|Map of the contiguous United States showing federal land and state land states by David Dilts for the FamilySearch.org Research Wiki. https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Federal_vs._State_Land_States.png|
For genealogists, any ancestor who moved to one of the homestead or Federal Land states during the time homesteading was allowed, may have moved to obtain land. The Federal Land States were those in the United States for which ownership is claimed by the U.S. federal government, pursuant to Article Four, section 3, clause 2 of the United States Constitution. Such lands were considered to be in the "public domain." The State Land States were those who owned and could sell their own land.
Here is a copy of my Great-grandfather's land patent from his homestead of 320 acres in Northern Arizona from 1927.
The Homestead process creates a number of documents, most of which are available either from the U.S. National Archives or from the Bureau of Land Management. Here are some samples
|Daniel Freeman's Homestead Application http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act/|
|Daniel Freeman's Proof of Improvements http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act/|
|Daniel Freeman's Certificate of Eligibility http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act/|
Here are the earlier posts in this series and others on real property so far: