Title: Michigan State Land Office Board records Creator: Michigan. State Land Office Board. Inclusive dates: 1816-1924 Extent: 101 oversize volumes Extent: 69 oversize folders (in 20 boxes) Location: Portions located in offsite storage; prior notification required for access. Abstract:
Records of United States land offices in Marquette and Grayling, Michigan. Plat and tract books containing the record of the survey and sale of public lands in Michigan.
Call number: 851856 Ca 2; CA Outsize Language: The material is in English Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave. Ann Arbor, MI
email@example.com Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff. (Revised Sepember 1993, Leonard A. Coombs)
Access and Use
The records were transferred to the Michigan Historical Collections in February 1941, from the U.S. General Land Office (later renamed the Bureau of Land Management, donor no. 6418) at the request of the Auditor General of Michigan.
The record group is open to research.
To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.
Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.
[item], folder, box, Michigan State Land Office Board records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
United States land offices were the agencies responsible for the sale of the public land to individual purchasers. The first land office in Michigan was established in Detroit in 1804, although no land sales were held until 1818. As sales expanded, additional offices were established in Monroe (1823), White Pigeon (1831), Ionia (1836), Flint (1836), Sault Ste. Marie (1847), and Duncan (1854). In 1888, after several of the offices had been moved or consolidated, the state was served by four land offices, in Detroit, East Saginaw, Reed City, and Marquette. In that year, the three Lower Peninsula offices were consolidated and moved to Grayling. In 1898, the Grayling office was closed and the Marquette office became responsible for the entire state. The Marquette land office, in turn, was closed in 1925.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The records originally came from two sources. Volumes 1-51 and 78 to 87 (tract books for the Lower Peninsula) and the outsize folders (Lower Peninsula plat maps) are copies of earlier records made in 1894 for the Grayling Land Office. When that office was closed in 1898 the records were transferred to the Marquette Land Office. Volumes 52-77 and 88 (tract books for the Upper Peninsula) and volumes 150A-161 (plat maps for the Upper Peninsula) are the original records kept in the Marquette Land Office (originally in Sault Ste. Marie) beginning in 1847.
The records were transferred to the General Land Office in Washington, D.C., when the Marquette Land Office was closed in 1925. In 1940, the Auditor General of Michigan, who was the chairman of the Michigan State Land Office Board, accepted the records for the state. (The State Land Office Board was established in 1937, and was not related to the Michigan State Land Office, which was abolished in 1914 and replaced by the Public Domain Commission.) Because of crowded conditions in the State Capitol, the Auditor General asked that the records be deposited in the Michigan Historical Collections, where they could be used by a WPA Writers Project study of the disposal of public lands in Michigan. They have been on deposit at this library since that time.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.
Forests and forestry -- Michigan.
Land titles -- Michigan.
Land use -- Michigan.
Public lands -- Michigan.
Surveyors -- Michigan.
United States. Grayling Land Office.
United States. Marquette Land Office.
United States. General Land Office.
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Container / Location
Tract Books [series]
The tract books detail the original sale by the federal government of each piece of public land in the state, beginning with the opening of the Detroit Land Office in 1818. (These volumes do not include information about lands contained in private claims.)
The tract books for the Upper Peninsula are original records kept, beginning in 1847, by the land office in Sault Ste. Marie (in 1857 moved to Marquette). The tract books for the Lower Peninsula were copied, by hand in 1894, from an earlier record. After the earlier records were copied, some new entries were added and old entries were revised or updated. Some entries are dated as late as 1920. The tract books are arranged (in a somewhat random order) by township number, and within each township by section.
No names of townships appear in the collection, so it will be necessary for the researcher to discover the numerical designation in terms of township and range. A brief description of townships, ranges, and other details of the U.S. land survey system can be found (as of 2007) at the web site of the National Atlas of the United States http://nationalatlas.gov/articles/boundaries/a_plss.html. The range, township, and section of a particular place can be found using maps such as those in Henry F. Walling's Atlas of the State of Michigan (Detroit: R. M. and S. T. Tackabury, 1873, 1875, or 1884); or the Mapbook of Michigan Counties (Lansing: Two Peninsula Press, 1984). Range and township numbers for Washtenaw County Townships are as follows:
Since the townships are arranged in a somewhat random order, an index to the 88 volumes by township and range has been created. It is found appended to this finding aid.
