U.S. Patent Records as a Genealogical Resource

Print Friendly

In 1790, the United States Congress passed a bill establishing the Patent Board, an entity responsible for conferring rights to inventors for their inventions, a process known as “issuing patents.” Prior to this time, colonies and states issued some patents, either as private acts or in accordance with state or colony-level laws, until the federal government eventually saw the need for a national patent system. Patent files can reveal many details about an ancestor, such as employment information, the nature of his or her work, intellectual abilities, socioeconomic status, and the names of business associates and family members. Although often overlooked, patent records can be valuable genealogical resources.

Only NGS members have access to full articles of NGS Monthly. Please log in or click here to learn more about joining the National Genealogical Society. 

If you have trouble logging on or accessing the articles, please contact webmaster@ngsgenealogy.org 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *