Arizona became a territory on February 24, 1863, after previously being part of the New Mexico Territory from 1850. It was not until later that any significant settlements emerged, primarily in the Tucson region. Wars with Native Americans were ongoing, hindering further expansion into the frontier until 1886. The National Archives’ Southwest Region holds land records for lands granted to the United States in 1848 and private land claims, including fraudulent claims that were confirmed by authorities. The Pima County Recorder’s Office in Tucson has Gadsden Purchase land records, which include mission claims. Arizona is a public-domain state, and its land can be directly acquired from the federal government. Early land claims were frequently for mining enterprises, and records are held at the BLM Arizona State Office. The county recorder of each county has jurisdiction over the respective county’s land records. When examining land records, it is essential to understand how ownership was acquired. The FHL has microfilm copies of most county land records in Arizona and you will find them linked to from this page.
United States Land Records
BLM, GLO Records
They provide live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. We also provide image access to more than two million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. Images of Serial patents (land titles issued between 1908 and the mid-1960’s) are currently being added to this web site. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.
United States Bureau of Land Management Tract Books, 1800-c. 1955
3,907 tract books containing official records of the land status and transactions involving surveyed public lands arranged by state and then by township and range. These books indicate who obtained the land, and include a physical description of the tract and where the land is located. The type of transaction is also recorded such as cash entry, credit entry, homesteads, patents (deeds) granted by the Federal Government, and other conveyances of title such as Indian allotments, internal improvement grants (to states), military bounty land warrants, private land claims, railroad grants, school grants, and swamp grants. Additional items of information included in the tract books are as follows: number of acres, date of sale, purchase price, land office, entry number, final Certificate of Purchase number, and notes on relinquishments and conversions. Original documents are located at the Bureau of Land management in Springfield, Virginia.
U.S. Land and Property Research
This is an archive for a self-paced set of lessons on the basics of land and property research in the United States. This type of research is often daunting and somewhat intimidating to genealogists, especially those just beginning to encounter land grants, deeds and other forms of property acquisition and transfer. When you complete this course, you should know something about the history and evolution of land acquisition in the United States, the terminology associated with land transactions, where to look for records when researching in this field and what inferences may be drawn from such records.
How to Search Deeds
Deeds are legal documents that provide crucial information about land ownership and transactions, dating back to the earliest days of American settlement. They are a valuable resource for genealogists, historians, and real estate professionals seeking to uncover information about specific parcels of land or to track changes in land use over time. This article instructs you on what to expect when you’re searching for these land ownership deeds.
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrants
A premier collection of Revolutionary War records, the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files contain an estimated 80,000 application files from officers and enlisted men who served in the Revolutionary War in all branches of the American military: army, navy, and marines. The files that make up these records consist of 10″ x 14″ cards or 10″ x 14″ envelopes that can contain up to 200 or more pages of documents relating to an application for a pension or bounty-land warrant by a Revolutionary War veteran, his widow, or his heirs. The records found in the files can be diverse, and they are submitted to support various types of applications. For genealogical purposes, these files can provide valuable information such as the soldier’s name, rank, unit, time of service, age, date of birth, place of residence, and in some cases, birthplace. If a widow submitted the application, her maiden name, as well as the date and location of her husband’s death, may be included. When heirs apply, their ages and places of residence are often noted. The files might also contain other types of documents, including affidavits, service records, commissions and discharges, wills, receipts, diary entries or pages from family Bibles, military orders, muster rolls, newspaper clippings, letters, marriage certificates, account books, and even a book of contemporary lyrics. Some files contain both pension and bounty-land-warrant applications.
1863-1908 U.S. Homestead Records $$$
Homestead files consist of unbound documents that include final certificates, applications with land descriptions, affidavits showing proof of citizenship, register and receiver receipts, notices and final proofs, and testimonies of witnesses. These documents are part of the Records of the Bureau of Land Management (formerly known as the General Land Office), Record Group (RG) 49. The collection currently includes records from Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming.
