Presented by Henrietta M. Christmas
Land Grants – Why do they exist?
Land grants were handed out to individuals and communities during different parts of governmental control prior to lands becoming part of the United States. This lecture will focus on records for the Southwest US and primarily New Mexico.
- Start with the original document and forget
everything else you know.
- When was the document written and remember in
1700 they didn't know about the Surveryor General and the Private Land Claims
- Make sure the translations are good.
- Use the Spanish Archives of New Mexico calendar
first. Or specific indexes by state.
- Use J. J. Bowden material, a 6 volume set.
- Catron Collection at University of New Mexico
will have a file.
- Look at Indian Agent records.
- Family Records.
- Attorney Papers mostly at the State Archives, whom would have handled the cases.
- District Court Cases.
- Organizational Powers of how land grants were granted.
- Find a good map that can show you where it was located.
- Land grantee, their process for obtaining land.
- Types: Individual versus Community Land Grants.
- Adjudication process post US takeover.
What you can find in a Land Grant?
- Genealogies of families for several generations.
Web based searches, subject headings
Land Grants – New Mexico or (state)
Land Grants - New Mexio – History
Land Tenure – (state)
Indians of North America – Land Tenure
Texas General Land Office: http://www.glo.texas.gov/what-we-do/history-and-archives/genealogy-at-glo/index.html
Center for Land Grant Studies: http://www.southwestbooks.org/
Arizona State Finding Aids: http://www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/oer/drswtool.shtml
Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Calendar, Series I
New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, NM
Albert James Diaz. A Guide to the Microfilm of Papers Relating to New Mexico Land Grants, Alb. 1960, UNM Press. Out of print.
Ralph Emerson Twitchell. Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Volume I. Out of Print but reprinted by Sunstone Press. Similar to the Calendar, but has more explanations.
White, Kock, Kelley and McCarthy. Land Title Study, Attorneys at Law and The New Mexico State Planning Office. Out of Print, 1981.
Jocylyn Jean Bowden. Private Land Claims of the Southwest, Master’s Thesis completed, 1969, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. Film at the NM State Archives and book form at UNM Zimmerman Library. Also at UTEP for records pertaining to El Paso.
Malcolm Ebright. Land Grants and Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico Press, 1994.
New Mexico Historical Review
Arizona Historical Review
Texas Historical Commission
Colorado State Archives
New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
Texas General Land Office
Arizona State Library and Archives
Collections to review
· Vertical Files at libraries.
· Some small articles and thesis have been published on land grants.
Ⓒ 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas