When Nebraska and other western states were first being divided into counties, people were allowed to "homestead" land. Many of us have ancestors that homesteaded here in Nebraska. Anyone who ever applied for a homestead via a homestead exemption or timber claim, was recorded at a U.S. Land Office. These homestead records are also known as U.S. Land Tract Records. For most of south central Nebraska homesteaders, the U.S. Land Office they needed to file their claim at was located in Bloomington, Nebraska. After the requirements were met, people were issued a homestead or timber claim number and certificate. However, there were also those people that applied for a homestead or timber claim, but for some reason or another, abandoned their claim or did not fulfill the requirements to get the certificate. For some early settlers that did not stay in this county, this is the only record that they would be found in. These original U.S. Land Tract Records are available on microfilm. Please contact your local library, genealogy or LDS History Center if you would like to view the microfilm of the original records. All of the U.S. Land Tract Records for Franklin County Nebraska Townships are included in this listing. Transcribing these old handwritten records was difficult and time consuming. I am sure errors exist, but we did the best we could.
A big thank you to Carol Wolf Britton for helping me type these records. Without her help this would not have been possible.
These Homestead Records are listed in alphabetical order by the Applicant's last name. There are over 2,584 homestead entries for Franklin County including 519 Timber Claims and 199 entries paying cash. The earliest entry I found was August 1870. There were a few women listed as Applicants and a few more listed as Patent Owner widows. At least two Patent entries were to minor or orphaned children. Please know that we did not include school and/or railroad land in these records as there were no names associated with those acres.
Q. What do the codes Tc, He and Cash mean in the Par Column?
The Tc = Timber Claim; the He = Homestead; and Cash = Paid Cash for Homestead.
Q. How can I get a copy of my ancestor's Homestead Papers?
To get a copy of your Franklin County ancestor's original Homestead
or Timber Claim papers, first locate your ancestor on the list.
If they fulfilled their claim, make a note of the Section, Township
and Range numbers. Write the Franklin County Clerk, P.O. Box 146,
Franklin, Nebraska 68939. When you write the Clerk give the Section,
Township and Range information. Ask them how much it would cost
to send you your ancestor's Application Number and the Certificate
Number. Be sure to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.
After you have this information, request NATF Form 84 by
writing: Textual Reference Branch-Land (NWDT1), National Archives
and Records Administration, 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington,
D.C. 20408. Fill out the form as requested.
Q. Is this list available in book form?
Yes. This entire listing of Frankling County Homestead Records is available in a bound 8 1/2 x 11 inch book. The 275+ page book lists all records in three formats: alphabetical by Applicant; alphabetical by Patent; and by section/township/range. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, send your request along with $35.00 (postage included) to the Naponee Historical Society, P.O. Box 128, Naponee, Nebraska 68960. All proceeds go toward benefiting this non-profit Franklin County historical society.
Q. What is a Section? Township? Range? and how do you read a legal description?
The York County Nebraska web page has a very informative page on land descriptions in Nebraska that will really help out anyone with questions. Check out their web site at http://www.rootsweb.com/~neyork/landdescriptions.html.
Enjoy! Patti Simpson
Return to Franklin County NEGENWEB page HERE.Page by PS Designs Updated 2008