Warrant Deeds

Commonwealth Land Bounties

During and after the American Revolution before Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio became states the Commonwealth of Virginia started a program to compensate all those who served in the Revolutionary War with land bounties.

The Governor's Office in the Commonwealth of Virginia authorized more than several thousand warrants resulting in millions of acres in the three states that emerged. Kentucky was the primary destination of most of the officers in the early years. Non-commissioned officers and privates were also assigned these bounties. These warrants were issued from 1777-1832.

Col. William Oldham's Warrant Deed

Land Office Treasury Warrants

Warrant deeds were like money, the officer that was awarded one would go to the destination, select a county and the land would be surveyed for them. There were many discrepancies in Kentucky with deeds overlapping other land claims of Transylvania and North Carolina Colonels in the state's early years until the establishment of the Second Constitution in 1799.

  • Major-Generals received 15,000 to 17,500 acres

  • Colonels received 8,888 acres (usually)

  • Lieutenant-Colonels received 6,666 acres (usually)

  • Majors received 5.333 acres (usually)

  • Surgeons and Surgeon's Mates received 2,666 to 8,000 acres.

  • Captains received 4,666 acres (usually)

  • Lieutenants, Ensigns, and Cornets received 2,666 acres (usually)

"The Illinois Regiment," who, under the command of General George Rogers Clark, in an unparalleled campaign, achieved the Conquest of the Northwest (from which the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin were all formed), and held it for the United States. Most of the men under the command of General Clark also received land bounties and were issued warrant deeds from 1783 - 1840.

Kentucky's Counties

Kentucky had 9 counties when it became a state in 1792, by 1799 it had 41, by 1850 there were 90 counties mostly named after its founding pioneers, colonels and generals who arrived there as a result of the Revolution. This list is from a Kentucky history book in 1840. Most majors and generals on this list were also colonels, those of lesser rank were often referred to as colonels once they had been granted land. Today Kentucky has 120 counties.

Adair County — John Adair, a major in the Revolutionary army.

Allen County — Colonel John Allen, killed at the River Raisin, War of 1812.

Anderson County — Richard Clough Anderson, whose father was a colonel in the Revolutionary army.

Barren — From its numerous barren plains when first discovered.

Bath — From its numerous medicinal springs.

Boone — Daniel Boone, colonel of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

Bourbon — The royal family of France, who befriended America during the Revolution.

Bracken — William Bracken, a private in the Revolutionary militia.

Breathitt — Governor John Breathitt, son of a Revolutionary soldier.

Breckinridge — John Breckinridge, a soldier in the Revolutionary war.

Bullitt — Alexander Scott Bullitt, whose father was a colonel in the Revolutionary war.

Butler — William Butler, of Pennsylvania, a colonel in the Revolutionary war.

Caldwell — John Caldwell, a private in the Revolution; a major-general of militia in the War of 1812.

Calloway — Richard Calloway, a colonel of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

Campbell — John Campbell, a brigadier-general of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

Carroll — Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Carter — William G. Carter, a colonel in the War of 1812.

Casey — William Casey, a colonel of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

Christian — William Christian, a captain in Braddock's war, a colonel in the Revolution.

Clark — George Rogers Clark, colonel-commandant of "the Illinois Regiment" in War of the Revolution.

Clay — Green Clay, a soldier boy in the Revolution ; a major-general in the War of 1812.

Clinton — DeWitt Clinton, whose father was a general in the Revolutionary army.

Cumberland — The Cumberland river.

Daviess — Colonel Joseph Hamilton Daviess, killed at the battle of Tippecanoe, War of 1812.

Estill — James Estill, a captain of militia in the Revolution.

Fayette — The Marquis de La Fayette, a major-general in the Revolutionary army.

Fleming — John Fleming, an officer in the Revolutionary army.

Floyd — John Floyd, a colonel of Virginia troops during the Revolution.

Franklin — Benjamin Franklin, a statesman and patriot of the Revolution.

