Land records can tell you where your ancestors lived and when. They may have purchased the property, inherited it or received a government land grant. It can all get quite complicated but fortunately there are a number of great resources to help you learn more about them.
- FamilySearch has a comprehensive discussion of US Land and Property records in their Research Wiki.
- Ancestry has digitized The Source: A Guide to American Genealogy and posted it in their Ancestry.com Wiki. Its section on land records is also quite comprehensive.
- Earthpoint can help you convert Section/Township/Range into GPS coordinates you can find on a current map.