Homestead Land Patents

On my very first trip to the Ingalls Homestead I discovered they were selling copies of the Charles Ingalls Homesteading file for the site. I was impressed. It was a clever thing to do and I bought a copy. Anyone can get a copy of a homesteading file kept by the federal government, if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops and pay for it. So I was delighted when I was checking on something earlier I discovered the National Archives have put up a digital copy of the Charles Ingalls Homesteading file. Apparently they wanted to pick a file to show as an example and with all the interest from fans (or maybe there is a Laura fan there on staff?) they chose Charles Ingalls.

Hay Barn at Ingalls Homestead
Hay Barn at Ingalls Homestead

http://www.archives.gov/research/land/ingalls

Earlier they put up the first page of the Almanzo Wilder file on Tumblr:
http://todaysdocument.tumblr.com/post/10124359488/homestead-proof-testimony-of-almanzo-wilder

Through another branch of the federal government, the Bureau of Land Management, you can search for Land Patents (the final documents that transferred full ownership from the government to the citizen). A lawsuit over lack of sufficiently safeguarding privacy of Native American Tribes caused their websites and all records to be pulled for a couple of years, but the Land Patent Search is back up.

You can search it for yourself here: http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/PatentSearch/

While all the information is transcribed, only some of the documents have an actual image available. However, you can find Charles P. Ingalls in Minnesota, Eliza Jane Wilder, Royal Wilder, and Carrie C. Ingalls in South Dakota, and Peter Ingalls in Florida among others. The records for all the homesteads are there, but they are in the process of slowly scanning them and with a minimal budget it has been a long haul to get this many records. New records continue to be added.

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trundlebedtales

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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