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California

General Land Office / Bureau of Land Management
Land Patent Records

INTRODUCTION

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), established by Congress in 1946,  inherited the functions and  land records of the General Land Office.  Information presented here was derived from BLM land records. This site lists land patents (deeds) issued by the United States in the State of California between 1856 and 1995.

While BLM has been referred to as "the Nation's record keeper" it is the National Archives that actually keeps the files. The BLM, maintains diagrammatic plats known as Master Title Plats, which depict lands which are owned by the United States and lands which are patented. However, these plats do not contain information concerning the recipient of the land. That information as only been available after tedious research.

The information available here contains the following information for each land transaction: location (meridian, township, range, section), document identification number, case number, case type (authority),  date and name.  A few deeds contained as many as 25 individuals on the patent document.  However, a vast majority of the documents contained seven or fewer names.  Seven was arbitrarily chosen as the maximum number of persons listed.  The case types (or authority) are not listed by the number, rather they are listed by what authority the land was transferred.

HOW TO RESEARCH FOR PATENTS ON THIS SITE

I created a name index for all patentees in California, so if you are looking for a particular surname start your search here.  Find the county then go to the link to that county.  In order to keep file sizes manageable several counties have been split into pieces.  You will have to use your browser's search capability to look through each part of the county data.  In addition to the name and county, the case file number is listed.  Therefore if an individual has multiple patents in a county, each one is listed.

Data is organized within each file geographically, by meridian, township, range and section.  If a section is split by a county line, it will only be found in one county. Some parcels of land are mis-reported in the wrong county because of this. If you know the person you are looking for had a homestead in one county, and you do not find him there, check the adjacent county.

BLM DOCUMENTS ON THE WEB

The information available on this site was obtained under the Fredom of Information Act in 1997. Much has changed since then! Now you can search live, current records at: http://www.blm.gov/lr2000/ If you click on the REPORTS link you will find at the bottom of the page a link to PUBLIC STATUS REPORTS. That is the data reproduced here!

In addition the Bureau of Land Management has a nation-wide Land Records Website that you can search and obtain copies of the actual patent documents. Recently BLM California created a website where you can search, view, and download the Master Plats and Historic Indexes. Some day actual survey records will also be on line.

Most of the data available on my site was replicated as text files at this Rootsweb website. However that site lacks the name index.

Should you have any questions, I would advise you to contact the Bureau of Land Management through the above sites or through the main site (see the Directory of Offices).

More Resources

Order copies of the actual Patent documents from the National Archives and Records Adminstration.

Using township, range and section results to generate a geographic coordinate (latitude, longitude). Go to the BLM website: http://www.geocommunicator.gov . Click on Township GeoCoder in the left margin. Then on Geocoder.  Fill in the blanks


The Web Search Vredenburgh.org



Index of Names
Index of Counties
(The following are Adobe Acrobat .pdf files)
Alameda
Alpine
Amador
Butte
Calaveras
Colusa
Contra Costa
Del Norte
El Dorado
Fresno
   1) Fresno
   2) Fresno
Glenn
Humbolt
   1) Humbolt
   2) Humbolt
Imperial
Inyo
Kern
   1) Kern
   2) Kern
Kings
Lake
Lassen
   1) Lassen
   2) Lassen
Los Angeles
   1) Los Angeles
   2) Los Angeles
Madera
Marin
Mariposa
Mendocino
   1) Mendocino
   2) Mendocino
Merced
Modoc
Mono
Monterey
   1) Monterey
   2) Monterey
Napa
Nevada

Orange
Placer
Plumas
Riverside
   1) Riverside
   2) Riverside
Sacramento
San Benito
San Bernardino
   1) San Bernardino
   2) San Bernardino
   3) San Bernardino
   4) San Bernardino
San Diego
   1) San Deigo
   2) San Diego
San Francisco
San Joaquin
San Luis Obispo
   1) San Luis Obispo
   2) San Luis Obispo
San Mateo
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
Shasta
   1) Shasta
   2) Shasta
Sierra
Siskiyou
   1) Siskiyou
   2) Siskiyou
Solano
Sonoma
Stanislaus
Sutter
Tehama
Trinity
Tulare
Tuolumne
Ventura
Yolo
Yuba



 
Download zipped Microsoft Excell spreadsheets of the above data

(Click on the file below to begin download)

Alameda
Alpine
Amador
Butte
Calaveras
Colusa
Contra Costa
Del Norte
El Dorado
Fresno
   1) Fresno
   2) Fresno
Glenn
Humbolt
   1) Humbolt
   2) Humbolt
Imperial
Inyo
Kern
   1) Kern
   2) Kern
Kings
Lake
Lassen
   1) Lassen
   2) Lassen
Los Angeles
   1) Los Angeles
   2) Los Angeles
Madera
Marin
Mariposa
Mendocino
   1) Mendocino
   2) Mendocino
Merced
Modoc
Mono
Monterey
   1) Monterey
   2) Monterey
Napa
Nevada
Orange
Placer
Plumas
Riverside
   1) Riverside
   2) Riverside
Sacramento
San Benito
San Bernardino
   1) San Bernardino
   2) San Bernardino
   3) San Bernardino
   4) San Bernardino
San Diego
   1) San Deigo
   2) San Diego
San Francisco
San Joaquin
San Luis Obispo
   1) San Luis Obispo
   2) San Luis Obispo
San Mateo
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
Shasta
   1) Shasta
   2) Shasta
Sierra
Siskiyou
   1) Siskiyou
   2) Siskiyou
Solano
Sonoma
Stanislaus
Sutter
Tehama
Trinity
Tulare
Tuolumne
Ventura
Yolo
Yuba



 
 
Key to Meridians

HM - Humbolt
GS - Gila and Salt River (along the Colorado River)
MD - Mount Diablo
SB - San Bernardino


 
Key to Case Types

181000- Public Lands Litigation 
186001- Quit claim deed by US
210000- Acquisition by US 
220000- Land exchange 
230000- Withdrawal of Land by US 
240000- Classification of Lands by US 
250000 Disposition: Use and Occupancy 
        251000- Homestead 
        252000- Desert Land Act 
        253000- Indian Patents 
        254000- Color of Title Act 
        255000- Mining Claim Occupancy Act 
260000 Grants 
        261000- Military Scrip Warrant Patents 
        262000- Lands to the State of California 
        262500- Swamp Land 
        263000- Rail Road Grants 
        264000- Airport conveyance act 
        267000- Spanish / Mexican Land Grants 
270000 Sales 
        271000- Public Land Sale 
        272000- Cash 
        273000- Small Tract 
        274000- Recreation & Public Purposes 
        275000- Cemeteries and Parks 
        276000- Townsites 
        278000- Unintentional Trespass 
371000 Multiple Use Act 
386000 Mining Laws 
        386200- Lode Mining Claims 
        386300- Placer Mining Claims 
        386400- Millsite Claims
 

Land Conveyance types in this database

PA - Patent 
GD - Grant Deed 
WD - Warranty Deed
Land Conveyances to the State of California
IL - State Lieu Selection (Lands the State selected in-lieu of 
        sections 16 and 36, which they were entitled to but did not receive) 
LS - Forest Lieu Selection 
SG - State Grant 
SS - State Selection


 
 
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