Those records comprise land entry case files of people who claimed land under the Homestead Act of 1862, which opened the door for Americans to own government land in exchange for making improvements (such as residency, raising crops and planting trees).
A land entry case file might include an application for land, witnesses testimonials, military records, citizenship papers and more.
Footnote already contains 1,824 case files for people who registered homesteads at the Broken Bow, Neb., land office between 1890 and 1908. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had microfilmed these; the rest of the General Land Office (GLO) records are still on paper.
You can search land patents at the Bureau of Land Managements GLO records site, but until your ancestors full land entry case file is digitized, youll need to order copies of it from NARA. If your ancestor applied for a land claim but didnt prove up, the GLO database wont contain a patent for him.