=== Federal Land Records ===
When the United States acquired [[Wyoming|Wyoming]], most of the land that comprises the present state became part of the [[
Grants_from_the_Federal_Government_( Public_Domain)|public domain]]. The federal government surveyed available land and began transferring much of it to private ownership through local land offices in a process called "land entry." The first land office was established at Cheyenne in 1870.
Land entry in Wyoming was either based on cash payment for the land (cash entries), or on conditions of settlement (homesteads). Anyone who was twenty-one years old, or who was a head of household (including widows), could purchase land. Free homesteads could be obtained after 1862 by those who settled and cultivated the land for at least five years. A homestead applicant either had to be a U.S. citizen or must have filed his intention to become a citizen.
The local offices recorded each transaction in a section of land in tract books. They also created township plats, which are maps of land entries within each township.