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Land Records

Following is a list of land records in the Oregon State Archives. The list is arranged by county, provisional and territorial, state, and federal records. Other sources are at the end of this reference aid. Types of records included are assessment and tax rolls in the county records, maps and program records regarding land use, land management and environmental issues in the state records, land claims, land use surveys, and land laws and legislation in the Provisional and Territorial records, and Donation Land Claim files in the federal records.

See the end of this list for information about Donation Land Claims (microfilmed copy in Reference Room) and Homestead records (not at the Archives). See the Guide to Oregon Provisional and Territorial Government Records (available for $15 from the Reference Unit) for complete information on these records.

Most of the hyperlinked listings are included in the searchable Oregon Historical Records Index on this site. Also see the Oregon Historical County Records Guide for listings of related records held at county offices and other repositories.

County records
Provisional and territorial records
State records
Federal records
Published resources

 

County Records

Baker
Assessment Rolls, 1892-1897

Benton
Assessment Rolls, 1851-1865
Inheritance Tax Rolls, 1918-1959
Tax Rolls, 1851-1863

Clackamas
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1850-1949
Assessment and Tax Rolls Index, 1901-1949
Deed Index, 1850-1911
Deeds, 1855-1957
Homestead Grant Records, 1916-1938
Lake Oswego Plat, 1888
Land Records, 1850-1853
Land Transaction Register, 1890-1910
Land Use Petitions, 1957
Oregon California Land Grant Records, 1921-1935
Oregon City Lot Purchase Register, 1850
Plat Book, 1940
Quit Claim Deed Record, 1850-1868
San Francisco Plat, 1850
Women's Separate Property Register, 1859-1909

Clatsop
Assessment and tax rolls, 1847-1921
Deeds [quitclaim], 1849-1858
Deed Index, 1850-1870
Land Claim Records, 1848-1893
Point Adams Military Reservation Land Acquisition Records, 1905

Columbia
Assessor's Grade Book, 1912-1923
Assessment and tax rolls, 1854-1920
Deeds [with index], 1850-1870
Land Claim records, 1854-1860
Land title registers, 1909-1920
Maps, undated
Women's separate property register, 1874-1904

Crook
Assessment and tax rolls, 1882-1910

Curry
Assessment rolls, 1857-1859
Women's separate property register, 1885-1907

Deschutes
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1920-1930

Grant
Assessment Rolls, 1869-1871, 1875-1898
Delinquent Tax Rolls, 1884-1887
Plat Book, 1894-1910

Harney
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1889-1893
Assessors Plats, 1890-1896
Land Tract Index, 1882-1913

Hood River
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1907-1936
Deeds and Indexes, 1881-1924

Jackson
Assessment and tax rolls, 1858-1885
Assessor's correspondence, 1918-1953
Land claim records, 1862-1882

Lake
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1874-1939

Lane
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1854-1899

Lincoln
Deed Records, 1892-1914
Land Register, 1893-1900
Land Sale Records, 1920-1927

Linn
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1858-1892
Assessor's Certificate of Indebtedness, 1873
Delinquent Tax Rolls, 1860-1901
Real Property Records, 1891
Real Property Sales Record, 1901
Women's Separate Property Register, 1862-1912

Marion
Assessment Rolls, 1854-1925
Assessment and Tax Records, 1852-1943
Land Records, 1846-1855
Woman's Separate Property Register, 1859-1897

Multnomah
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1866-1903
Assessment and Tax Rolls Index, 1903
Deeds, 1849-1854
Deed Index [Indirect], ca. 1855-1878
Delinquent Tax Sale Records, 1903-1910
Sheriff's Deeds Record, 1897-1931

Polk
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1850-1940
Donation Land Claim Plats, n.d.
Land Tract Register Index, n.d.
Women's Separate Property Register, 1859-1897

Tillamook
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1890-1904

Umatilla
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1862-1925
Homestead Land Claim, 1882-1902
Plats, 1890-1913
Women's Separate Property Register, 1871-1882

Wasco
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1861-1935
Homestead Certificates, 1902
School Lands Sale Records, 1872-1880
Women's Separate Property Rights Records, 1861-1893

Washington
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1846-1903
Assessment and Tax Roll Indexes, 1910-1945
Assessor's Correspondence, 1913-1937
Assessor's Field Books, 1900-1919
Assessor's Land Abstracts, 1904-1916
Assessor's Military Lists, 1866-1900
Deeds, 1849-1878
Deed Indexes [Direct and Indirect], 1850-1882
Donation Land Claim Survey, 1910
Fairgrounds Plat, 1868
Gaston Plat, 1889
Land Claim Records, 1849-1851
Women's Separate Property Register, 1861-1893

Wheeler
Assessment Rolls, 1898-1910

Yamhill
Assessment and Tax Rolls, 1853-1939
Assessor's Correspondence, 1884-1945
Deed Index, 1881-1883
Delinquent Tax Roll, 1867-1877
Sheriff's Tax Collection Records, 1891-1902
Tax Collection Register, 1856-1874
 

