
free land to anyone willing to live on the land for five years and improve it.

Native American peoples were removed from open land to reservations, opening up the west to white settlement.

Thirteen new territories, including the Dakota Territory, were admitted to the union.

Land grants were given to each state and territory to establish agricultural colleges to encourage productive farming.

The Homestead Act of 1862 offered 160 acres of land (80 acres within the railroad grant areas) free to any head of family or person over 21 years of age who was a citizen of the United States or who had filed a declaration of intent to become a citizen in exchange for simply residing on the land for five years and improving it. Quarter sections of land were distributed free, provided the property was lived on and worked for five years. There was also an option to purchase the land after six months of residency for $1.25 per acre. Originally, the Homestead Act applied to surveyed land, but in 1880 it was extended to include unsurveyed land. Railroads spearheaded the onslaught of landseekers, bringing trainloads of homesteaders into the heart of the Western frontier. Every homestead file contains documents related to the Homestead Act.

The Timber Culture Act of 1873 was another law that encouraged homesteading and the planting of trees in the west. If a settler planted 40 acres of timber (reduced to 10 acres in 1878) and fostered their growth for 10 years, the individual was entitled to that quarter section of land. The Timber Culture Act also permitted homesteaders who occupied their land for three years, with one acre of trees under cultivation for two of those three years, to receive a patent to the land. The law was eventually repealed in 1882. Many homestead files contain documents of proof related to the Timber Culture Act.

The Desert Land Act of 1877 was designed to foster settlement of the arid and semi-arid regions of the west, specifically in Arizona, California, the Dakotas, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The Act allowed anyone to purchase 640 acres of land for 25 cents per acre if the land was irrigated within three years of filing. A rancher could receive title to the land any time within the three years upon proof of compliance with the law and payment of one additional dollar per acre. The homestead files of cattle ranchers in the region west of the Missouri River contain documents of proof related to the Desert Land Act and Timber Culture Act.

 

     

 

 

 

Time Passages Genealogy
4977 Klitzke Drive
Horace, ND 58047-9726
(701) 588-4541

 

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