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Scott County, Indiana
Genealogy and History

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Bureau of Land Management Search

General information on land patents and public lands...

"The term public land means any lands and interest which title is still vested in the Federal Government. The Secretary of the Interior through the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) administers those lands within the several states." "The land was disposed of by the authority of many acts of Congress - sale, homesteads, military warrants for military service, timber culture, mining, etc. One of the primary purposes of these public land laws was to encourage people from the East to move West. In the early 1800's people could buy public land for $1.25 an acre. For a time, they could buy up to 640 acres under this law. The sale of public land under the "Cash Act" is no longer in effect."

"Several Military Warrant Acts granted public land to soldiers instead of pay. These acts have been repealed."

"The Homestead Act of 1862, allowed people to settle up to 160 acres of public land if they lived on it for five years and grew crops or made improvements. This land did not cost anything per acre, but the settler did pay a filing fee. This act is no longer in effect."

"Land patents document the transfer of land ownership from the federal government to individuals. BLM land patent records include the information recorded when ownership was transferred."

For additional information on Revolutionary War bounty land grants see the book (new back in print - 2006), "Revolutionary War Land Bounties," by Lloyd Bockstruck"