The information contained in an individual entry includes an exact description of the land purchased, the number of acres included in the transaction, the price per acre, the total purchase price, the name of the purchaser, the date of sale, the receipt number, and the person to whom the land was patented if this was different from the name of the purchaser. Quite often the date when the land was placed on sale appears on the page.
Indexes to the tract books by the name of the purchaser have been made. The most convenient (as of 2007) is the General Land Office Land Records web site maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management: http://www.glorecords.blm.gov. Transcriptions of and indexes to tract books have been published for several counties. These can be found in the library's online catalog under the subject "Landowners Michigan ... County Indexes". Since these books were compiled from copies of tract books in other repositories, some names and locations may not correspond exactly to the library's copy. These indexes generally show the residence of each purchaser, a piece of information not included in the library's copy of the records.
A 1942 project by Anne Case and Theodore Clark produced a card file listing the purchaser's name and county for land purchases of 640 acres or more in these 19 counties: Antrim, Berrien, Cheboygan, Crawford, Gladwin, Ingham, Ionia, Iosco, Isabella, Lenawee, Newaygo, St. Clair, and Wexford in the Lower Peninsula, and Gogebic, Keweenaw, Luce, Marquette, Menominee, and Schoolcraft in the Upper Peninsula. The card file is not part of this electronic finding aid and is only available at the Bentley Library.
Lower Peninsula (Townships North and Ranges East) [subseries]
Volume 1: T1-11, R8; T7-9, R9-17
Volume 2: T1-12, R5; T1-11, R6-7
Volume 3: T1-12, R2; part of T13, R2; T1-13, R3-4; part of T12, R5; part of T13, R5
Volume 4: T1-17, R1; part of T13, R2; T14-17, R2-4; T15-17, R5
Volume 48: T37-39, R2; Bois Blanc Island, Hog Island, Garden Island, Squaw Island, Big Beaver Island, Little Beaver Island, Whiskey Island, Trout Island, Gull Island, Hat Island, North and South Manitou Islands, North and South Fox Islands, Waugoshance Point
Volume 88: Mostly townships 42-52N and some islands
Plat Books [series]
Plat books (v. 150A-161 and 69 outsize folders in Boxes 1-20): The collection originally contained 73 volumes of plat books, containing copies of the original maps produced by the U.S. land survey for all townships in Michigan, along with some original maps of later surveys of private claims and government reserves. The main series of township plats is drawn at a scale of 1:31,680 (2 inches to a mile). Some of the maps (especially those of the southern Lower Peninsula) include only section outlines, bearings, deviations, and a few landmark physical features located on section lines. Other maps (especially for the Upper Peninsula) include extensive information about physical and cultural features. As a general rule, none of these maps show land ownership. The plat books for the Lower Peninsula are lithographic copies made in 1894. The Upper Peninsula maps are hand-drawn copies, made beginning in 1847, and have extensive later annotations.
Upper Peninsula plat books (v. 150A-161) are arranged by range number, so any township can be found easily if its numerical designation is known. The Lower Peninsula plat books (formerly v. 89-149) have been disbound, and arranged alphabetically by county in Boxes 1-20. (A few loose Upper Peninsula maps are also found in the boxes.)
Another set of these plat maps is held by the State of Michigan, and has been made available online through the Dept. of Natural Resources General Land Office Plats web site http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/1,1607,7-153-10371_14793-31058--,00.html.
Lower Peninsula [subseries]
(Volumes 89-149 have been taken apart and arranged in folders by county and put into boxes; these plats are separately described.)
