Friday, January 22, 2010

New Titles in the Genealogy Room: Land Patent Books

EWGS librarian Juanita McBride announced that the society recently purchased five volumes of the Family Maps series of land patent books with the 2009 Memorial Book fund. These include all the volumes currently available for Washington and Idaho:
  • Spokane County - WA
  • Whitman County - WA
  • Walla Walla County - WA
  • Asotin County - WA
  • Kootenai County - ID
  • Latah County - ID
The following is a description of these volumes from the publisher's website and author, Gregory A. Boyd:

The Family Maps series of Land Patent Books are published county by county, state by state, for original settlers whose purchases are indexed in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management database. For the first time, you can locate your ancestor's federal land purchase by simply finding them in a surname index, then an all-name index, which directs you to a map of first-land-owners. And now you can learn who your ancestors' neighbors were! The Family Maps books are a helpful visual reference tool that make your federal lands research easier than ever.

Each Township has a Patent Map, Patent Index, Road Map, and a Map we call an Historical Map, which includes Waterways, Watercourses & Railroads. The Road and Historical Maps also include the City-centers and cemeteries that can be found at There is also a Surname/Patent Index and a Surname/Township Index to help you dive into the right area of the County. Included Appendices identify multi-Patentee buying groups and also list the numerous Aliquot (section) parts you might find.

Attorney, genealogist, and software engineer, Gregory A. Boyd, has mapped the federal land patents (original land-owners) contained in the indexes of the Bureau of Land Management and Arphax Publishing brings you the resultant new books each week. Each volume provides you maps of indexed federal land patents for a county, with one map per Congressional township. Also included are two additional maps per township that geo-reference the land-tracts to existing roads, waterways, communities, cemeteries, railroads, etc. The Patent Maps are essentially plat-maps, but contain first land-owners, no matter what year they acquired the tract.

This series provides the best tool ever for re-constructing frontier neighborhoods, migration-patterns, and devising maiden-name possibilities. Many "burned" counties magically become researchable, thanks to these tools being generated from Federal records.

These titles are held in the Genealogy Room on the third floor of the Downtown Branch of the Spokane Public Library at 906 W. Main Avenue. With the branch now being open on Mondays, you will have even more opportunities to utilize the many genealogical resources there!


Charles Hansen said...

I got a chance to look through a couple of these Land Patent Books and they are very interesting. They do have maps of the neighbors and a surname index of all the people listed in the maps.

Miriam said...

These are fascinating, Charles, and I think I would like to look at the ones for Michigan counties where my ancestors lived.