Provisional and Territorial Records

Also see: Guide to Provisional and Territorial Records

Land Claim Records, 1845-1862 (microfilm); 1845-1849
Land Claim Records Index (microfilm)
 

State Records

Board of Control
(also see Board of Control Records Guide)
City and County Maps
Highway and Road Maps
Maps (see NP1P list in Board of Control finding aid at the reference desk)
Plats
Topographical Maps
Wagon Road Maps

Capitol Planning Commission
Maps, 1949-1967

Court of Appeals
Case Files, 1969-1975

Fish and Wildlife, Department of
(also see Department of Fish and Wildlife Records Guide)
Administrative Correspondence, 1912-1922
Master Fish Warden Correspondence, 1919-1931

Forestry Department
(also see Forestry Department Records Guide)
Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Lease Records, 1933-1947
District Annual Fire Plans, 1959-1961
Forest Rehabilitation Program Records, 1949-1971
Forest Type Township Maps and Overlays, 1961-1963
Klamath Indian Land Owner Index, c. 1959
Klamath Indian Land Owner Tax Payment Record Cards, 1959
Klamath Indian Land Sale Records, 1904-1959
Legal Case Records, 1945-1978
Protection Association and District Maps, 1937-1970
Remote Sensing Project Records, 1974-1978
Roadless Area Review Project Records, 1972-1985
State Forester's Committee Membership Records, 1934-1980
State Forester's Correspondence, 1933-1975
United States Forest Service Records, 1929-1983
World War II Forest Defense Records, 1941-1946

Highway Division (see also Department of Transportation)
Maps, 1936-1980
City Maps and Plats
County Road Maps
General Highway Maps
Index Maps
Market Road Maps
Plat Maps
Parksites, 1955
Photographs

Land Use Board of Appeals
Hearings Case Files, n.d.

Marion-Polk Counties Boundary Commission
Maps, 1969-1980
Street and Highway Maps
Subdivision Maps

Military Department, Oregon
(also see Oregon Military Department Records Guide)
Adjutant General's Correspondence, 1847-1986
Military Camp Records, 1931-1983
Modoc Indian War Campaign Journal, 1873
Public Auction Sale Reports, 1856
Rogue River Indian War Maps, 1855-1856
Maps and Drawings

Natural Resources, Committee on
Executive Secretary's Correspondence, 1951-1967
Federal Natural Resource Agency Correspondence, 1957-1967
Natural Resource Project Correspondence, 1954-1964
Outdoor Recreation Council Records, 1961-1966
State Mapping Advisory Committee Correspondence, 1950-1963

Planning Board, Oregon State
(also see Oregon State Planning Board Records Guide)
Land Use and Taxation Records, 1903-1938

Portland Metropolitan Study Commission
Committee files, 1963-1971

Revenue Department
Assessment Rolls, 1951-1955
Assessment Rolls, Summaries, 1947-1970
Assessor and Tax Collector Records, 1949-1979
Non-taxable Lands, 1973
Private Property Timber and Timberland Sales Data, 1950-1967
Valuation, Property, Relief, Orders, 1969-1978

Secretary of State
Community Property Election Records and Index
Deeds, 1899-1959, 1968-1989, 1990
Deeds and Abstracts of Title, 1960-1968
Deeds Indexes
Deeds Register, 1899
Highway Deeds, 1976-1981
Wagon Road Maps (microfilm)

Soil and Water Conservation Commission
Correspondence, Policy, and Historical, 1939-1973
District and Commission Correspondence, 1939-1973

State Lands, Division of
(also see State Lands Department Records Guide)
Clerk's Correspondence, 1945-1969
Columbia River Ownership Maps, 1977-1979
Escheat Cases Report, 1937-1940
In Lieu Lands Clear Lists, 1859-1967
Land Exchange Records, 1914-1985
Natural Area Preserves Advisory Committee Minutes, 1974-1975
Natural Heritage Advisory Council Chairperson Correspondence, 1973-1983
Natural Heritage Advisory Council Program Records, 1973-1987
Natural Heritage Advisory Council Reports, 1975-1985
Overgrazed Land Donation Records, 1955-1963
Plat Book, Oregon (microfilm)
Riparian Rights Advisory Committee Minutes, 1969-1972
Rural Credit Loan Fund Mortgage Satisfaction Records, 1917-1942
South Slough National Estuarine Sanctuary Progress Reports, 1974-1981
South Slough Relocation Records, 1974-1981
State Land Board Minutes, 1878-1976
State Lands Deed and Easement Jackets, 1896-1969
State Owned Land Inventory, 1961-1965
Swamp Land Donation Records, 1976-1934

Supreme Court
Reports of School Land Commission, 1870-1878

Tax Court
Assessment Rolls, 1934-1950
Centrally Assessed Property Records, 1957
Property Records, 1957

