During my recent genealogy research trip I discovered a new “favorite” record type. The land patent or grant, Land Records and Land Plats are a wealth of interesting information. After linking these three records for my great great grandfather’s farm I can actually see his story unfold. I was happy to see the family build and prosper and saddened by their troubles.
You are probably asking, how do you get these records? Well, from several different places actually. For land grants and some plat surveys you can go this website: www.glorecords.blm.gov. For land records you will have to contact the county courthouse where the land was located. I found land plats for 1889, 1911, and 1923 at the county historical society but sometimes the local library has them as well. Here is John Edward Tracy Land Patent for 80 acres in Brown Township, York County, Nebraska. He got this patent in 1885 and it is for the west half of the SE 1/4 of section 14. This was a “Timber Culture Patent” to encourage the growth of timber on the western prairie. Below is a land plat survey from 1889 for Brown Township, York County, Nebraska where my great great grandfather owned a farm in the SE 1/4 of section 14 and 1/2 of the SW 1/4 of section 14. The Tracy family enlarged this farm over the next 40 years and it was in the Tracy family for over 100 years. There are still a few Tracy’s living on a small part of this land.