With the vast lands of the United States over the centuries, many of our ancestors came over from Europe in quest of a new opportunity and part of that quest was for land ownership, something not as wide-spread overseas. So the vintage maps, homestead records and land deeds have been gathers by History GeoCom to put that information online.
Putting together the land owner maps for over 500 counties across the United States there is a good chance some of your ancestors’ property can be located. Begin with a search on History GeoCom where you place a surname. After inserting a family name a list with US states names will appear. To the left of each state name (not all states will match with a surname with property) there is the number of records with that name. Then the county and the number of listings will appear. You will then get a thumbnail image.
The site is growing, adding additional land patents. They have about 8.8 million listings for US landowners presently.
The big push to get land came after the Homestead Act of 1862 which permitted any citizen over 21 or any head of a family to acquire 160 to 640 acres of public land so long as they lived and worked the land. That wasn’t done in the far west but even in Florida, one of the last frontier areas in the late 1890s and early 20th century.
Locating about your ancestor’s property may have been one of the family history items missing to date. Here is an opportunity to hopefully learn more about property once claimed by your relatives.
Photos: 1918 Harold and Emily Clare homesteading in Wyoming, Lincoln, Neb. map layout of property, 1900 Elizabeth Segerstrom and children by their home and pineapple fields in SE Florida.
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