Nevada Land Records

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This entry was originally written by Nell Sachse Woodard and Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Nevada Family History Research series.
History of Nevada
Nevada Vital Records
Census Records for Nevada
Background Sources for Nevada
Nevada Maps
Nevada Land Records
Nevada Probate Records
Nevada Court Records
Nevada Tax Records
Nevada Cemetery Records
Nevada Church Records
Nevada Military Records
Nevada Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Nevada Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Ethnic Groups of Nevada
Nevada County Resources
Map of Nevada


Nevada is a Public-Domain State.

Nevada was among the states that received federal land grants. On 1 January 1863 the Homestead Act, passed by the U.S. Congress, became effective. The first U.S. District Land Office was opened in Carson City, Nevada, in 1862; additional ones followed at Auston (1867), Belmont (1868), Elko (1872), Eureka (1873), and Pioche (1874). In addition to those records held by the National Archives (see pages 11-12), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada State Office, 1340 Financial Blvd., Box 12000, Reno, NV 89502 has records involving transactions through Nevada’s land offices. The Nevada State Library and Archives has Carson County (Utah Territory) land records and land patents for the state. Land office grants are indexed on the BLM website.

The Comstock Mine’s minerals, including gold and silver, were claimed in 1859. The result was the first influx of population into the state that would continue until the substantial depletion of its mineral resources late in the nineteenth century. Mining dominated the economy and politics of the state for a half century. In 1866 alone, there were 200 mining districts that acted roughly as a court system in that they recorded deeds, transferred titles to claims, drew abstracts, and recorded a variety of land instruments. Documents related to mining and minerals may be found on the county level at the Nevada State Library and Archives.

The archives has mining corporation papers (1861–1926). Those after 1926 are at the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office. Other holdings at the archives include state mine inspection records (1909–74) for operating mines. These records include information regarding name, county and mine supervisor, licenses of hoist operators (1922–71), and mining accidents, both fatal and nonfatal (1909–71).

In each individual county in Nevada, records pertaining to land after initial grant are usually located in the respective office of the county recorder.

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