Friday, July 6, 2007

Bounty Land Warrants -- New on Ancestry

Leland Meitzler tipped us off to a new database on - some of the Bounty Land Warrants from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

The description of these records says:

Source Information:

" U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants, 1789-1858 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data:

"U.S. Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrants Used in the U.S. Military District of Ohio and Relating Papers (Acts of 1788, 1803, and 1806), 1788-1806; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M829, 16 rolls); Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

"War of 1812 Military Bounty Land Warrants, 1815-1858; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M848, 14 rolls); Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

About U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants, 1789-1858

"This database contains bounty land warrants issued to veterans of the U.S. Revolutionary War between 1789 and 1833, and to veterans of the War of 1812 between 1815 and 1858. It also contains some related papers of the Revolutionary War warrants that date to as late as 1880. Bounty land warrants were certificates given to eligible veterans granting them rights to free land on the public domain.

Historical Background:

"During the Revolutionary War the Continental Congress promised bounty land as an inducement to military service. For this war and other wars in which the United States engaged during the years 1812-1855, the issuance of bounty land warrants to veterans or their heirs as a form of reward for service was continued."

There is more explanation about these records on the Description page, including how some of the RevWar warrants are not available due to a fire at the War Department in 1800 and 1814.

The search engine has entries for First Name, Last Name, Warrant Number, Warrant Year, and Keywords. You can choose Exact Spelling or Soundex spelling of the surname.

The Revolutionary War Bounty Warrant itself usually contains Date of issuance,
Name and rank of veteran, State from which enlisted, and Name of heir or assignee, if applicable.

The War of 1812 Warrant itself usually includes Name of veteran, Rank on discharge from service, Company, regiment, and branch of service, Date warrant was issued, Usually the date the land was located and the page on which the location is recorded in Abstracts of Military Bounty Land Warrant Locations.

For the Revolutionary War Bounty Warrants, the "1788 act gave free land in the public domain to officers and soldiers who continued to serve during the Revolutionary War or, if they were killed, to their representatives or heirs. The resolution provided that a private or noncommissioned officer would be entitled to 100 acres of bounty land, an ensign to 150 acres, a lieutenant to 200 acres, a captain to 300 acres, a major to 400 acres, a lieutenant colonel to 450 acres, a colonel to 500 acres, a brigadier general to 850 acres, and a major general to 1,100 acres.

"A 4,000 square mile tract was located in the Northwest Territory and was set aside for these land warrants. This area came to be known as the U.S. Military District of Ohio. Originally the lands in this district were to be distributed by January 1, 1800. By the end of 1802 about 14,000 warrants had been issued. However, additional time was needed to locate warrants and to grant warrants to soldiers with late applications or uncompleted claims. Congress passed the act of 1803, which was later amended by the act of 1806, to extend the time limit."

I was surprised by how few Warrants are in this database for my surnames. I checked Seaver/Sever, and there were only five listed, all for Revolutionary War service.

If your soldier is in these Bounty Land Warrants, then they may answer the question "Why did my soldier move to 'Ohio?' "

You have to be a subscriber to in order to view these records.

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