State Research Guide: Oklahoma
Get a jump on your Sooner State roots research with our advice.
Oklahoma's cities sprang up in rather dramatic fashion: April 22, 1889, an estimated 50,000 settlers lined up at the edge of the 2 million-acre “Unassigned Lands,” now in central Oklahoma. At noon, a shotgun blast sent them racing to claim land plots. By the end of the day, Oklahoma City and Guthrie each had about 10,000 residents, street plans and the beginnings of municipal government. Within a month, there were five banks and six newspapers in Oklahoma City.

Those who'd jumped the gun and hidden out on choice homesteads earned Oklahoma its Sooner State nickname. You can get a similar head start on your Oklahoma genealogy by following our research advice.

Triggering settlement