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Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Jefferson County Records Inventory

Federal Land Grant Records

1854-1957

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.

Also see the Miscellaneous Record (Clerk's Miscellaneous Recordings) for land grant records.

Records at the Jefferson County Administration Building, Clerk's Record Room:
Index United States Irrigation Contracts [includes excess land sales], 1938-1953 (1 volume);
Miscellaneous Record U.S. Final Certificates [includes homestead records-primarily transcribed from Crook County-with index], vol. 1, 1891-1915 (1 volume);
Transcription of the United States Land Patents from the Original Record of Wasco and Crook County Oregon [Abstract-include entries from the Jefferson County Deed Index, vol. 1, M-Z], ca.1854-ca.1924 (1 volume);
United States Irrigation Contracts and Excess Land Sales, vol. 1, 1938-1944 (1 volume);
United States Irrigation Contracts [includes excess land sales], vol. 2, 1946-1953 (1 volume).

Records at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Basement Archives:
Deeds [includes transcribed Crook County deeds for the Jefferson County area-also includes land patents], vol. A-H, 1864-1914 (8 volumes); vol. K-M, 1910-1914 (3 volumes);
Miscellaneous Record U.S. Final Certificates [includes homestead records], vol. 2-3, 1916-1948 (2 volumes).

Records at the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum:
[Land Office Notice of Intention Records], 1909-1916 (3 volumes);
Tract Books [Oregon Federal Land Grant Records-includes homestead information], ca.1870-n.d. (4 reels of microfilm);
Transcription of United States Land Patents from the Original Records of Wasco and Crook County Oregon [for Jefferson County area from transcribed deed records-with index], 1878-1923 (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).

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

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