To correct a presupposition from the first paragraph of your inquiry please note: BLM does keep records for all of the states wherever the federal government held land; however, the records for all of the states that touch or are east of the Mississippi River are located in the BLM’s Eastern States branch office located in: Springfield, Virginia. Primarily that includes the following 13 “Public Land” states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wisconsin; however, though virtually all of the land within the original 13 states (that formed the Union) is privately held (thus, those states are not Public Land states), the federal government (either from original jurisdiction or through Corp. U.S. management of the land rights) does own land within those original 13 states and when such lands are dispossessed from the government, patents are issued and those land records are also accessed through the BLM; the same goes for Republic of Texas land and Hawaiian land that was once so owned by the federal government and subsequently granted to private parties via land patents. Each of the other states has their own BLM branch office, through which land patent records can be had; nonetheless, BLM is the Corp. U.S. government agency that holds virtually all of the land records for all of the lands that have been either owned by or held by the federal government; thus, the BLM is the source for retrieving any land patent that was ever issued by the United States of America either in its original jurisdiction or through its Corp. U.S. agency.
Thus, the reason the original 13 states records are generally held by those states is not because they were separate nations; rather, it is because most of the land within those states is private and was granted (before the Constitutional Republic was formed) either by foreign Kings or by those respective State’s governors. Thus, it is not because those states were countries by their own right; rather, the Land records were the records of that State or of the foreign country (like Spain, France, Holland or Great Britain) that issued that record. When copies of the records issued from foreign countries’ kings (such as those last listed) are kept in the local State records (where the land is actually situated), those records are found locally merely because they were recorded as historical record copies.
We have always had the same helpful friendly service from all such record keeper’s offices (when we have treated them with respect—which we always do). Also, the BLM records system is quite informative and helpful (see the link at the top of the page on Team Law Online resources
We hope this information is helpful to you.
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