Time Passages, Genealogy of the Dakotas


North Dakota Genealogy South Dakota Genealogy



South Dakota Land Entry Case Files

We are able to help you acquire photocopies of the documents contained in the complete land entry case file(s) of your ancestors in South Dakota.

We charge $80 per land entry case file for this service.

You will receive photocopies of the actual documents contained in the complete land entry case file of your ancestor in South Dakota.

Please provide the complete name of your ancestor and the section, township, range legal description of the land described in your ancestor's South Dakota land patent.

Your Ancestor's Name:


Section, Township, Range:

Example: S13, T106N, R64W

Perhaps you're not sure if your ancestors are listed in the land patent records of South Dakota. In that case, we are able to research the complete federal land patent records of South Dakota to determine if your ancestor's name is listed in any of the land patents on file. » Click Here «

Land Entry Case Files

The official records of the United States government in which federal land was transferred to individuals, either by sale or by grant, were called land entry papers, and the document of deed from the United States government that guaranteed title to such land was called a patent. An applicant for a federal land patent was called an entryman, and the completed United States government file containing the actual original documents of this land transfer process is called the Land Entry Case File.

The Land Entry Case File contains

  The claimant's land patent application showing the name of the entryman, place of residence at the time of application, description of the land, and the number of acres of land contained in the patent
  Receipts for the payment of application fees
  Certified copy of declaration of intent to become a citizen of the United States, if applicant was foreign-born. (The filing of naturalization "first papers"—declaration of intent to become a citizen of the United States—was required of foreign-born persons who desired to acquire and own free land from the United States government.)
  Certificate of notice of intention to file a land patent claim. (Federal regulations required claimants to file public notice of intention to prove a land patent claim, and such notice was usually published three times in the local newspaper).
  Final proof certificate authorizing the issuance of the patent (first title deed) transferring the land from the United States government to the private individual. The final proof certificate gives the claimant's name, age, post office address, citizenship, dates the establishment of residence, gives the number and relationship of family members, and describes the location of the tract of land with a description of the house, furniture, the type of crops planted, the number of acres under cultivation, lists farm machinery and tools, includes the testimony of the claimant and two witnesses, usually nearby neighbors, and records the patent number and date the patent was issued.

Some early settlers in the public domain exercised the right of pre-emption, by which they "squatted" or resided illegally on public lands without permission, built a house and made other improvements, and were later allowed to purchase the land at a minimum price of $1.25 per acre when the surrounding land was put up for public sale.

Other entrymen who applied for land patents desired to obtain possession of their land prior to the five-year passage of time required by law to qualify for a homestead patent. Such persons were able to purchase their land for cash at the established price, instead of waiting to fulfill the homestead conditions.

What if I'm not sure if my ancestor
was granted a federal land patent in South Dakota . . .

In that case, filling out a Land Patent Research Request would be the logical first step. We will research the federal land patent records of the entire state of South Dakota to determine if your ancestor's name is listed in any of the land patents on file. Our research fee is $5 for this service. » Click Here «


Mail :

  Don Smith
Dakota Land Patent Researcher
42080 Gibbel Road
Hemet, CA 92544-9262


  Call Don Smith at 701-588-4541


South Dakota


Dakota Homestead RecordsIf your ancestor was granted a patent (first deed) by the United States government to land in South Dakota, chances are excellent that we will find your ancestor's land patent records for you!

Our highest priority is to provide unsurpassed quality of research and extraordinary personal service. If you are not 100% satisfied with the information that you receive from us, we will refund your money.






Time Passages Genealogy
42080 Gibbel Road
Hemet, CA 92544-9262
(701) 588-4541


Fargo Digital