Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Multnomah 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.

Records at the John B. Yeon Annex Building, Suite 123, Surveyor's Office:
[Flat File and GLO Plat-General Land Office], 1852-ca.1936 (1 volume).

Records at the John B. Yeon Annex Building, Suite 123, Surveyor's Office, Corner Survey Records Area:
Claim Notes [Donation Land Claim Survey Field Notes-handwritten copy], ca.1854-ca.1858 (1 volume).

Records at the John B. Yeon Building, Microfilm Cabinet Near Room B15:
[Donation Land Claim Instructions and Certificates], ca.1853-ca.1857 (2 inches of microfiche).

Records at the John B. Yeon Building, Surveyor's Archives Room B17:
D.L.C.s [Donation Land Claim Survey Record Books], 1852-ca.1857 (4 binders).

Records at the Multnomah Building, Suite 175:
Miscellaneous Books [includes some Certificates of U.S. Land Office/Homesteads and Donation Land Claims], 1857-1893 (3 reels of microfilm).

Records at the Multnomah Building, Suite 175, Cartography Area:
D.L.C.s & Legal Subdivisions [Donation Land Claims-Record], 1852-ca.1906 (1 volume);
General Land Office Plats of Original Surveys, 1850-1921 (1 volume);
Index Maps [Donation Land Claim], 1955 (1 volume);
U.S. General Land Office Plats of Original Surveys, 1851-1917 (1 volume).

Records at the Oregon Historical Society:
Mss. 1275 [Miscellaneous Instruments-includes some land claim records], ca.1850-1908 (1 volume).

Records at the Multnomah County Web Site:
DLC Map Images [Donation Land Claim], ca.1851-n.d. (Internet).

Records at Related Web Sites:
Index of Donation Land Claimants in the Area of Multnomah County [Abstract], ca.1850-ca.1855 (US GenWeb Project);
Multnomah County Homesteads [Abstract], ca.1869-ca.1938 (US GenWeb Project);
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