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.

Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Clerk's Recording Office:
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);
Donation Land Claims [Index-typed copy], n.d. (.05 cu.ft.);
Land Patents [Abstracts-Douglas County Genealogical Society], 1858-1920 (1 binder).

Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Clerk's Archives:
Book of Records [Deed Book-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);
Donation Land Claims [Index-typed copy], n.d. (.05 cu.ft.);
Land Patent Abstracts [Deed Record-from 1858 to 1883-by Genealogical Society of Douglas County], n.d. (1 binder);
Land Patents [also includes water rights and mining notices], 1885-1910 (1 reel of microfilm).

Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Surveyor's Office:
County Surveyor Record Field Notes Donation Land Claims [title varies], 1853-1889 (2 volumes);
DLC Notes [Donation Land Claims], 1853-1889 (1 binder of microfiche);
[GLO/BLM Survey Plats-General Land Office/Bureau of Land Management], ca.1853-present (15 volumes);
Government Land Office Records [Abstracts from ca.1850 to ca.1938 including donation land claim, mining claim, and homestead information-by Genealogical Society of Douglas County], 2005 (2 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 a Related Web Site:
Search Land Patents [includes patent and legal land descriptions and some document images], ca.1864-ca.1957 (BLM GLO Web site).


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State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

Phone: 503-373-0701 • Fax: 503-378-4118 • reference.archives@state.or.us