Homestead Declarations: Amended Index, Sonoma County, California, Second Edition - Sonoma County Genealogical Society, Inc. The purpose of the Homestead Act, signed by President Lincoln on May 20, 1862, was to encourage settlement in the western states on unappropriated public land. Any person who was twenty-one years of age, or head of a family, or met certain military requirements was eligible to apply for a homestead. The homesteader had to live on the land continuously and cultivate it for a period of five years in order to obtain the patent. Any person who had borne arms against the U.S., or given aid and comfort to its enemies, was not eligible. This was a significant point since the Homestead Act was passed during the years of the Civil War. The patents read much like any deed. When family information such as marital status or relationship was included, it was abstracted and included along with the name of the applicant. Column headings include: Applicant and Family Information, Filing Date, and Vol.-Pg. In some cases, what was apparently the maiden name of a woman was found in the homestead application.
(1985), 2011, 8½x11, paper, alphabetical, 122 pp.