Tracing Immigrants Arrival Land and Property
Most deeds indicate the purchasers' and the sellers' residences. If the immigrant purchased land right after arriving in the new country, the deed could reveal the place of origin. For example, “headrights” (the head of house's right to land for settling a colony) can show places—usually the country—of origin. Headrights are indexed in books like—
- Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1732. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983. (FHL book 975.5 R2n.)
Many places required that an immigrant be a citizen or that an immigrant file a declaration of intent to become a citizen before buying land. Land records may include copies of naturalization records or lead to them. An excellent set of land records with immigration data, on 1,641 rolls of microfilm, is—
- Saskatchewan Homestead Records, 1870-1930, and Index. Ottowa, Canada: Canadian Department of the Interior, Dominion Lands Office.
Homestead applications in the United States often reveal immigration status. Homestead and other land transfers are indexed in the BLM-GLO Land Patent Index.