In the early 1800's the United States Congress passed the Cash Act which provided for the disposition of land acquired from the various Indian Tribes in the numerous different treaties. The Cash Act provided for the purchase of available Federal land in the southern states and territories. People could purchase this public land at a cost of $1.25 per acre and, for a time, they could purchase up to a maximum of 640 acres.
The Homestead Act of 1862, allowed people to settle up to 160 acres of public land providing they lived on the land for a period of five years and grew crops on it or made improvements. The land did not cost the settler anything except for a filing fee. Neither of these acts is currently in effect.
The fact that the Cash Act provided for the purchase of available public land without restrictions is somewhat unfortunate for amateur genealogist as the ultimate settler of a given section of land may not appear as the land patent holder. The fact that land could be purchased for cash resulted in many land speculators buying up large sections of land for the sole purpose of reselling it at a later date at a profit. These subsequent land sales would be accomplished by a deed transfer and duly recorded in the Chancery Court of the county in which the land was located. Instead of finding your ancestor in the records of the Bureau of Land Management, you may find that the land on which your ancestor settled and improved was actually owned by someone else before your ancestor and this individual may never have lived on the land at all. Thus, you may not find your ancestor among those early settlers that were issued land patents. Sad, but true.
There are at least three places where you can find information about land patents. There is a listing, on this site, of individuals that were issued land patents in Attala County between the years 1834 and 1851. USGenWeb has a listing in text format which shows the information on land patents issued for Attala County. The third and best source for information about land patents can be found on the Bureau of Land Management site. See information and links for each of these sources below:
Land Patent Records for Attala County 1834-1851
Compiled from Bureau of Land Management records for 1834-1851. This is a listing prepared by an Attala County researcher. It shows land patents issued by year along with the purchaser's name.
USGenWeb Land Patents Records
This listing is in text format and is an alphabetical listing of individuals named in original land patents. It also includes the Township, Range, Section, acreage and date of purchase.
Bureau of Land Management
This is the definite site for searching land patents in the state of Mississippi and Attala County. It is searchable, gives the full land description of the land being purchased and provides a downloadable copy of the original land patent.
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copyright © 2005 by Everette Carr. All rights reserved.
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Attala County - MSGenWeb