About Land Records
Land Tract Book SearchResearchers can now request a search of the Federal Land Tract Books for $15.
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In 1902 the Dawes Commission began the process of allotment of lands in Indian Territory. Before that time, land in Indian Territory was communal property and belonged to the Indian nation, rather than the individual. In Oklahoma Territory, with the exception of Indian allotments by the Jerome Commission in the late 1880s, ownership began in 1889 and spread with each of the land openings. The last land opening in Oklahoma Territory, with the minor exception of the salt plains in Alfalfa County, was in 1906. Land ownership in the Panhandle was possible after the first official survey of the area in the 1890s.
Oklahoma statehood occurred November 16, 1907, by joining Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory. The last county in Oklahoma was formed in 1912.
The record books of the thirty judicial Recording Districts, the transitional form of government in Indian Territory just prior to statehood, were not as a general practice preserved by the newly formed state counties. Consequently, the earliest land records in those counties start in November 1907.
Counties formed from Indian Territory
Adair, Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garvin, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, Le Flore, Love, Marshall, Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington
Counties formed from Oklahoma Territory
Alfalfa, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Noble, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Washita, Woods, Woodward
Counties formed from both territories (mostly the Indian Territory)
Grady, Jefferson, Stephens
Beaver, Cimarron, Texas
1889 Oklahoma County Database and Plat Map
This database includes names of US land patent homesteads for Oklahoma County, Indian Territory, 1889.
1901 Land Lottery
El Reno Land Lottery - Names Drawn This index includes more than 8,000 individuals whose names were drawn in the 1901 land lottery. The names are extracted from Names of the El Reno Land District Homesteaders Filings, 1902 published by H. H. Edwards in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
El Reno Lottery TicketsThe Manuscript Archives include the land lottery tickets for some individuals who participated in the 1901 El Reno and Lawton land lottery, but did not receive land.
Wichita, and Kiowa, and Apache Ceded Lands Homestead ApplicationsThis collection contains more than one thousand applications for homestead entry within the Wichita-Caddo and Kiowa-Comanche-Apache ceded lands. The applications include names, dates, and towns.
More Resources for Land Records
Federal Land Tract Books
This microfilm collection offers information about homesteaders in Oklahoma Territory from 1889 to 1907. These seventy-two volumes include a physical description of the homestead, the amount of land, date and place of original registration, and the date of the final certificate. The Tract Books are arranged by township and range, not by surname.
The Research Center offers a $15 express service to search the Land Tract Books. Researchers must include the individual's name and the county in which they received land. Use the express order form to order by mail. If you wish to order by phone call 405-522-5225.
Plat Maps and Atlases
Plat maps and atlases are available for select areas including:
- Woods County, 1906 (G 4023 W6 O31 1906)
- Garfield County, 1906 and 1940 (microfilm)
- Oklahoma County, 1907 (G 4023 O4 O35 1907)
- Payne County, 1907 (microfilm)
- Ellis County, 1910 (G 4023 E4 W4 1910)
- Harper County, 1910 (G 4023 H3 W4 1910)
- Woodward County, 1910 (G 4023 W7 W4 1910)
- Noble County, 1912 (G 4023 N5 O35 1912)
- Kiowa County, 1913 (G 4023 K5 1913)
- Kay County, 1921 (microfilm)
- Grant County, 1928 (G 1366 G75 1928)
The following county directories contain either legal land descriptions (section, township, range) or provide the name of the township in which the person resides.
- Custer County Oklahoma: Land Deed Map, c. 1910 index by Mary Ann Linn LaRue (F 702 C9 L3 1990)
- Directory of Garfield County, 1896 (F 702 G25 C7)
- Business and Resident Directory of Guthrie and Logan County, Oklahoma, September 1, 1892
- Official Directory of Guthrie and Logan County, 1898 (F 704 G9 A2 1898)
- Oklahoma City and County Directory, 1900–1901
- The Homesteaders of Oklahoma County, Okla., compiled by Virgil Harris (F 702 O55 H3)
- Woods County Directory, 1895 (F 702 W7 H38)
Indian Territory Land Records
- Hastain's Township Plats of the Creek Nation by E. Hastain, 1910 (print, microfilm, and online)
- Moore's Seminole Roll and Land Guide by J. Read Moore, 1915 (print and online)
- Index to Choctaw-Chickasaw Deeds and Allotments by E. Hastain, 19-- (print and microfilm)
- Supplement to Index to Choctaw-Chickasaw Deeds and Allotments by E. Hastain, 1910 (print and microfilm)
- Township Plats, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, showing land allotted to the Cherokee (microfilm)
- Oklahoma Tract Books, box 19 pt. 2, includes Indian allotments in the far northeastern Indian Territory (microfilm)
- Forgotten Oklahoma Records: Cherokee Land Allotment Book by Fredrea Cook, 1981 (print)
The 1900 Oklahoma Territory Census and the 1910 Oklahoma Census often indicate the township in which a person lived at the time of the census. The Research Center has Oklahoma county township maps, which can be used to identify the township and range of the named municipal township in the county of interest.
School Land Records
Sections 16 and 36 of government townships (township and range) were usually reserved as school land, which could be leased but not homesteaded. The money from school land was designated by the Oklahoma Territory, and its successor the State of Oklahoma, to go to the support of specific colleges and universities. Some townships, however, had no sections of school land, and some were almost entirely school land. The School Land Tract Books are kept in the State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
Townsite Lot Records
Townsite lot records were kept in Townsite Trustee Books. When available, these can be found at the town's city hall or at the county seat.