Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Older Book on Land Research

Today as I was cataloging some gift books that we received last month, I came across an interesting book that a lot of genealogists may want to locate. It's a book of papers presented at the 3rd Indiana American Revolution Bicentennial Symposium in 1978 at Purdue University and is entitled This Land of Ours: The Acquisition and Disposition of the Public Domain. It was published by the Indiana Historical Society that same year. There are a total of five papers included in the volume.

The first paper is "Perceptions and Illustrations of the American Landscape in the Ohio Valley and the Midwest" by Hildegard Binder Johnson. It contains many illustrations and the narrative focuses on what the landscape was like for the early settlers. It contains some great tips on finding atlases and topographical sources.

The next paper is "The Land Office Business in Indiana, 1800-1840" by Malcolm J. Rohrbough. Anyone with an early Indiana ancestor who did business with the land office will want to read this.

The next paper is "Changing Images of the Public Domain: Historians and the Shaping of Midwest Frontiers" by Reginald Horsman. The article focuses on how writing about the public domain lands has changed over the years.

Next is "The Land Cession Treaty: A Valid Instrument of Transfer of Indian Title" by Dwight L. Smith. This article focuses on Indian land tenure and the methods by which title was transferred.

The final paper is "The Nationalizing Influence of the Public Lands: Indiana" by Paul W. Gates. This article contrasts the way land was viewed before public lands and after.

While I didn't have time to read it while I was cataloging it (and it has to go through processing before I can check it out), it does appear to be a book that offers a great deal of useful information for genealogists in regards to land records, particularly in Indiana.

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