The General Land Office Website—A Genealogical Gem

Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
Apr 10, 2020
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12m 30s
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5m 00s
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Where Records Are Located
7m 52s
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The Website
6m 13s
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13m 37s
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11m 03s
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State Archives
16m 07s
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14m 21s
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Announcements / prizes
4m 30s
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Questions / answers
5m 08s

About this webinar

The GLO website provides access to over 8 million records, some dating back to the late 1700s. Thousands of records are still being added to this website to include patents, tract books, and maps. These records contain rich genealogical information. Also, the information on the website allows researchers to locate the original land entry papers held by the National Archives. Attendees will discover the scope and importance of records on the BLM website that document the first transfer of federal land and much more. Even if your ancestor did not live in one of the public land states, they could have applied for military bounty land. Examples will be presented using the website in a variety of roles such as locating land, discovering the FAN club, finding the information to order records, and much more. Also, other online resources related to this data such as HistoryGeo, a subscription website, that presents the GLO data in a manner friendly to genealogical research will be demonstrated.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, a retired colonel who served 31 years in the U.S. Army, is a long-time researcher and instructor in genealogical topics. Rick is a past president and current board member of BCG. He coordinates the Advanced Land course
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    so much to learn!!! Very enjoyable speaker – appeared to be very familiar with his subject!! Thanks for all the free webinars you are putting on!!

    5+++ Wonderful. Thank you so much!

    A lot of information. I have homework to do!

    After this webinar (a great overview of the General Land Office) I could use about 3 or 4 separate webinars by Rick of each part of today’s presentation!

    Amazing. Thanks so much.

    Another great webinar and that handout..WOW.

    Appreciated the deep, rich details in this webinar.

    Articulate and well-informed, Rick is one of the best presenters. A very in-depth webinar.

    As always Rick is very through and an excellent teacher on an important topic the GLO.

    Awesome webinar. Will need to spend time researching using the info

    Awesome! Very clear and easy to follow. Off to the GLO website now!

    Best in the business of finding family from the GLO website !!!

    Best webinar I’ve heard; not only gobs of info for researching, but inspired me to go work on GLO website some and learn more. Rick is a gem.

    Brilliant round up. It will require separate study because of the depth and breadth of the presentation.

    Enjoyed the webinar and it was informative, just information overload right now. Glad I am a webinar subscriber because I will have to go back to it.

    Enlightening presentation…a new group of threads to pull



    Excellent and informative presentation. Thank you to all….stay safe….

    Excellent as usual. I enjoy all Mr. Sayre’s webinars. webinar subscription is a great value.

    Excellent info! Thanks!

    Excellent information and presentation

    Excellent information from a very knowledgeable speaker. I shall be looking up some of his other webinars,

    Excellent information, but way above my knowledge level.

    Excellent presentation and presenter. I learned TONS. Thank you

    Excellent presentation. A lot to think about and research.

    Excellent speaker on one of my favorite topics!

    Excellent speaker, excellent information. Thanks!

    Excellent speaker. True source of knowledge.

    Excellent topic and presenter.

    Excellent webinar

    Excellent webinar, very informative!



    excellent! very detailed.. have land records from gggpa where he was buying lands in the 1800s in il.


  2. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Excellent!! I learned a lot from this webinar. Thank you!

    Excellent, logical organization. More!

    Excellent. Well presented and useful info.

    Excellent. A ton of great information

    Extremely informative and easy to follow. Great instructor. Convinced me to join!

    extremely informative!!!

    Extremely informative. Thanks Rick

    Fabulous. What an engaging seminar and speaker.

    Fantastic information. I will be watching his other presentation on bounty lands later. Thank you.


    Far too complicated for me, but I gained new information that I might use if I search land records for ancestors in Wisconsin who homesteaded here.

    Gave an abundance of information, glad I attended this webinar

    GLO Records and your speakers interest and knowledge on the subject, what a resource!


    great lots of info.

    Great and informative webinar

    Great content! I’m so inspired to retrace some 19th C farmers in, oh, CA, OR, IN, KS, MS, AK, AR, VA, WV, TN, OH for starters…. now that I know of FAN must check out the neighbors.

    Great information

    Great information presented in an interesting and understandable way.

    Great information, enlarged on what I knew about land records from the past. I learned tthe basics from my dad, back in the 1940s and i was a townshiip assessor for awhile, so this was a great refresher.

    Great presentation – not applicable to my research

    Great presentation! I learned so much and can’t wait to use what I’ve learned!

    Great presentation, as always Rick provides an excellent in depth view of the records, how to find them, where to find them, what’s in them and what to do with them.

    Great presenter!

    Great presenter, topic and handout – thanks!

    great slides, good info. I will have to watch again because some of the concepts went by me too fast!

    Great speaker & subject.

