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Land granted to a widow

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


seajayf Report 16 Oct 2012 11:58

My Great (x 3) grandfather died towards the end of the American Civil War. His widow was granted land (in recognition of what I don't know). Anybody got any ideas how I can trace theDeed/Grant ?


K Report 16 Oct 2012 13:00

I wonder if this site would help in the USA National Archives


seajayf Report 18 Oct 2012 09:55

Thanks , have had a quick look at the site but it doesn't appear to be appropriate. I don't think my ancestor was a military man, just a regular visitor.


Andysmum Report 18 Oct 2012 12:29

I assume his widow was either American or intended to settle there?

As far as I can see from Google plots of land were handed out to anyone who wanted somewhere to settle. They don't seem to have been in recognition of anything particular and I didn't read enough to see what qualifications were required.

Certainly in the early days there was so much land available that settlers just built houses where they fancied, and then presumably got deeds or grants to protect it for their heirs.


mgnv Report 18 Oct 2012 23:50

My guess is this was homestead land.
In Canada, under the Dominion Homestead Act, the Canadian prairies (AB, SK, MB) were largely settled in this way. One paid $10 to file a claim on a vacant quarter section (quarter of a sq mile, i.e., 160 acres). One then had to prove the claim by living on the land for 3 y, erecting a dwelling, and getting 30 acres under crop. Widows could, and did, take over their husband's claim and go on to prove the claim.
I'm not familiar with the US, but their various homestead acts were similiar, but no doubt the details varied.

The granted land would be recorded in either the county land registery, or the state one - it varies by state.

Your first step would be to locate the widow on the 1870 census, or maybe the 1880 census. Transcriptions of the latter (with images) are free on Ancestry. The former is free (with images) at:®ion=UNITED_STATES

You can also search 1860 at FS - no images, and no household details, so you'ld have to search for both wife and hubby and see they're in the same family #.


seajayf Report 19 Oct 2012 17:10

Thanks for all your replies.
Could be something to do with 'homesteader acts'.
His widow lived and died in Nottinghamshire so that could prevent a trace problem ?