Gallatin — Albert Gallatin, a Massachusetts volunteer in 1780.

Garrard — James Garrard, a Virginia militia officer in the Revolution.

Grant - John Grant, a colonel of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

Graves — Captain Benjamin Graves, who was probably a soldier of the Revolution.

Grayson — William Grayson, a Colonel in the Revolutionary army.

Greene — Nathanael Greene, a major-general in the Revolutionary army.

Greenup — Christopher Greenup, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary army.

Hancock — John Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Hardin — John Hardin, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary army.

Harlan — Silas Harlan, a captain under Colonel George Rogers Clark in 1779.

Harrison — Benjamin Harrison, a soldier of the Revolution.

Hart — Nathaniel T. G. Hart, a captain in the War of 1812; assassinated at the River Raisin.

Henderson — Richard Henderson, founder of the "Transylvania Colony."

Henry — Patrick Henry, the orator of the Revolution.

Hickman — Paschal Hickman, a captain in the War of 1812; assassinated at the River Raisin.

Hopkins — Samuel Hopkins, a lieutenant-colonel in the Revolution; a major-general in the War of 1812.

Jefferson — Thomas Jefferson, author and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Jessamine — Jessamine Creek.

Kenton — Simon Kenton, a scout under Colonel G. R. Clark, and a famous Indian fighter.

Knox — Henry Knox, a major-general in the Revolutionary army.

Laurel — Laurel river.

Lawrence — Captain James Lawrence, L\ S. navy.

Lewis — Captain Meriwether Lewis, of the "Lewis and Clark Expedition."

Lincoln — Benjamin Lincoln, a major-general in the Revolutionary army.

Livingston — Robert R. Livingston, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Continental Congress.

Logan — Benjamin Logan, a general of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

McCracken — Captain Virgil McCracken, killed at the River Raisin, in the War of 1812.

Madison — James Madison, a congressman from Virginia during the Revolution, and afterward President.

Marion — Francis Marion, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary war.

Mason — George Mason, of Gunston Hall, a statesman of the Revolution.

Meade — Captain James Meade, killed at the River Raisin, War of 1812.

Mercer — Hugh Mercer, a "brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.

Monroe — James Monroe, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary army; afterward President of United States.

Montgomery — Richard Montgomery, a major-general in the Revolutionary army.

Morgan — Daniel Morgan, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.

Muhlenberg — Peter Muhlenberg, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.

Nelson — Thomas Nelson, signer of Declaration of Independence; brigadier general in Revolutionary army.

Nicholas — George Nicholas, a captain in the Virginia State line, Revolutionary war.

Ohio — The Ohio river.

Oldham — William Oldham, captain in Revolutionary army; killed at St Clair's defeat, 1791.

Owen — Abraham Owen, lieutenant; wounded at St. Clair's defeat; colonel under Wayne.

Pendleton — Edmund Pendleton, a member of the Continental Congress from Virginia.

Perry — Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie.

Pike — Zebulon Pike, a brigadier- general in the War of 1812.

Pulaski — Count Joseph Pulaski, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.

Rockcastle — Rockcastle river.

Russell — William Russell, a colonel in the Revolutionary army.

Scott — Charles Scott, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.

Shelby — Isaac Shelby, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.

Simpson — John Simpson, a captain in the War of 1812; killed at the River Raisin.

Spencer — Spear Spencer, a captain in the War of 1812; killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Todd — John Todd, an officer under General Clark in the Illinois expedition.

Trigg — Stephen Trigg, a colonel of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

Trimble — Judge Robert Trimble, son of a Revolutionary officer.

Union — Unanimous decision of the residents to unite together and create a new county.

Warren — General Joseph Warren, the hero of Bunker Hill.

Washington — George Washington.

Wayne — Anthony Wayne, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.

Whitley — William Whitley, a colonel of Virginia militia in the Revolution.

Woodford — William Woodford, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary army.