A collection of family histories and genealogies.

(this information taken from:)

Manual of Instructions for the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States; 1973
Prepared by the Bureau of Land Management, Technical Bulletin 6;  pub. U.S. Dept of Interior

(This information is provided for the aid of those researching their family histories.  Land grant and patent information can provide valuable clues to the locations and the neighbors of early settlers.  This material details how to understand the information obtained from the Land Patent Site of the General Land Office (link below).  Specifically, the location information is in a "System of Rectangular Surveys" form (called Public Land Survey System -- PLSS) and knowledge of terms such as "meridian line", "range", "township", and "section" are essential to locating your ancestor's land.  Enjoy.
  1. Public Lands:(pp 10-11) Thirty States have been created out of the public domain....The following list of the States formed from the public domain gives the date of admission, a citation of the enabling act in the United States Statutes at Large, and the present location of the original records of public land surveys.
  2. Units of Measurement(p. 18)
  3. General Scheme(pp. 59-60)
  4. Initial Points(Meridian and Base Lines) (pp. 60-62)
  5. Principal Meridian / Base Line(pp. 62-63)
  6. Township Exteriors(pp. 62-65)
  7. Figure 59(107 kb) -- Example of partially surveyed sections (p. 94)
  8. image of p. 240( 60 kb) -- Field Note Drawing
  9. image of p. 257(77 kb) -- Field Note Drawing
See also:
Related web sites:
BLM - General Land Office GLO -- Glossary Alabama archives
BLM Land Patent search USGS Mapping Alabama land grant maps
mykindred <> rootsweb
BLM - New Mexico, Oklahoma,
Kansas, Texas
GNIS (Geographic Names Information System) Texas General Land Office