Source Information

United States, Bureau of Land Management. Alabama, Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Pre-1908 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997.
Original data: United States. Bureau of Land Management. Alabama Pre-1908 Homestead and Cash Entry Patent and Cadastral Survey Plat Index. General Land Office Automated Records Project, 1996.

About Alabama, Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Pre-1908

A land patent is a document recording the passing of a land title from the government, or other proprietor, to the patentee/grantee. This is the first-title deed and the true beginning of private ownership of the land. The patent describes in legal terms the land to which the title is given. Information recorded in these records includes:

  • Name
  • Land Office
  • Sequence
  • Document number
  • Total acres
  • Signature
  • Canceled document
  • Issue date
  • Mineral rights reserved
  • Metes and bounds
  • Statutory reference
  • Multiple warrantee and patentee names
  • Act or treaty
  • Entry classification
  • Land description

Where to Go From Here:

While patents are useful, they are not as informative as case files. However, patents contain all of the necessary information for ordering land-entry case files. To order a case file, be sure to provide the following information: name of land office, land description (township, range, and section), final certificate number or patent number, and authority under which the land was acquired (i.e., homestead, cash, bounty-land warrant, mining claim). Requests for land-entry case files should be sent to the National Archives using NATF Form 84. Requests can now be taken online by clicking Order Reproductions and then selecting the Land Files link. A detailed description of these records and more information on the ordering process is also available as a PDF from the National Archives.

For further information on locating and ordering land-entry case files, as well as how to research land records in general, please consult E. Wade Hone’s book, Land & Property Research in the United States (Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1997).

More information, including scanned images of the documents referenced in this index, can be found at the Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Land Patent Records Site.