    Great Speaker…. Easy to Listen to

    Great topic! This is one of my favorite websites. I’m so glad to get additional insight on how to use it better!

    Great webinar – very informative! Thanks!

    Great webinar! Thanks!

    Great webinar. Learned so much. Thanks.

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago


    Great! Can I watch it again somehow?

    Hated that I had to leave early. I will definitely come back and rewatch this one over and over again. I feel more confident about using the BLM website already!

    Head is spinning with all Rick Sayre covered and will definitely need to relisten and go through the web site as I do.

    I am pleased to learn so much more about BLM records.

    I am a land manager for BLM and I found it very informative. I knew most of the material but learned some new ways to search and understand the information available. Thank you!

    I am new to webinars but this is the best I have ever seen. Knowledgeable speaker and well presented. I just joined Legacy!

    I enjoyed the program

    I had to leave webinar early – will watch full webinar at later time. Syllabus excellent.

    I learned a lot about how to find these records! Thanks!

    I learned A LOT THANK YOU!

    I learned new information. I had not checked the website in years.

    I learned so much!

    I love the GLO website but today I learned more about it than I started out with. This is a very good webinar.

    I say this every time, and I’ll say it again, GoToWebinar is the cleanest, easiest, most professional site out there. (Secretly, I really don’t like Zoom).

    I used to use the GLO site years ago but haven’t in the last ten years or so. I was happy to see the Rick Sayre was giving a talk on the subject because the website is so vastly changed and he has given us a roadmap to using the site. I’m certainly glad for the syllabus since there was so much information. Thank you!!

    I will be watching this one many times!

    I’m new at this, and I appreciated the comment that it was like taking a drink from a fire hose, but that it was still very valuable. I took lots of notes. It was a wealth of info. Thanks so much!

    Incredible amount of great information! Thanks Rick!

    It was a truly excellent webinar. I’ve used the BLM/GLO website for years yet never realized the scope of data on the website. It is incredible. Now, I’ve added the second webinar on bounty land to my ‘to watch/learn’ list. Thank you so very much for teaching today!

    It was great!

    It was great. Guess I’ll have to join to get the handout! Thanks!

    I’ve always wanted to take one of Rick Sayre’s institute classes, and this just reinforced that need. Excellent webinar, so well prepared and chock-a-block with info. Will have to re-watch, re-read the syllabus, and hit all his other webinars. You’re helping me to strengthen my weakest research spot, so thank you so very much!

    Learned a lot. Thanks!

    Lots of good info. Makes the website clea

    Lots of good information.

    Lots of great information ~ perhaps too much for a beginner like me to totally understand ~ but well organized and highly informative!!

    Lots of information – great webinar. Great to have Daniel from the GLO on as well.

    Lots of information. Appreciated the examples to show where things were on the forms and what information is key. Thank you.

    Love listening to Rick Sayre. He has so much knowledge, and presents it very clearly.

    Loved this. I have so much to research, ancestors in Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 Warrants in VA; IN; and Homesteads in NE. Should be interesting.

    Makes this confusing process so much easier to understand.

    Mr. Sayre has so much to teach genealogists at any level!

    Mr. Sayre masterfully delivered extensive information.

    Much good info. I haven’t used the site in several years and didn’t know about updates. I will recommend that my genealogy club members all watch.

    My brain hurts so much to learn for my Iowa line

    Need a transcript to be able to follow all the steps! There was so much good information.

    One of the top 10 I’ve attended. I’m a librarian and do this for fun (because my coworkers break into a sweat when anyone comes in asking genealogy questions) and this information is going to help me with a patron’s question about her ancestor’s land in Missouri. I used the BLM site, but now have a springboard to dive into more focused research. Thank you!

    Opens up a new research avenue

    Outstanding! I’m going to have to listen to this again.

    Outstanding!!! I have two sets of great-great grandparents who settled in Oregon Territory in the 1860s. One in western Oregon, the other in eastern Oregon. Wow, I have a lot of researching to do. I also have another set of great grandparents who settled in Washington Territory. I have their Abstract of Title that starts out with the original patent & includes their divorce file. It even includes the division of their personal property, including cattle, horses, chickens, household furnishings, dishes, etc.

  4. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Really great

    Rick is very knowledgeable, this was a bit beyond me at this point. That is on me, not a shortcoming in the presentation.

    Rick Sayer is always awesome. He methodically provides such important information in steps that we can follow to do our reasonable and exhaustive searches. His topics are more advanced and not quick and easy, but this is what ultimately gets us to the correct ancestors. He is a great teacher. I always watch his webinars and look forward to them. He has helped me so much.

    Rick Sayre really knows his stuff–but it was too much, too fast for my abilities. I’ll be watching this as recorded so I can pause it, try what he’s demoing, then go back for the next step.

