Before the homesteaders, soldiers, and other patentees received their patent, some government paperwork had to be done. Homesteaders had to file applications, witnesses had to testify that the homesteader had actually lived on the land, and those purchasing the land were issued receipts. These documents are on file at the National Archives.
The National Archives welcomes researchers to use both original and microfilmed records. The reference staff can help you to plan your research and to locate and understand records. If you are unable to visit the National Archives, or its regional archives, you may obtain copies of documents through the mail.
You can order copies of Land Entry Files from the National Archives using a copy of NATF Form 84. Full instructions for payment are explained on the form. The cost of the search and copies can be charged to a credit card or you can pay by check. Forms may be obtained from:
A Land Entry File for a homestead contains some or all of the following:
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