I’d seen a reference to my ancestor and the word “patent.” Had he invented something? No. It turned out to be a land patent.
The place to search for these is the U.S. Department of the Interior in the Bureau of Land Management’s records. It lets you search online for transfer of land titles from the Federal government to individuals. The place to search is the General Land Office Records (called GLORecords).
The records include Cash Entry, Homestead and Military Warrant patents. This helps you locate a place and time where your ancestor was based on a land transaction with the federal government.
Just click on the examples here to see them larger.