Transportation, Department of (see also Highway Division)
Maps
General Highway Maps
Index Maps
City Maps
Plat Maps
Maps, historical (microfilm)
Maps, historical Index (Reference Library, Reference Room)
Traffic Engineering Division: General Highway Maps

Treasury, Oregon State
School Land Funds, 1906-1910
County Inheritance Tax Index, 1913-1934
Inheritance Tax Index, 1913
Inheritance Tax Ledger, 1907-1914
Inheritance Tax Quarterly Reports, 1903-1913
Inheritance Tax and Transfers, 1903-1917

Water Resources Department
(also see Water Resources Department Records Guide)
Columbia Southern Irrigating Company Case Records, 1893-1916
Desert Land Board Reclamation Records, 1902-1978
Hydroelectric Commission Peoples' Utility District Records, 1931-1968
Hydroelectric Project Records, 1960-1987
Maps of Park and Recreation Areas and U. S. Government Land Office Survey Plates
Photographs
Publications
Reclamation Commission Records, 1914
Upper Columbia River Basin Commission Records, 1952-1956
Water Resources Board Records, 1955-1975
Water Resources Committee Records, 1951-1975
Willamette River Basin Commission Records, 1930-1956

Willamette River Basin Commission
Project Files on Dams, 1949-1972

Willamette Valley Environmental Protection and Development Planning Council
Willamette Valley Choices for the Future, 1972

Willamette Valley Rail Study Commission
Reports and Studies, 1975-1982

World War Veterans State Aid Commission
Property Analysis Ledger (1903-1940)
Bond Issue Reports (1921-1951)
Mortgage Loan Inspector's Reports (1923-1929)

 

Federal Records

Donation Land Claims (DLC)

Under terms of an act of 1850, certain white settlers and Indians of mixed blood in Oregon Territory (which then included Washington), and certain settlers arriving there between 1 December 1850 and 1 December 1853, were entitled to land. The number of acres granted (varying between 160 to 640) depended upon the marital status of the settler and the date of settlement. Settlers were required to live on the land and cultivate it for four years.

The Oregon donation files for each appropriate land office (Oregon City, Roseburg, and The Dalles) are filed in two numerical series. One relates to complete entries, the other to incomplete or cancelled entries. Documents in a DLC file for a completed entry include the notification of settlement, which describes the land either by legal description (range, township, section, and fraction of section) or by natural features (metes and bounds), sometimes accompanied by a plat; an affidavit of settlement, which includes date and place of birth and, if applicable, of marriage; proofs of cultivation; an oath that the land had been used for cultivation only; for naturalized persons, proof of citizenship (not filmed on National Archives film M815); and the donation certificate, which shows name of entryman, place of residence, description of land, date of patent, and volume and page number of the recorded patent in the National Archives.

The following resources are available in the Oregon State Archives Reference Room:

Oregon Donation Land Files, 1851-1903 (National Archives (NARA) microfilm M815)
Oregon Donation Land Claim File Index (Reference Library publication)
Oregon Donation Land Claim Abstracts (NARA microfilm M145)
Washington Donation Land Claims, 1851-1903 (NARA microfilm M203)

Homestead Records

 Under the Homestead Act of 1862 citizens and persons who had filed their intentions to become citizens were given 160 acres of land in the public domain if they fulfilled certain conditions. In general, an applicant had to build a home on the land, reside there for five years, and cultivate the land. The homestead entry papers filed by name of land office are dated 1863 through June 30, 1908. In general, there are two separately numbered series for each land office, one relating to complete and the other relating to incomplete homestead entries. A complete homestead entry file includes such documents as the homestead application; certificate of publication of intention to make a claim; homestead proof, consisting of testimonies of two witnesses and the testimony of the claimant; final certificate authorizing the claimant to obtain a patent; and when appropriate, a copy of naturalization proceedings or a copy of a Union veteran's discharge certificate.

These records are available at:

1.) Textual Reference Branch-Land (NWDT1)
National Archives
Washington, DC 20408
telephone (202) 501-5395

2.) Bureau of Land Management
Oregon State Office
PO Box 2965
Portland, OR  97208
Physical Address:
333 SW 1st Avenue
Portland, OR  97204
(503) 808-6002
Fax: (503) 808-6308
http://www.or.blm.gov/

When writing to the Textual Reference Branch-Land provide 1) the name of the land office, 2) the type of land transaction (cash sales, credit sale, homestead entry) and 3) the file number. The name of the entryman, state, and complete township/range description is also acceptable.

If you know the property description for land in Oregon, a visit to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Portland may provide you with the necessary information to access the land entry files at the Textual Reference Branch-Land.

Bureau of Land Management Land Patent Searchable Database

 

Published Sources

Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., 1985

The Source : A Guidebook of American Genealogyy by Arlene Eakle & Johni Cerny, published by Ancestry Publishing Company, 1984

Guide to Cartographic Records in the National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, Washington: 1971

The Library of Congress: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research, by James C. Neagles, published by Ancestry Publishing Company, 1990

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722

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