Oregon Historical County Records Guide
Douglas County Records Inventory
Federal Land Grant Records
Series records ownership of county lands obtained from the federal government. Series includes records of land grants administered under a variety of federal programs such as donation land claims and homesteads. Donation land claims are the most common type of federal land grant in Oregon that is documented in this inventory project. Donation land claims resulted from an act of the 1850 Congress under which citizens of the United States, or those who filed a declaration of intention prior to December 1, 1850 and had resided upon or cultivated the land for four consecutive years, were granted a specified amount of acreage in the Oregon Territory. Donation land claims were unique in that acreage granted to married couples was divided evenly. Half of the acreage was placed in the husband's name while the other half was placed in the wife's name. Records include plats, indexes, and survey notes. Information includes township, range, and section numbers, names of donation land claim holders and claim numbers, claim dates, acreage, and descriptions of surveys.
Under the Homestead Act of 1862, settlers were given 160 acres of land in the public domain if they built a home on the land, resided there for five years, and cultivated the land. A complete homestead entry file includes such documents as the homestead application, homestead proof, and final certificate authorizing the claimant to obtain a land patent.
The Survey Access & Retrieval System maintained by the Surveyor's Office includes assessor maps, city street maps, condominium plats, dedicated street maps, land partition plats, railroad right-of-way maps, subdivision plats, survey plats, county road maps, corner survey plats, GLO/BLM plats and notes, and Donation Land Claim notes dating from ca.1853 to the present. The Douglas County Geographic Information System includes a variety of GIS-based mapping information related to land corner restoration, contours, soils, parcels, townships, Donation Land Claims, Homesteads, mining claims, roads, highways, reservoirs, and other features as well as assessor map and aerial photograph information.
Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Clerk's Archives Storage Room:
Deed Records [Patents], vol. 25, 1890-1897 (1 reel of microfilm); vol. 30, 1897-1905 (1 reel of microfilm); vol. 40, 1900-1920 (1 reel of microfilm); vol. 52, 1905-1907 (1 reel of microfilm); vol. 53, 1907-1909 (1 reel of microfilm); vol. 65, 1909-1911 (1 reel of microfilm);
[Land Patents-also includes water rights and mining notices], 1885-1910 (1 reel of microfilm).
Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Clerk's Records Vault 115:
Deed Record Patents, vol. 25, 1890-1897 (1 volume); vol. 30, 1897-1905 (1 volume); vol. 40, 1900-1920 (1 volume); vol. 52, 1905-1907 (1 volume); vol. 53, 1907-1909 (1 volume); vol. 65, 1909-1911 (1 volume).
Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Assessor's Office Side Cartography
Field Notes DLC [Donation Land Claim-Survey Field Notes-typescript], n.d. (1 volume).
Records at the Douglas County Justice Building, Surveyor's Office, Room 105:
County Surveyor Record Field Notes Donation Land Claims [title varies], 1853-1889 (2 volumes);
DLC Notes [Donation Land Claim Field Notes], 1853-1889 (1 binder of microfiche);
[GLO/BLM Survey Plats-General Land Office/Bureau of Land Management], ca.1853-present (15 volumes);
Location Index Subdivisions DLCs [Subdivisions and Donation Land Claims], ca.1851-n.d. (1 volume);
Old Linen Ownership Maps [includes Oregon & California Railroad Lands, Homesteads, and Donation Land Claims], n.d. (1 volume).
Records at Related Web Sites:
Deed Record [Land Patents-includes document images], vol. 25, 1890-1897; vol. 30, 1897-1905; vol. 40, 1900-1920; vol. 52, 1905-1907; vol. 53, 1907-1909; vol. 65, 1909-1911 (familysearch.org);
Search Land Patents [includes patent and legal land descriptions and some document images], ca.1864-ca.1957 (BLM GLO Web site).