Genealogy at the GLO
Family History Sources:
- Spanish and Mexican titles
- Official Government correspondence between citizens in Texas and the Spanish Crown or Mexican Republic
- Bounty, Donation, and Headright land grants
- County Clerk Returns
- Court of Claims Files
- Muster Roll of the Republic of Texas
- Confederate Scrip Collection
- German Immigration Contracts
The Texas General Land Office Archives contain numerous resources for the research of family history.
Perhaps, the most used source is the Spanish Collection, thousands of documents conveying land from the Spanish Crown or Mexican Republic that pre-date the Republic and State of Texas. Included in this material are Spanish and Mexican land titles covering approximately 1/6 of the surface area of Texas, as well as official correspondence between early Texas settlers and government officials in Mexico.
Additional resources available for research include bounty and donation land grants, headright land grants, scrip certificates, corresponding documentation, and more.
For example, the County Clerk Returns give exact dates of immigration of who is claiming a land certificate from the various County Clerks across Texas. These documents provide a list of who testified to receive a land grant, and when they testified. Bounty and donation land grants give insight into military service to the Republic of Texas, conveying when an individual was in the Texas Army, and for how long, and where their land was located.
Family researchers can then find their ancestor’s land grant in the thousands of city, state, county, and republic maps in the Archive Map Collection.
Additionally, Muster Rolls of the Republic of Texas army inform the researcher what company an ancestor was mustered into, and the battles in which they fought. A true treasure for genealogists and historians is the Court of Claims, featuring touching letters from the frontlines, testimony of service, and chilling details of life and war in early Texas.
Additional genealogical research can be done on veterans of the Confederate Army, through the Confederate Scrip Collection. These documents are filled with information about service to the Confederate State of Texas.