Homestead Patent

My grandfather had a Homestead Patent with land and mineral rights dated, signed and recorded in the early 1900’s. I’ve been told the land has been in the family since 1830’s. I have tried to find the answer to this unsucessfully. Below the legal in second paragraph where it’s written (certain words are handwritten), To have and to Hold (etc) then (right in between heirs- and assigns is handwritten in with an f slashed in the word’ of) so it is written: unto the said Claimant and to The heirs of said claimant and assigns forever; subject to any vested and accrued water rights for mining, agricultural (etc).

Is.anyone familiar with (due to the position and the way of said claimant is handwritten in with the, of, slicing through and in between heirs and, and, mean. Is it put there this way making the word heirs to be by blood and/or of the body?. I know I still need to find an attorney, just looking for the right one and right terms. I am wondering if anyone has has experience with this and if they know just what the working means. It is very important that I find this out.

Thank you.

What state is this located? Even though your patent may be from the federal government, I believe state law applies in determining legally who an "heir" is.