Back in April of 2000 I ordered all of great-grandfather George’s patents from the National Archives in Washington D.C. I received eight (8) patents with seals embossed on them. I followed that up by ordering the Cash Entry files for three (3) of the patents hoping for more information in 2002.
I have actually been to the National Archives in Washington D.C. They house in their lobby for viewing many historical documents including the “Declaration of Independence.” The National Archives also has branches throughout the country and I have been to the one in Seattle, Laguna Nigel (closed) and Chicago. In Spring 2011 I will visit the Pittsfield, MA branch. Here is their website link: http://www.archives.gov/ Their website will be revamped soon.
Patents are the land an ancestor bought directly from the U.S. Government. Once this first sale was completed land sales and purchases would then be done through county courts. This means a trip to the courthouse in the location where your ancestor lived. On a visit to Minnesota in 2007 I again visited the Pine River area. This time I did go to the courthouse and looked up deeds under Barclay to see what I would find. I studied the deeds at the Cass County Courthouse and there were many. The clerk was very kind and patient I am indebted to her. I also studied the deed books in the Crow Wing Courthouse. Still later I decided to take a look at the track books at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Today you can order patents from the National Archives in Washington D.C. or you can go to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website and do a patent search: http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx
There you can search for patents for any person who obtained land in a land state. You can even search for surveys and more. Once you create a summary list you can actually click further and actually look at an original patent and obtain more detail. It is wise to perform a variety of spelling searches on surnames and first names in you’re searching to make sure you find all the information for an ancestor. As you can see “G.A.” was the spelling used for one of the patents. I also tried other spelling variations of the surname Barclay and this is the list I came up with for George A. Barclay.
Here is the summary list of George A. Barclay’s Patents.
|BARCLAY, GEORGE A||MN||Cass||8/1/1874||St. Cloud||7082||MN1660__.167|
|BARCLAY, GEORGE A||MN||Cass||8/1/1874||St. Cloud||7083||MN1660__.168|
|BARCLAY, GEORGE A||MN||Cass||8/1/1874||St. Cloud||7084||MN1660__.169|
|BARCLAY, GEORGE||MN||Cass||5/1/1875||St. Cloud||7373||MN1660__.405|
|BARCLAY, GEORGE||MN||Cass||5/1/1875||St. Cloud||7374||MN1660__.406|
|BARCLAY, GEORGE A||MN||Cass||9/23/1879||St. Cloud||7946||MN1670__.289|
|BARCLAY, G A||MN||Cass||5/10/1884||St. Cloud||11834||MN1740__.425|
|BARCLAY, GEORGE A||MN||Cass||4/5/1888||St. Cloud||16446||MN1840__.002|
Numbers #7373 and #7374 George purchased with his partner D. McNanny. I tried searching on the spelling “McNannie” but I found nothing more. These two patents are all that are in McNannie’s name.
Both sources, my Aunt Miriam and the Logsled’s book, mention the Northern Pacific Railroad and this is a warranty deed filed at the Cass County Courthouse.
Interestingly, some of these patents that are in the search list above are also recorded in the deed books of the Cass County Courthouse in Walker, Minnesota.
This list is nice to have but it really doesn’t help us understand where great-grandfather George’s land was located so we need to get more detail and the description of the land that was written on the patent.