While preparing to teach a class last week on Google Earth and Land, I revisited the BLM website If you are searching for an ancestor in the US this site is worth a visit. See http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/
The site is free, [your tax dollars at work], and contains land patents, military bounty land warrants, and land grants as well as credit entries, mining and timber claims and homesteads, for the United States. Land patents give information about people who obtained the title to their land directly from the federal government.
Millions of land patents are available and include the years from 1788 to the 1960s. Patents show the name of the patentee, date, legal description of the land, patent number, and the land office that issued the patent. This information can be used to obtain land patent application papers. You can order the applications papers if you wish to get more information about an ancestor. The applications may contain information about family members, where an ancestor resided previously, citizenship applications, Family Bible pages, marriage or death certificates, and affidavits.
I searched for Oliver Woodward in Ohio, whom I knew had received Bounty land for his Revolutionary War service. I found several records for land that he had received, and when I opened the ‘related documents’ tab, I also found deeds for his sons Elihu and Oliver Jr., plus a deed for Mary Corner, Oliver Jr.s second wife. In addition, I found two deeds for William Corner, the father of Mary (Corner) (McGrath) Woodward.
Scroll down the page to reveal a map and the land description that includes, the Meridian, Section, Township and Range, with a map showing below. Check the land description box and your ancestor’s land will be placed on the map
I love land records for the wealth of information they can provide, and for their placement of a person on the earth in a specific place at a specific time. I recently helped index some early deeds from Rehoboth Massachusetts. I knew my family had lived in Rehoboth for nearly 200 years, but was delighted to find a deed signed by the town purchasers on the 28 June 1653. It was signed by 41 men and 8 of them were my direct ancestors.