    Rick Sayre sure knows his stuff. I could listen to him and learn all day long! Thanks so much.

    Rick’s webinar was great. Lots of excellent info

    So far beyond me. But I’m glad to know it is here for when I need it.

    So glad these are taped to listen to later. Not only was that a LOT of information to take in, I received a phone call, so missed part of the talk. Thank you.

    So much great information. Just listening, I’m overwhelmed and exhausted.

    So much information to research. Thank you

    So much information. I’ve looked at GLO records before, I need to revisit as it sounds like more has been added.

    So much information. Too much to absorb in one sitting. I’ll be revisiting this webinar and log in to get the syllabus. Thank, you.

    So much valuable information! Thank you!

    Soooo much great info

    Sorry I had to leave early. Rick is amazing; so knowledgeable. Love learning from him.

    Spectacular webinar about this website and its many resources!

    Superb. Superb knowledgeable presenter, clear slides, examples for each point, excellent excellent handout with sites as well as bibliography – so professional, so easy to understand. Whew! Thank you so much for this.

    Thank you!

    Thanks. I have a Thomas Montgomery who fought in the Rev War, but he has been confused with another Thomas Montgomery, both from PA and both ended up in Kentucky. Now I can try land records to differentiate the two men

    The most outstanding webinar of the many I have attended! I now understand that I need to retrace my searches on the GLO site because there may be lots of new information that wasn’t there before. I will be checking out Rick’s other webinars.

    The webinar was VERY informative and offered excellent clues to better my search of the GLO to answer a nagging question for a pending DAR application. Many thanks!

    This has been an excellent presentation with so much information. Will certainly listen to this again. Also, once again listen to the Bounty Land presentation. Love these webinars! Thank you! : )

    This is a very educational and exceptionally detailed presentation. I will have to re-watch numerous times to fully grasp research methodology for BLM GLO website and others indicated. Rick, thank you for another fantastic webinar!!!

    This is one of the best webinars that I have watched. Full of information. I will be using the coupon code and subscribe so that I can rewatch this webinar and view his webinar on Bounty Land.

    This is one of those that needs to be watched multiple times to absorb all the incredible information shared. I have used this site several times. I can see that I need to use it and use it and use it to get totally familiar with what exists and where the information is.

    this speaker is great

    This was all new to me and I enjoyed it very much!

    This was an excellent webinar – thank you!

    This was brilliant! I couldn’t understand 2/3’s of it, yet that is okay, because I’m gonna re-listen and download the summary thingie! Awesome!

    this webinar was one of the clearest, most organized I have attended. Well done!

    This webinar was ‘to infinity and beyond’ with regard to the depth and breadth of both knowledge of and presentation skills of Mr. Sayre. How fortunate for all to have had someone with his background and interest available to compile this webinar. Thank you very much.

    This will be very helpful in my research.

    Thought I already knew GLO…I see there’s so much more!

    Tons of great info, well presented.

    Tons of info but over my head for much of it. Needed more definitions of terms and Acts. Maybe a different webinar? Thanks for the Presentation!

    Tons of information. Will definitely need to watch this one several times

    Too much to absorb in one webinar – glad I have a subscription to go over it again.

    Use the GLO site often but learned a lot!

    Very complete and great slides to follow.

  5. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    very detailed and informative handout. graphics linked directly to info and made information very clear. Thanks!

    very easy to log on and enter. easy tools to ask questions and review answers. great app!

    very good

    Very good webinar, although sometimes the minute detail level complicated being able to follow the train of thought.

    Very helpful and informative, and clarifying notes by Rick from GLO were also very much appreciated!

    very informative

    Very informative

    Very informative

    Very informative and helpful!

    Very informative and interesting! Thank you 🙂

    Very informative for a rookie to lands record sites!

    Very informative! Now, I’m going to take a close look at the site and understand how to use it. Thank you!!

    Very informative! Wish I had done it years ago! 90 years old now … but still working on genealogy.

    Very informative, now time for research!

    Very informative.

    Very informative.

    Very informative. Thank you.

    Very informative. Thank you

    Very informative.. Gives me something to learn during my shelter in place time. Showing the GLO site in such detail really helps,. Will watch again this week,

    Very interesting

    Very interesting!

    Very interesting. Although the information does not apply to my research, it is good general knowledge regarding types of records.

    Very interesting. So much that I did not know! I will be reviewing this webinar again, lots to learn. Thank you.

    Very useful information. I have been wanting to understand the BLM records better.

    Wealth of information! Thank you!

    What an organized and informative webinar. Thank you.

    whew. this one will require several reviews. great info.

    Wonderful and very informational! I loved it…

    Wonderful information at places I never heard about.

    Wonderful. Learned alot of information, although some to fast. Presenter was fantastic!


    Wow! Great presentation with great, helpful information!



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