Missouri Digital Heritage :: Collections :: Land Patents

Land Patents: 1831 - 1969

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During the nineteenth century, the United States government, by various acts of Congress, donated some 6.5 million acres of federal land in Missouri directly to the state. This public domain land was then sold by the state, with profits designated for various internal projects or improvements. The state, rather than the federal government, issued the land patents, verifying title and ownership to the parcels sold, for purchased sections of this donated land. The patents list the name of the person(s) who acquired the land, the purchase date and patent date, as well as a legal land description including township and range, name of county, and number of acres sold.

The Land Patents database contains over 35,500 transcribed patents containing information from the state-issued land patents which can be useful in placing an individual in a specific location at a specific time. The information contained in the land patent database includes name of purchaser, county, date of purchase, legal land description, and microfilm location for copy of full entry (reel number, volume and page number).

Additional Information

If you have questions or comments about these records, please contact the Missouri State Archives at archref@sos.mo.gov.