Immigration and the Homestead Act: Finding Your Ancestors

This session, Immigration and the Homestead Act: Finding Your Ancestors, is brought to you by the Department of the Interior:
The Homestead Act of 1862 allowed individuals to claim 160 acres of American public domain land for free, as long as they lived and farmed on it for five years. From 1863 through 1986, millions of individuals from across the world staked their claim to “the American Dream” under this law. Many immigrant groups established ethnic homestead communities—and because of the requirements to file claims, extensive records including vital records, immigration records, military service records, and legal records were kept for every single one of these homestead claims.

This session will teach attendees about the role the Homestead Act played in immigration, provide information about ethnic homesteading settlements, and how to find and utilize Homestead Land Entry Case Files and the General Land Office Records.

National Park Service website:

General Land Office Records:

This presentation was part of RootsTech Connect 2021. Find hundreds of free family history classes, keynotes, and more.

RootsTech is hosted by FamilySearch, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to creating inspiring family discovery experiences. RootsTech is the premier global event and learning resource for making family connections and receiving guidance to help people learn more about their families.

FamilySearch is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people all over the world connect with their family: past, present, and future. Our partnerships with thousands of record custodians and major genealogical organizations allow us to make billions of records available for you to research your family tree free of charge! Regardless of where or how you research your ancestry, we have specialists all over the world to help you experience the joy of connecting with your heritage.

Our desire to Connect with the Past, Present, and Future
Find keynotes like this and hundreds of free family history classes here.


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