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Florida, Spanish Land Grants - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Florida, Spanish Land Grants, 1763-1821
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Florida, United States
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Flag of Florida
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Location of Florida
Record Description
Record Type Land Grants
Collection years 1763-1821
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
State Archives of Florida


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection, Florida Spanish Land Grants, 1763–1821, contains maps and property records associated with the transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States in 1821. Spanish rulers granted settlers areas of land in Florida to encourage settlement. As part of the treaty that transferred Florida to the United States, the United States agreed to honor all Spanish Land Grants. In 1822, the Board of Land Commissioners was established to verify titles and claims to land in East and West Florida. The board confirmed or rejected these claims, as claimants had to prove their ownership. The records are in folders containing one or more papers related to a person or families claim to a tract of land. Supporting documents in the folders may include petitions or memorials to a governor for land; survey or plats; attests; deeds of sale, gifts wills bequests, and exchanges; applications; and translations of Spanish documents (not all documents were translated). Claimants had to provide a description of land granted; date of grant; size of grant; property boundaries; and proof of residency and cultivation. Therefore, these records may contain surveys and plats, copies of royal grants, testimonials, correspondence, deeds, wills, and translations of Spanish documents. Many grants conflict and overlap with each other, so not all information is accurate. Some surveys were not verified. The original records are located at the State Archives of Florida in Tallahassee.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Land Grants

  • Primary owners name
  • Second owners name
  • Geographic location of the property
  • Date of Grant or filing
  • Status of the claim (confirmed or unconfirmed)

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person with the land grant
  • The general location of the land

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

You can browse through the images in this collection at the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory website: Spanish Land Grants Browse

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the information found in the record to find additional land records that might have more information
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to determine an approximate birth date to find vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage and death
  • Use the information found in the record to find immigration and probate records
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members in the census records

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. You could browse through the original record collection at the Florida Memory State Library & Archives Spanish Land Grants Collection which may help you find who you are looking for or provide additional leads
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Florida.

Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]

Spanish land grants in Florida : briefed translations from the archives of the Board of Commissioners for ascertaining claims and titles to land in the territory of Florida

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying you sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.