Arizona Land Records Online
Land records (Arizona), 1847-1907
Microfilm of records located at the National Archives Pacific Southwest Region, Laguna Niguel, California. Contains records of the Bureau of Land Management, administered by the Prescott General Land Office.
- Film 1639158
Register of entries filed pursuant to the Valentine Scrip Act, v. 1, 1886-1902 Abstract of declaratory statements, 1870-1902 Receiver’s abstracts of receipts for declaratory statements, 1885 Register of homestead entries, v.1, 1871-1905.
- Film 1639159
Register of homestead entries, v.2, 1896-1907 Register (index) of final homestead certificates, 1877-1898 Register of final homestead homestead certificates, v. 2, 1898-1907 Abstract of land sold, v. 1, 1871-1897 Abstract of land sold, v. 2, 1897-1905.
- Film 1639160
Register of timber culture entries, 1883-1891 Abstract of desert land entries, 1877-1907 Register of application for mineral lands, (index), 1871-1905 Abstract of final desert land certificates, 1887-1907 Register of mineral land receipts, 1873-1906 Register of entries pursuant to the military land warrant act Feb 1847, 1847 Register of entries filed pursuant to the military act of Mar 1855, 1885.
Private land claims adjudicated by the U.S. Court of Private Land Claims, 1891-1903
Microfilms of original records. The full name of the court was: United States. Court of Private Claims for the adjudication of Spanish and Mexican Land Titles in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The claims are in order by case number.
- Appearance docket 1891-1903 + Land claims Cases 1-6 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 7-20 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 21-33 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 34-38 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 39-46 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 47-55 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 56-59 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 60-64 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 65-79 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 80-87 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 88-98 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 99-106 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 107-125 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 126-137 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 137-139 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 140-151 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 152-169 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 170-194 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 195-205 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 206-237 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 238-272 1891-1903
- Land claims Cases 273-282 1891-1903
Pueblo grants, 1523-1903
Microfilm of original at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Santa Fe, New Mexico. New Mexico Territory included Colorado until 1861, and Arizona until 1863. Includes land grants and patents, surveys, and Acoma Pueblo Indian’s land dispute. Text in English and Spanish.
Record of private land claims adjudicated by the U.S. Surveyor General, 1855-1890
Microfilm of original records in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Sante Fe, New Mexico. New Mexico Territory included Colorado until 1861 and Arizona until 1863 Includes Old Gant Docket, an alphabetical index to file number, Private Land Claims, and index by report number, and Docket of Private Land Claims, an index by report number. It also includes the file records of private land claims and 8 volumes of land claims records. Text in Spanish and English.
- Grant docket, Private land claims (index), docket of private land claims 1855-1890 (Items 2-4)
- Land claims record, v. I-II 1855-1890
- Land claims record, v. III-IV 1855-1890
- Land claims record, v. V-VI 1855-1890
- Land claims record, v. VII-VII aux 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 1-7 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 8-13 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 14-20 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 21-23 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 24-39 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 40-47 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 48-56 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 57-65 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 66-76 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 77-89 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 90-101 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 102-114 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 115-127 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 128-138 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 139-145 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 146-153 1855-1890
- Private land claims, no. 154-157 1899-1890
- Private land claims, no. 158-162 1855-1890
- Private land claims 1855-1890 – Additional
- Private land claims 1855-1890 – Additional
Records of land titles, 1847-1852
Microfilm made from originals in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Includes index. New Mexico Territory included Colorado until 1861 and Arizona until 1863. Includes registers of land titles kept by the Secretary of the Territory: Day Book A and Kearny Code Book, Volume C.
Arizona Land Records Offline
- Hispanic homesteaders in Arizona, 1870-1908, under the homestead act of May 20, 1862, and other public land laws
Written by Edward Souza and compiled from 24 archival records at Records of Arizona Land Offices at the National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region, Laguna Niguel, California.
- You can conduct a limited search through this book at HaithiTrust: Search