The following has been contributed to the Miller County, MOGENWEB site by Don Blankenship. I am posting to all the sites that I host; I have had great success with it using Don's instructions. Thank you, Don!
THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
GENEALOGY: Official U.S. land Patent Records site on the Internet
Bureau of Land Management, Dept. of the Interior
SUBJECT: Find records of U.S. Govt. Land purchased made by your ancestors
From: Don Blankenship < firstname.lastname@example.org >
On 1 May 1998 the federal Bureau of Land Management under the Dept. of
Interior first provided free public access to old U.S. government land
patents. They now have a web page where you can not only find records of
these land patents but also print out a beautiful copy of the original
manuscripted document. Prior to 1833 all land patents were signed by U.S.
presidents. Following that year they were signed by his secretary. The
Congressional act of 1820 made available government land to anyone who
could afford it at $1.25 per acre in 40-acre blocks. These U.S. government
land acquisitions continued from 1820 up through the early 1900's.
I recently found many land patent documents for my relatives who resided
in Miller County in the mid-1800's. When you find such a record it
documents that particular ancestor or relative at a particular moment in
time and it validates that he or she acquired land in a particular
location. Very often you are surprised to find that your relatives actually
acquired their land through government purchase because there may not have
been mention of it in your genealogy records. I have evidence that one of
my German born relatives who bought land just north of Tuscumbia, MO in
July 1860 paid twice the amount that originally was paid for the land when
purchaed from the governemnt one year earlier. So it is obvious there were
land speculators in Miller County as soon as these U.S. government lands
became available for purchase. I also believe that foreigners, such as my
Kallenbach ancestors, were unable to purchase these U.S. governement lands
and therefore were required to purchase them from land speculators.
When you go to the land U.S. Bureau of Land Records web page on the
Internet you are asked to input your ZIP code to gain entry to the site.
Most of the midwestern states currently are avaiable for access. The Bureau
of Land Management will make available additional information during the
next 18 months. Jim Gegan from the Bureau of Land Management explained to
by me recently that there has been literally no announcement of this new
genealogy service, but even so they were getting about 5,000 computer
queries a day during the first few days of opening the new Internet
service. If you are pleased with the service, drop Jim a note and let him
know how invaluable these government records are. There is a place at the
site to provide feedback to the Bureau of Land Management and if you
mention his name it might help.
The beautifully hand scripted land patent documents are stored in the
online computer for you to access. However, you will find that they are in
TIFF graphics format. This is the newest version of the older TIF format.
Some of you will not be able to handle this highly compressed format. So if
you try to bring up these graphics using your standard graphics viewer you
may not see the document. There are a great many graphic viewers which will
handle the TIFF format.
Below is a sample of the Birdsongs who purchased U.S. Government land in
Miller County. Once you determine that your ancestor is listed as a
purchaser of U.S. government land, you then simply will click on their name
at the internet site and that will bring up another screen with the
particulars of where the land was acquired. At the bottom of that screen
will be an option to download the graphic file which is an exact copy of
the original document. If you take a copy of the file to a copy service or
print shop, they should be able to print you an enlargement version of the
document which would be suitable for framing in your home. The original
manuscripted documents 11 X 17 inches in size but you can have your copy
service make it any size you want. Those with computer graphic skills can
do this with your own computer at home. The TIFF graphics can easily be
converted to JPG graphics which all of your graphic viewers can handle, but
the file size grows to about 1 megabyte in size.
SAMPLE PRINTOUT OF BIRDSONG LAND ACQUISITIONS IN MILLER COUNTY
PATENTEE NAME DATED DOCUMENT NR. ACCESSION NR.
BIRDSONG, GEORGE G 04/01/1857 46721 MO1850__.244
BIRDSONG, JOHN 05/01/1857 41852 MO1890__.069
BIRDSONG, JOHN 04/01/1857 46722 MO1850__.245
BIRDSONG, JOSIAH 06/01/1859 36598 MO3190__.454
BIRDSONG, JOSIAH 06/01/1866 36708 MO3230__.470
BIRDSONG, JOSIAH 06/01/1859 41392 MO1980__.052
BIRDSONG, JOSIAH 09/01/1856 45318 MO1830__.059
BIRDSONG, MELINDA H 06/01/1859 36597 MO3190__.453
BIRDSONG, MELINDA H 05/01/1857 45316 MO1900__.413
BIRDSONG, WILLIAM 06/01/1859 41393 MO1980__.053
BIRDSONG, WILLIAM 09/30/1835 5990 MO0520__.486
If you have the accession Nr. of the land parcel you can quickly go to it
and download the graphic of the original document.
Currently it is rather difficult to equate the description of these survey
records to current maps or geographical coordinates. However, in coming
months these land parcels and their locations should be cross indexed with
geographic coordinates or master sheets with nearby towns and this will
allow you to more precisely identify the locations. Read through all the
different web pages at the USGS internet site for more details on how these
survey documents were recorded.
Official U.S. land Patent Records site on the Internet
Bureau of Land Management, Dept. of the Interior
RESEARCHING: Blankenship, Kallenbach, Thompson, Tomson, Wright, + about 30