New Mexico Land Records
This entry was originally written by Karen Stein Daniel, CG and Margaret Windham for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
New Mexico is a Public-Domain State
New Mexico was admitted as a territory on 9 September 1850 and became a state on 6 January 1912. When it became a part of the United States, it became a public-domain land state. The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives has large holdings of land records going back to 1693. Spanish and Mexican land grants date from that period. The original records are in Spanish, but some have been translated. Researchers will want to consult:
- Oczon, Annabelle M. “Land Grants in New Mexico: A Selective Bibliography,” New Mexico Historical Review 57 (January 1982).
- Salazar, J. Richard, ed. and comp. Calendar to the Microfilm Edition of the Land Records of New Mexico: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Surveyor General Records and the Records of the Court of Private Land Claims. Santa Fe: New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, 1987.
Information regarding homestead lands for New Mexico is located at the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM), New Mexico State Office, 1474 Rodeo Rd., Santa Fe, NM 87505 (mailing address: P.O. Box 27115, Santa Fe, NM 87502-0115) www.nm.blm.gov. This office maintains public land records on microfiche for New Mexico, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma, including copies of original patents, tract books, and plats. They also hold topographic maps.
The National Archives and Records Administration—Rocky Mountain Region, P.O. Box 25307, Denver, CO 80225-0307 www.nara.gov/regional/denver.html maintains retired records from federal agencies and courts in New Mexico, including tract books, abstracts, registers, canceled land entry case files, survey plats, private land claim plats within Pueblo land grants, and plats and field notes of the Surveyor General.
Deed books from 1850 exist for most counties, as well as mining deeds from 1850 to 1920. Both sets are generally indexed. A large body of land records for the counties is available at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, as well as within the respective counties, where complete records are maintained by the county clerk. Additional land records can be found at the University of New Mexico, Center for Southwest Research, in Albuquerque. The “Online Archive of New Mexico” http://elibrary.unm.edu/oanm is particularly helpful for locating various manuscript collections, including land records, within the state.