A Guide to the Special Act Certificates, 1858-1862
In legislation generally, special acts are private laws or acts which are made for particular persons or private concerns, rather than for the public generally. In regards to this collection specifically, special acts are legislation approved by the Texas Legislature granting land to individuals or their heirs. They are also referred to as "Relief Acts" as the legislation is entitled, "An Act for the Relief of ...". The legislation does not specify why these individuals received land through a special act. However, some of their petitions to the Texas Legislature are available in the Memorials and Petitions, 1836-1937 Records at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Special Act Certificates contains certified copies of legislation, drafts of legislation, petitions, and affidavits in support of granting land to individuals or their heirs. The records include an index that lists certificate number, name of grantee, quantity (acreage), when issued. The Special Act Certificates records are not comprehensive and neither is the index.
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
[Short title of Document], [Date: Day-Month-Year]. Box [#], Folder [#], p. [#]. Special Act Certificates (AR.89). Archives and Records Program, Texas General Land Office, Austin.
The Special Act Certificates have been digitized and are searchable. See the: Texas General Land Office Land Grant Database Input: Class: Special Acts
Detailed Description of the Collection