The General Land Office was established by the 1836 Constitution for the Republic of Texas. It housed its first land records in Houston, but moved the archives to Austin in 1839. Austin residents, armed with cannon, kept the Texas Rangers from moving the records back to Houston in 1843, during what came to be known as the Archives War.
Today, the main functions of the General Land Office are earning money for the state’s Permanent School Fund, overseeing state veterans benefits, maintaining historic land records and maps and acting as steward of the state’s coast.
The General Land Office conserves and protects more than 35 million historic land documents, maps and notes that are open to the public for research. Many of these records date back to 1720 and include maps, sketches and plat maps. Forming the foundation of all private land ownership in Texas, the maps and documents of the Archives are still used today by researchers, surveyors, genealogists and students of Texas history.
Highlights of the Collection:
- Maps, sketches and plat maps contained in the GLO Archives are more than just functional – they are hand-drawn works of art. Learn More
- Original Spanish and Mexican land grants Learn More
- Documents dating back to 1720 establishing Mission San Jose
- The first draft of the Texas Constitution
- Rare copies of 1836 muster rolls and military records of Texas heroes
- Confederate documents, including scrip certificates, letters and diaries
- Letters and documents from Alamo and Goliad defenders, including the most well-known Alamo survivor, Susanna Dickinson
- Original signatures of Texas patriots such as Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, James Bowie, and William Travis
Visit the Texas GLO at booth 332 in the Exhibit Hall on the FGS Conference or attend their Saturday workhop to learn more about researching Texas land and other records in the collection.
Saturday Workshop – Genealogical Resources at the Texas General Land Office
Speaker: James Harkins, MPA, CA
S-408, Saturday, August 30, 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
$15 fee, registration required
This workshop covers the historical and archival resources of the Texas General Land Office. Learn how to access the GLO’s variety of records, focusing on the period immediately before the Texas Revolution, the Republic era, and early Texas statehood, and including land grants, various Special Collections and the GLO’s many online resources.
Sponsored by Texas State Genealogical Society