If you haven’t accessed all the records on line for Kentucky land records, you are missing a LOT. Their URL is http://sos.ky.gov/land/
. Here you will find actual documents and your ancestor’s records might just be there.
Let’s look first at how land was handled in the past in Kentucky.
The Proclamation of 1763 was issued by England’s King George II and this covered the soldiers who served in the French and Indian War. Soldiers received bounty land warrants as payment for their service. Warrants were issued for the soldiers to receive land patents. The amount of acreage they would receive was based on the rank of the soldier.
During the Revolutionary War, the same was done. It was referred to as “land for military service”. Each colony determine the number of acres per rank and where the Military District was to be located. Virginia’s Military District was located in southwestern Kentucky and south central Ohio. Researchers can find these records under the category of Military Registers and Land Records on their site. It includes the warrants issued to Virginia veterans prior to 1792 and Kentucky patents authorized by these warrants.
Also there were Non-Military Registers and Land Records. Looking at Kentucky, land was patented in four steps. (1) A warrant issued which authorized a survey of the land. (2) An entry reserving the land for patenting. (3) The survey and (4) The Governor’s Grant which finalized the patent. These records can be found under the category of “Non-Military Registers and Land Records” on site.
Let’s take a closer look at the Revolutionary War Military District. Since Virginia could not afford to pay all its soldiers, it decided to use and same bounty land system that King George III of England had used for the French & Indian Wars. Soldiers were paid therefore in land rather than money.
We must remember that before 1 June 1792, Kentucky was a part of Virginia. In 1778 the location of the Military District in what was to become Kentucky “a certain tract of country to be bounded by the Green River and a southeast course from the head thereof to the Cumberland mountains, with the said mountains to the Carolina line, with the Carolina land to the Cherokee or Tennessee River, with the said river to the Ohio river, and with the Ohio river to the said Green River …”
After Kentucky gained statehood, the Kentucky General Assembly opened the military district to settlers who met certain age and residency requirements. The requirement which must be met is that military claims needed to be filed or they were void.
In 1818, those lands west of the Tennessee River were purchased from the Chickasaw Indians. There were already some settlers living here.
Did all the veterans settle in Kentucky? No … some didn’t come to this area at all and some moved to the land that had been set apart in Ohio which was originally a part of the Virginia Military District. On the site you will find a map of Ohio’s major land surveys.
The amount of land received is also shown and referenced here:
Sailor who served his 3 year enlistment to the end of the war: 100 acres
Soldier who served same: 100 acres
Noncommissioned officer who enlisted & served 3 years: 200 acres
Sailor who served throughout the entire war: 400 acres.
Soldier who served same: 400 acres
Noncommissioned officer who served same: 400 acres.
Subaltern-Cornet: 2000-2666 acres.
Subaltern-Ensign: 2000 to 2666 acres
Same – Lieutenant: 2000 to 2666 acres
Surgeon’s Mate: 2666 to 8000 acres
Surgeon: 2666 to 8000 acres
Chaplain: 2666 to 8000 acres
Captain: 3000 to 4666 acres
Major: 4000 to 5333 acres
Lt. Colonel: 4500 to 6666 acres
Colonel: 5000 to 8888 acres
Brigadier General: 10,000 acres plus
Major General: 15,000 to 17,500 aces
What happened if the soldier or sailor had died in service? His heirs or legal representatives were entitled to the same amount of land.
To be continued.
© Copyright 29 December 2011, Sandra K. Gorin