Land Patents

Los Angeles County, CA Index to Federal Land Patents

California Land Patents Database

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) inherited the functions of the General Land Office when it was established by Congress in 1946. The California Land Patents Database, derived from General Land Office and BLM information, contains deeds (primarily patents) issued by the United States in the State of California between 1856 and 1995. While BLM has been referred to as “the Nations record keeper” it is the National Archives that actually keeps the files. The BLM, maintains diagrammatic plats known as Master Title Plats, which depict lands which are owned by the United States and lands which are patented. However, these plats do not have any information about who the lands were patented to. That information as only been available after tedious research, it is available now in this database.

The California Land Patents Database contains the following information for each land transaction: date, location (township, range, section, meridian), name of person the land was patented to, case type, conveyance type, county, case number and the patent document identification number.

Using this information you can obtain copies of the patent file for $10 from the National Archives at the following address:

Reference Branch (Lands)
National Archives
Washington, DC 20408
(202) 501_5428

You need to submit your request on a copy of Form 84. To get the form, send an e-mail message to

In the body of the message, be sure to ask for Form 84 “Order for Copies of Land Entry Files”, tell them how many copies you want (get at least 2, in case you make a mistake) and give your name and snail address so they can send you the forms.

(Or you can send a snail mail letter to above address). Sending by e-mail takes less than a week; by snail mail both ways takes about 2 weeks.