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Homestead Records

Dates: 1860-1939


The Placer County Archives maintains a collection of official Placer County records regarding the filing of a Homestead Claim. California instituted a Homestead Act in April of 1851, shortly after becoming a state on September 5, 1850. Land laws in California at the time were a combination of Mexican land grants, squatters and tribal lands.  The Homestead Act was an attempt to unravel the complexities of a population that suddenly exploded with the gold rush. Claimants in this collection refer to the California Act of April 21, 1851 and later to an amendment of April 28, 1860. The declaration includes the name of the head of household, male or female, the notice that the claimant is currently living on the premises and the claimant’s intent to use and claim the land as a homestead. In an early nod to women’s rights, the California Homestead Act dictated that the property be held in joint tenancy if a married couple filed a claim.

Here is a shortcut to the Homestead Collection.

Homestead Records (1860-1937)

  • Index to Homestead Records (1860-1923)
  • Homestead Records Books A-F (1860-1937) – SEARCHABLE INDEX to Books A-B

Abandonment of Homestead Records (1861-1935)

  • One volume, Book 1, index located in front.


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