With 2 million General Land Office patents to mine, the Bureau of Land Management's Web site is an El Dorado for public land records.
On Aug. 5, 1834, the federal government transferred title of 80 acres of public lands to my great-great-great-grandfather, Aaron Hendrickson. Aaron's acres were located in Shelby County, Ind., just southeast of the land owned by his brother, William.
How do I know? I found a record of the transfer at the Bureau of Land Management's land patent site <www.glorecords.blm.gov>. The free, searchable site serves as a repository for more than 2 million General Land Office (GLO) title records for public land sales ("patents"). The database contains patents issued between 1820 and 1908 in the eastern United States, and after June 30, 1908, in the West, with more to come.