Patents of Monroe County
from Land Patent Records for Monroe County
-text file, press back to return here.
a land patent?
of the United States was once "public domain" land owned by
the federal government and transferred to individuals under laws
enacted by Congress. Missouri was among the 30 states that were formed
from the "public domain."
homestead and other land ownership records of the pioneers who settled
the American West include many valuable documents that show ownership
of land acquired under various federal laws designed to promote
settlement of the western frontier.
and other land ownership records are rich in genealogical information,
and provide two types of important evidence for genealogists. First,
they locate individuals and families in a specific time and place with
connections to other people in the neighborhood, and second, they
clearly show family relationships.
that opened up the American West
The Pre-emption Act of 1841 accomodated settlers who had established
themselves illegally on land ahead of government surveyors. When the
surrounding land was eventually surveyed and made ready for public
sale, the "squatter" had the right to appear at the local
land office and purchase up to 160 acres of their illegal holdings for
$1.25 per acre to pre-empt or prevent any subsequent claims, as long
as the settler could show proof of a dwelling and improvements to the
land. The Pre-emption Act, repealed in 1891, legalized early pioneer
settlement on unsurveyed lands, and recognized squatting as a
legitimate means of establishing a homestead. Many homestead files
contain documents of proof related to the Pre-emption Act.
patents document the transfer of land ownership from the federal
government to individuals.
asked questions about land patents, click here.
of Land Records from the Learning Center: Section I, #2