The Homestead Act of 1862. The Homestead Act of 1862 not only helped populate a major portion of the current United States during the 19th and 20th centuries, but it left behind a vibrant record set for genealogy research. #genealogy #webinars
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862, to spur Western migration. How did a person get 160 acres of one's own? You had to be a U.S. citizen and 21 years of age. By paying a filing fee of $10 and residing on your new farm in the West for at least five years, the land would be yours.
The Homestead Act of 1862 made "unappropriated government lands" ---some 270 million acres, or eight to 10 percent of all land in the U.S. ---eligible for homesteading for a modest fee and lots of hard work. Some 400,000 people took advantage of the government's offer, settling the plains, the prairies and the west coast. Shown: homesteaders in Hunterstown, Indiana.
The Homestead Act of 1862. Families were allowed 160 acres for a small filing fee and 5 yrs of residency. 45% of all the land in Nebraska was given away by the federal government under these provisions.
Adeline Hornbek and the Homestead Act: A Colorado Success Story (67) Discover how Adeline Hornbek, single mother of four, defied traditional gender roles to become the owner of a successful ranch under the Homestead Act. (National Park)
True to his roots as a frontier farm boy, on May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to create the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over the next two months - in the midst of the Civil War - he signed additional legislation that expanded and transformed American farming, including the Homestead Act, and the establishment of the Land Grant agricultural university system.