< Payne County Oklahoma Genealogy Research: Land Records

Land Ownership in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a public domain state (also known as Federal land or public land)which means that the land was initially owned by the federal government. In 1812 the General Land Office was created as part of the Treasury Department to handle and dispose of public lands. Under the General Land Office were district land offices with registers and receivers whose duties included taking applications and reviewing land entries.

The government put together a system for measuring land that would measure rectangular parcels. The metes and bounds system that was traditionally used in State-land states was replaced with a cartographic reference system using rectangles. The location of the rectangles is determined using meridians and baselines. A meridian is an imaginary line that runs from the north pole to the south pole. The baseline is the intersecting line that runs east-west. As you look at the land patents in Payne County and have questions regarding the meaning of terms, the Bureau of Land Management has an excellent Reference Section you can refer to.

The second option you have for searching for land records is to use the county's database. Click the button below and scroll down the page to Land records- County Clerk.

You will need to register for an account before you are able to search. I would advise against using the date as a means of searching. At the time of this writing, almost all of the records prior to 1890s are mislabeled with the wrong century. For example, the earliest record has a date of 1806. When you examine the documents that go with the record, it should be dated 1906.