West Virginia Land and Property

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In 1744 Virginia encouraged the settlement of western Virginia by offering land speculators 1,000 acres for each family they brought to settle the frontier. These speculators organized land companies, such as the Greenbriar Company and the Loyal Land Company of Virginia. These companies surveyed the land and sold the surveys to individuals who obtained title by patent from the Secretary of the Colony or, after 1779, from the Virginia Land Office. By 1754 over 2 1/2 million acres had been granted to land companies.  
 
In 1744 Virginia encouraged the settlement of western Virginia by offering land speculators 1,000 acres for each family they brought to settle the frontier. These speculators organized land companies, such as the Greenbriar Company and the Loyal Land Company of Virginia. These companies surveyed the land and sold the surveys to individuals who obtained title by patent from the Secretary of the Colony or, after 1779, from the Virginia Land Office. By 1754 over 2 1/2 million acres had been granted to land companies.  
  
The first warrants for military bounty land in present-day West Virginia were issued in 1782 through the Virginia Land Office. Many soldiers sold their warrants to speculators who resold th[[Image:Kanawha_west_virginia.jpg|thumb|right|300px|Early Map of West Virginia when it was being considered to be called the state of Kanawha]]e land to others (see [[West Virginia Military Records|West Virginia Military Records]]).  
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The first warrants for military bounty land in present-day West Virginia were issued in 1782 through the Virginia Land Office. Many soldiers sold their warrants to speculators who resold th[[Image:Kanawha west virginia.jpg|thumb|right|300px]]e land to others (see [[West Virginia Military Records|West Virginia Military Records]]).  
  
 
After West Virginia became a state, the state government took possession of all unowned land and continued issuing grants. The original state land grants, sales, and surveys for West Virginia are located at:  
 
After West Virginia became a state, the state government took possession of all unowned land and continued issuing grants. The original state land grants, sales, and surveys for West Virginia are located at:  
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Office of the State Auditor<br>Capitol Building<br>County Collections Division<br>Building-1 Room W-212<br>Charleston, WV 25305<br>Telephone: 304-558-2251<br>Fax: 304-558-5200  
 
Office of the State Auditor<br>Capitol Building<br>County Collections Division<br>Building-1 Room W-212<br>Charleston, WV 25305<br>Telephone: 304-558-2251<br>Fax: 304-558-5200  
  
The [http://www.wvculture.org/HiStory/archivesindex.aspx Archives and History Library] has copies of these records. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of these records, including:  
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The [http://www.wvculture.org/HiStory/archivesindex.aspx West Virginia Archives and History Library] has copies of these records. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of these records, including:  
  
*Land grants arranged by counties, 1748-1912 (on 56 Family History Library films beginning with [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=334356&disp=Land+grants%2C+1748+-+1912++ 521685])
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*Land grants arranged by counties, 1748-1912 (on 56 Family History Library films beginning with film 521685, {{FHL|334356|item}}.  
*Land sales, 1860-75 (Family History Library [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=61196&disp=Land+sales%2C+1860-1875++ films 558437-39])
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*Land sales, 1860-75 {{FHL|61196|item}}, films 558437-39.
*Plats and surveys, 1863-89 (Family History Library [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=58999&disp=Plats+and+surveys%2C+1863-1889++ film 462959])&nbsp;&nbsp;
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*Plats and surveys, 1863-89 {{FHL|58999|item}}, film 462959])&nbsp;&nbsp;
  
 
The office of the state auditor published an index of all identifiable grantees from 1748 to the 1900s in:  
 
The office of the state auditor published an index of all identifiable grantees from 1748 to the 1900s in:  
  
Sims, Edgar Barr. ''Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia.'' Charleston, West Virginia: E.B. Sims, 1952. (Family History Library [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=109038&disp=Sims+index+to+land+grants+in+West+Virgin%20%20&columns=*,0,0 book 975.4 R21w; film1036828 items 3-4].) The grantees are listed alphabetically within the county that issued the grant. The actual grants are on microfilm (see above).&nbsp;&nbsp;This book is online at a subscription website:  
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Sims, Edgar Barr. ''Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia.'' Charleston, West Virginia: E.B. Sims, 1952. {{FHL|109038|item}}, book 975.4 R21w; film 1036828 items 3-4. The grantees are listed alphabetically within the county that issued the grant. The actual grants are on microfilm (see above).&nbsp;&nbsp;This book is online at a subscription website:  
  
