Nebraska, Homestead Records from Nebraska City and Lincoln Land Offices (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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|Nebraska, United States|
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- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can these Records Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing this Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
This collection includes homestead entry case files and land entry case files from the Bureau of Land Management. Records from this collection encompass the years 1863-1908. The records are arranged by final certificate number. The homestead entry case files include documents required to qualify for a homestead, such as:
Many immigrants also included their naturalization certificates with their application. The Homestead Act of 1862 was signed into law after the secession of many Southern states from the Union.
The Homestead Act allowed for settlement of land in non-populated areas. It established a land acquisition process that required filing an application, improving the land, and filing for the deed of title. Any citizen or intended citizen could file an application for 160 acres of land, as long as they had never fought against the U.S. Government. Homesteaders had 5 years to build on, farm, and improve the land. After five years, a homeowner could file for a land patent or deed at a local land office. The local land offices forwarded the documentation to the General Land Office in Washington D.C. with a final certificate of eligibility.
Claimants paid $1.25 an acre. Service in the Union Army was counted towards the residency requirement after the Civil War. Not all homesteaders were able to qualify for ownership of the land due to harsh soil and weather conditions. Once the railroads were in place, homesteading increased due to the ease of travel.
What Can these Records Tell Me?
Key genealogical facts found in most final certificates and homestead patents include:
- Application and final certificate numbers
- Name of applicant
- Description and location of land
How Do I Search the Collection?
To search the collection it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate time period when they purchased land
- The description of the land
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How Do I Analyze the Results?
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?
Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, marriage, census, land and death records.
- Use the information to find additional family members.
- Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
- Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.
I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?
- Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
- Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
- Search the indexes and records of Nebraska, United States Genealogy.
- Search in the Nebraska Archives and Libraries.
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Nebraska.
Citing this Collection
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.
A citation will be available when the collection is published.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| 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.