Homestead National Monument of America to Participate in Roots Tech 2019
The RootsTech Conference, being held in Salt Lake City, is an opportunity for people to connect with resources that will help them explore their family heritage and roots. Homestead National Monument is excited to collaborate with Eastern States-Bureau of Land Management to provide a holistic research experience at the RootsTech Conference. Homestead National Monument will have the opportunity to offer the research resources used at the park to attendees at the conference.
Homestead National Monument will share a designated booth at the conference’s trade show with the Bureau of Land Management, where experienced staff will aide conference goers in their search for homestead ties. The Bureau of Land Management, will help attendees gain access to General Land Office records. Homestead National Monument of America has teamed up with several important partners such Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, FamilySearch, the National Archives and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to make Homestead Land Entry Case Files, or homestead records available; which, are the complete files for each homesteader and his/her land.
These records include the application for the land, sworn testimony from two witnesses who testified to information about the homesteader’s first five years, the homesteader’s own testimony on what they accomplished as well as information about where they came from, and their personal history. These records are a treasure trove of information that might include citizenship records, birth and death certificates and documents pertaining information detailing crops grown and livestock raised. Historians and experts use these same databases when researching and writing monographs. Those who desire to use these resources, but are unable to attend the conference are welcome to use the document databases at Homestead National Monument’s Heritage Center.
Homestead National Monument of America is dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of the Homestead Act. The Homestead Act of 1862, was signed into law under President Abraham Lincoln, and gave any man over the age of 21, and any woman, if she was head of household the opportunity to prove up and eventually own 160 acres, later the Enlarged Homestead Act allowed a homesteader to acquire up 640 acres of land. The Act was open to immigrants desiring to be American Citizens as well as former slaves. The Homestead Act had huge impacts on the land and the nation, turning miles of tallgrass prairie into cultivated land and organized communities; however, the Homestead Act not only impacted the national story, but the stories of millions of individuals and their descendants.
Homesteaders are integral part of this epic American story. Many immigrants were drawn to the United States in search of the American Dream, and the promise of free land. Many already living in the United States used the Homestead opportunity to improve their quality of life. It is estimated that as many as 93 million Americans descend from homesteaders. Look for us at RootsTech 2019 to discover your own homesteading story.