Mississippi is a federal-land state. Land transactions were generally acquired from the federal government or other individuals. Prior to U.S. possession, lands were acquired from the French and the Spanish governments. For federal government purchases, consult the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office’s patent indexes, available on CD-ROM through various genealogical vendors and through the Government Printing Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These patent indexes are also found among the database searches available at the Ancestry.com web site www.ancestry.com ($). Land-entry case files for these patents are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Lands received from Spanish and British governments can be researched through “private land claims” (the settling of property ownership by the government of the United States for lands previously acquired under a different sovereign). The federal boards of commissioners’ case files for private land claims are housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Also, private land claim records are on microfilm (RG 28 SG 1) at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and can be accessed by consulting the department’s guide, “Index to Private Claims and Field Notes in Mississippi.”

Land transactions between individuals were recorded at the county courthouse and filed by the chancery clerk. Many pre-twentieth-century deeds have been microfilmed and are available at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the FHL. For further reference, see:

Hone, E. Wade. Land and Property Research in the United States. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, Inc., 1997.

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You can view current county maps at the Mississippi Department of Transportation web site:
http://www.gomdot.com/maps/county_maps.asp
These maps show the Township, Range and Section numbers of each parcel of land in the county.
The BLM is in the process of scanning and putting on- line all of these records for you to see and print out
for your own use.
http://www.glorecords.blm.gov

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Mississippi BLM Office:
Eastern States Office Bureau of Land Management

7450 Boston Blvd.
Springfield, VA 22153
Tel: (703) 440-1600
FAX: (703) 440-1599