Where to Find Land Records and Maps Online


This is the third of a three-part series exploring free online genealogical resources. Read part one and part two.

Getting started in genealogy can seem overwhelming, but thankfully, there are dozens of online tools and resources at your disposal that makes finding your family easier than ever before. And the best part? Many of these resources are completely free.

In last week’s article, we explored five free websites and apps to assist you in your cemetery and obituary research. This week, we’ll take a look at a number of free websites offering information regarding land records and geographical maps. These resources are helpful as you seek to understand where your ancestors lived and worked, as well as the environmental and societal challenges they may have faced.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offers access to Federal land conveyance records for Public Land States. The website also offers access to more than five million Federal land title records issued as far back as 1788. Within the BLM archive you’ll also find:

  • Federal Land Patents. These documents can be useful for researchers who are exploring the initial transfer of land titles from government to individuals.
  • Survey Plats
  • Field Notes
  • Land Status Records

Old Maps Online

Old Maps Online is a great resource for anyone seeking to learn more of an area’s geographical history. Old Maps Online makes it easy to access, share, and even download historical maps. Currently, Old Maps Online has indexed more than 400,000 maps thanks to archives and libraries that have made their collections available.

Perry-Castañeda Library Maps Collection

The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection is a map collection owned by the University of Texas at Austin. The majority of maps in this collection have been scanned and are available for viewing, download, and print. Most of these maps are public domain.

This collection includes maps of:

What other resources do you use to aid your land and geographical research? Tweet us @RootsTechConf to join the conversation.

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