Indian land documents can be informative and can provide a glimpse into your family's past. One of the most valuable tools online for searching Indian land is the Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office records website.
This website provides live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present. We also have images of survey plats and field notes, land status records, and control document index records. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.
So let's start a quick search... [note that any of the images below can be clicked for an expanded view]
First, we open the Search by Documents Type search menu. We enter location.
The selected state is Minnesota. Next, we enter the name of the person we are searching for.
Then, we can limit our search to specific land information (by query). We will use Indian Allotment as our Authority.
We get our results after the system does its search.
The search shows that John B Charette indeed had land under this authority. It was issued in 1874 in Marshall County, Minnesota and has an Accession # tied to the 1863 Red Lake & Pembina Band Treaty at the Old Crossing. If we click the blue link, more information will open up.
When opened, the following information is revealed: that it is a Chippewa treaty patent, issued in the State of Minnesota on January 20, 1874 and it was not canceled. It shows the land office that issued the patent and what tribe the patent was issued to (Chippewa) and how many acres and where the land is at. If you click the location link at the bottom, a map will open up.
This map shows where the land was in relation to the surrounding area. In this case it is near the Red River Valley at the junction with the Park River - the location of a popular trading post at the time. It is just south of the modern-day community of Drayton, North Dakota.
If you click the patent image link above a copy of the original treaty patent will open.
This document can be printed or downloaded as a PDF. It shows the information related to the Pembina/Red Lake treaty and lists the name of the individual and the certificate number.
If you click the related documents link, the original USGS survey of the land will be made available.
To do your own search, visit the BLM GLO Website at https://glorecords.blm.gov/
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities