“History, Records, and Context” and “Land Records in the Old Northwest”

March 14th, 2018 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Angela Packer McGhie, CG

TITLE: History, Records and Context: Researching the Locations Your Ancestors Lived


TIME & DATE: Friday, 04 May 4 2018, 8:00 a.m.

Each time we trace our ancestor to a new location we need to take time to learn about the history, geography, customs, and records available. This help us to understand the context and social history of our ancestor, as well as be better prepared to research in the area. We need to know when the county formed, what the parent counties were, which groups migrated to the area, if the area has experienced any record loss, as well as which published sources and original records are available for research.

This session will feature several examples to illustrate the need for studying the location, and to demonstrate various research techniques. These examples will walk through the process of studying a locality, as well as provide suggestion on finding resources that contain details on the history, laws, records and culture of an area.

NOTE: This session is a part of the BCG Skillbuilding track and will be available via the NGS Live Streaming option.


TITLE: Early Land Records in Michigan and the Old Northwest Territory


TIME & DATE: Friday, 04 May 2018, 11:00 a.m.

Do you have ancestors who settled in the Old Northwest Territory in the 1800s? This is the first area where the federal government sold land in the public domain. The National Archives has preserved the application papers for these land transactions, which can be used to provide details on the early settlers. Federal land records for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin include private land claims, cash purchases, Indian allotments, and homesteads. This session will discuss the land records of all of the Old Northwest Territory, including mention of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, but will focus on Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Attendees of this presentation will learn:

  • details on the different types of land transactions
  • what types of genealogical information these land records may contain
  • how to use the index on the Bureau of Land Management website to identify individuals who purchased land from the federal government
  • how to order copies of the original application files from the National Archives

ABOUT: Angela Packer McGhie, CG has a passion for genealogy education. She is a course coordinator at IGHR and SLIG, and an instructor at GRIP and Gen-Fed. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program for six years and now serves as a trustee for the BCG Education Fund.