Donation Land Claims in Jackson County

Many early settlers in Jackson County benefited from the donation land claims act. The online Jackson County Survey Index Map shows the borders of original donation land claim properties (using this requires zooming in close enough to see the boundaries, which are brown. Zooming in further also shows a DLC ##.)

DLC numbers are confusing. The land office in Roseburg assigned a number to each DLC when they processed paper work.* Those numbers are used on this website: https://glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx. They are also the numbers in the book called Genealogical Material in Oregon Donation Land Claims, abstracted from applications (volume 3 covers Jackson County, the SOHS call number is 929 G45 1962). This book has additional data on the DLC owners, in some cases very helpful genealogical information. It is also available at the Jackson County Genealogy Library and the Medford Library. 

The County Survey Index Map does NOT use those DLC numbers. When a surveyor surveyed properties, he assigned numbers to the properties. Each property has to be described with Township, Range, and DLC number because the DLC numbers created by the surveyors were assigned per township/range. For example, many townships have a DLC 37 in them. Without knowing the Township and Range, you cannot determine the correct DLC. 

The attached spreadsheet provides information taken from the Jackson County Surveyor's Record, Jackson County, Oregon, Donation Land Claims . This book is in the Jackson County Surveyor's office. It includes the original descriptions of the donation land claims in Jackson County that were surveyed. 

The spreadsheet includes the DLC numbers assigned by surveyors AND the DLC numbers that correspond to the Roseburg Land Office records. In some cases, the book Genealogical Material in Oregon Donation Land Claims  does not include a name that is in the county index, and in some cases there are variant name spellings. At least one name, Bybee, is in the book, but not in the county index. I did not peruse the entire book to determine if other Jackson1.  The Donation Land Act ordered that a surveyor-general be appointed and his duties were outlined.

2.  Claimants to donation lands were required to notify the surveyor-general within three months after the survey had been made (or if already surveyed, within three months from the commencement of settlement) "of the precise tract or tracts claimed by them."
3.  Within twelve months after the survey of the claimed lands had been made or settlement commenced, the claimant was required to prove that settlement and cultivation had been commenced...
 

County DLCs are not in the county index. 

Ways this spreadsheet could be used:

  • To determine where an early settler lived, find his name in the attached index. Go to the correct township/range on the Survey Index Map, zoom in, and look for the correct DLC number.
  • When you view the County Survey Index map and notice a DLC number, you can check the spreadsheet for the owner's name. Be sure to verify the correct Township/Range. 
  • To find more information about a DLC owner, go to the SOHS book and read the entry (or call for assistance)
  • The spreadsheet could be sorted by township/range in order to determine who were neighbors, or the Survey Index Map could be used to determine neighbors, then go to the spreadsheet to find the correct names

*Details about how people filed their DLC claims may be found in the Genealogical Material in Oregon Donation Land Claims book, which includes the following:

1.  The Donation Land Act ordered that a surveyor-general be appointed and his duties were outlined.

2.  Claimants to donation lands were required to notify the surveyor-general within three months after the survey had been made (or if already surveyed, within three months from the commencement of settlement) "of the precise tract or tracts claimed by them."
3.  Within twelve months after the survey of the claimed lands had been made or settlement commenced, the claimant was required to prove that settlement and cultivation had been commenced...