Upper Peninsula [subseries]
Volume 150A: All ranges East
Volume 150B: R1-6W
Volume 151: R7-11W
Volume 152: R12-16W
Volume 153: R17-21W
Volume 154: R22-25W
Volume 155: R26-27W
Volume 156: R28-29W
Volume 157: R30-32W
Volume 158: R33-34W
Volume 159: R35-37W
Volume 160: R38-41W
Volume 161: R42-49W
Plat Maps [series]
(formerly bound in v. 89-149; Upper Peninsula plat maps are found in v. 150A-161)
Lower Peninsula [subseries]
Alcona County 1838-1846, 1854
Allegan County 1826-1832, 1850
Alpena County 1839-1840, 1854-1857, 1884, 1920
Antrim County 1839-1840, 1850-1857
(see also Grand Traverse and Kalkaska for townships shared with those counties)
Arenac County 1822, 1831, 1837-1846, 1853
Barry County 1826-1831, 1856, 1877, 1915, 1917
Bay County 1822, 1831-1846, 1870
(see also Saginaw for townships shared with that county)
Benzie County 1838-1839, 1850-1851
Berrien County 1828-1846
Branch County 1825-1829, 1846
Calhoun County 1825-1826, 1856
Cass County 1828-1830, 1846
(includes township shared with St. Joseph)
Charlevoix County 1839-1856, 1888, 1921
(includes townships shared with Emmet)
Cheboygan County 1840-1856, 1904, 1922
Clare County 1837-1856, 1923-1924
Clinton County 1826-1855
Crawford County 1836-1857
Eaton County 1825-1827, 1855-1856
Emmet County 1840-1841, 1922
(see also Charlevoix for townships shared with that county)
Genesee County 1822-1823, 1839, 1898, 1915
Gladwin County 1831-1856, 1877
Grand Traverse County 1836-1852, 1900-1904
(includes township shared with Antrim; see also Leelanau for township shared with that county)
Gratiot County 1831-1832, 1852
Hillsdale County 1824-1837
(includes townships now part of Ohio)
Huron County 1834-1835, 1853
Ingham County 1825-1827, 1856
Ionia County 1826-1837, 1855-1856, 1875
Iosco County 1837-1845, 1907-1921
Isabella County 1830-1838, 1847, 1850
Jackson County 1824-1825, 1855
Kalamazoo County 1826-1830, 1850, 1856
Kalkaska County 1837-1853
(includes township shared with Antrim)
Kent County 1830-1838, 1855-1856, 1890, 1906
Lake County 1837-1839, 1905
Lapeer County 1818-1834
(includes township shared with Sanilac)
Leelanau County 1839-1855, 1884
(includes township shared with Grand Traverse)
Lenawee County 1815-1824, 1837, 1896
(includes townships now part of Ohio)
Livingston County 1823-1825, 1849
Mackinac County 1827, 1844
(includes Bois Blanc Island only; see volumes for remainder of county)
Macomb County 1817-1818, 1836
Manistee County 1837-1839, 1847, 1856, 1906, 1917
Mason County 1835-1839, 1856, 1884
Mecosta County 1837-1839, 1847, 1856, 1914
Midland County 1831-1832, 1839, 1852
Missaukee County 1837-1840, 1852-1856, 1909, 1912
Monroe County 1817-1854, 1865, 1884, 1924
(includes township shared with Wayne and townships now part of Ohio)
Montcalm County 1831-1839, 1848, 1856, 1890, 1907, 1911
Montmorency County 1839-1840, 1850-1857
Muskegon County 1836-1838
Newaygo County 1836-1838, 1856-1857, 1918
Oakland County 1816-1818, 1823, 1868, 1915, 1917
Oceana County 1837-1838
Ogemaw County 1838-1839, 1845-1846, 1883, 1907
Osceola County 1837-1839, 1847-1848, 1856
Oscoda County 1838-1840, 1846
Otsego County 1839-1840, 1850-1857, 1895, 1922
Ottawa County 1831-1832, 1837-1838
Presque Isle County 1839-1840, 1850-1857
Roscommon County 1837-1840, 1849-1852
Saginaw County 1821-1824, 1831-1834, 1839-1840, 1906
(includes townships shared with Bay)
St. Clair County 1817-1818, 1822-1824, 1834-1837, 1855-1856
St. Joseph County 1826-1829, 1835, 1843-1845, 1895
(see also Cass for township shared with that county)
Sanilac County 1822-1823, 1834-1835
(missing T13, R16; see also Lapeer for township shared with that county)
Shiawassee County 1822-1823, 1826, 1831, 1848
Tuscola County 1821-1822, 1834-1839, 1914
Van Buren County 1829-1830, 1844, 1883
(missing T2, R18)
Washtenaw County 1816-1819, 1824-1825, 1844-1849
Wayne County 1816-1819, 1824, 1840-1849, 1913-1920
(see also Monroe for township shared with that county)