Claiborne County Land Patent Records

Indexed by Township/Range

















Port Gibson




















Submitted by Ann Allen Geoghegan , December, 2003

About this Project:  These pages have over 1,380 Records indexed.....

In research it is often helpful to understand not only our ancestors, but their neighbors and affiliated families that resided within their homestead area. These are sometimes the families that immigrated together to a new area and are often the families that our ancestor's children intermarried with. By studying the mapped area of your ancestors,  some valuable clues develop from the surrounding entities. 

How to Locate Your Ancestors Land in Claiborne County:

Mississippi  was subject to the Federal Township and Range System for identifying land. We are not going to discuss how the system brought us to Claiborne County. You can read more about it at: Legal Land Descriptions in Federal Township and Range System. To plot the land you need a land description from the General Land Office for original land patents or a record of sale from the County Court House. The General Land Office website can be reached by the following link -  General Land Office .

Township and Range lines are 6 miles wide. The crossing of the two lines create boxes that are approximately 6 miles square. Each Township/Range box on the Claiborne County Map is numbered to indicate which Township and Range cross to create that square. (Example: 10N4E) Township 10 North and Range 4 East.  A detailed Claiborne County map, is available from the Mississippi Department of Transportation's main website.  This map shows all county roads, state highways, land features, and the township and range designations. Claiborne County's designations vary from Township 10 North to Township 14 North, and from Range 1 West to Range 5 East.

All Land Descriptions under this system read from the smallest division and go to the Largest, but to use them you have to read from the largest to the smallest or right to left. The following two descriptions are for land bought by Jackson Fife on June 1, 1859 at the Land Office in Washington. 

1)  -  10N - 4E - S23
2)  -  10N - 4E - S24

Reading from right to left, the first entry is 23 and 24 respectively.  This is the section that the land was purchased in.  For further detailed information, refer to the Bureau of Land Management- General Land Office records for the specific legal description.  The next part is 4E and is the Range line number (Vertical Line). 10N is the Township line designation (Horizontal line). So on our Claiborne County Map that you can download from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, this land is in the square marked 10N-4E.   The township are vertical numbers beginning with Township 10 north at the bottom and ending with Township 14 North at the top.  The Range sections run horizontal and begin with Range 1 West on the left to Range 5 East on the right.  Follow the cross coordinates of each to the specific Township/Range description.

Each of the Township/Range boxes are further broken down into approximate 1 mile squares that are called sections. There are 36 sections in a Township/Range box. The numbering of these sections start in the top right of the Township/Range box and go to the left. The next line starts in the section box under the section 6 box and the numbering goes to the right and then continues in a zigzag pattern as shown in the illustration. Each of these numbered 1 mile square boxes are called a Section and contains 640 acres. Note that these sections are outlined and numbered on the maps downloaded from the Mississippi Department Of Transportation. Now we are ready for the next part of the Land description for Anderson's land which is a "24" and indicate that the land is in Section 24 of the Township/Range box T8N-R2E.  This will help you to locate the land description to the square mile. 

Each Section box is divided into Quadrants and each Quadrant is divided into four parcels creating sixteen 40 acre parcels of land. The quadrants are named NW (northwest) for upper left, NE (northeast) for upper right, SW (southwest) for lower left and SE (southeast) for lower right. Each Large Quadrant is divided into four parts and are label as are the larger quadrants. The scope of this project does not go into detail as to which quarter of land was purchased, for this information you will have to visit the Bureau of Land Management's- General Land Office website for additional information, however, a description of how to read the "quarter" information is included below.

Now we will look at the last portion of the land description. The two descriptions are
WSE and SSW  

The first will read: "The West 1/2 of the Southeast 1/4" 

The second description reads "South 1/2 of the Southwest 1/4". 


I sincerely hope this helps the researcher in learning more about the lives of these individuals, where they lived, and who were their neighbors.  If you have any questions, comments, or would like to help in compiling additional information regarding this project, please contact me.

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County Coordinator: Ann Allen Geoghegan

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