The Homestead States
Much of the United States was once “public domain” land owned by the federal government and transferred to individuals under laws enacted by Congress.
North Dakota and South Dakota are among the 30 states that were formed from the “public domain.”
The other 28 states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Homestead patents and other land ownership records of pioneers who settled the American West include many valuable documents that show ownership of land acquired under various federal laws designed to promote settlement of the western frontier.
Homestead records and other land ownership documents are rich in genealogical information, and provide important evidence for genealogists.
Homestead records locate individuals and families in a specific time and place, with connections to other people in the neighborhood, and also show family relationships.