 
[http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=BookList&dbid=25647&offerid=0:7858:0 http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=BookList&amp;dbid=25647&amp;offerid=0%3a7858%3a0]  
 
[http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=BookList&dbid=25647&offerid=0:7858:0 http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=BookList&amp;dbid=25647&amp;offerid=0%3a7858%3a0]  
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Information on boundary disputes and county formation data (including maps) is in:  
 
Information on boundary disputes and county formation data (including maps) is in:  
  
Sims, Edgar Barr. ''Making a State: Formation of West Virginia.'' Charleston, West Virginia: E.B. Sims, 1956. (Family History Library [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=49225&disp=Making+a+state%20%20&columns=*,0,0 book Q 975.4 R2s].) This includes a supplement to the Sims Index (see above).  
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Sims, Edgar Barr. ''Making a State: Formation of West Virginia.'' Charleston, West Virginia: E.B. Sims, 1956. {{FHL|49225|item}}, book Q 975.4 R2s. This includes a supplement to the Sims Index (see above).  
  
 
'''Transfers of Land between Individuals'''  
 
'''Transfers of Land between Individuals'''  

Revision as of 17:52, 22 November 2010

United States  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Land and Property  Gotoarrow.png West Virginia  Gotoarrow.png  Land and Property

Land Grants

In 1744 Virginia encouraged the settlement of western Virginia by offering land speculators 1,000 acres for each family they brought to settle the frontier. These speculators organized land companies, such as the Greenbriar Company and the Loyal Land Company of Virginia. These companies surveyed the land and sold the surveys to individuals who obtained title by patent from the Secretary of the Colony or, after 1779, from the Virginia Land Office. By 1754 over 2 1/2 million acres had been granted to land companies.

The first warrants for military bounty land in present-day West Virginia were issued in 1782 through the Virginia Land Office. Many soldiers sold their warrants to speculators who resold th
Kanawha west virginia.jpg
e land to others (see West Virginia Military Records).

After West Virginia became a state, the state government took possession of all unowned land and continued issuing grants. The original state land grants, sales, and surveys for West Virginia are located at:

Office of the State Auditor
Capitol Building
County Collections Division
Building-1 Room W-212
Charleston, WV 25305
Telephone: 304-558-2251
Fax: 304-558-5200

The West Virginia Archives and History Library has copies of these records. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of these records, including:

  • Land grants arranged by counties, 1748-1912 (on 56 Family History Library films beginning with film 521685, FHL Collection.
  • Land sales, 1860-75 FHL Collection, films 558437-39.
  • Plats and surveys, 1863-89 FHL Collection, film 462959])  

The office of the state auditor published an index of all identifiable grantees from 1748 to the 1900s in:

Sims, Edgar Barr. Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia. Charleston, West Virginia: E.B. Sims, 1952. FHL Collection, book 975.4 R21w; film 1036828 items 3-4. The grantees are listed alphabetically within the county that issued the grant. The actual grants are on microfilm (see above).  This book is online at a subscription website:

http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=BookList&dbid=25647&offerid=0%3a7858%3a0

Information on boundary disputes and county formation data (including maps) is in:

Sims, Edgar Barr. Making a State: Formation of West Virginia. Charleston, West Virginia: E.B. Sims, 1956. FHL Collection, book Q 975.4 R2s. This includes a supplement to the Sims Index (see above).

Transfers of Land between Individuals

Land transactions after the original patent was issued have been recorded in county deed books (often titled land books). You can obtain copies by contacting the appropriate clerk's office—usually the clerk of the circuit court.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the pre-1900 records for most counties. From Kanawha County, for example, the library has 200 microfilms of lease records (1865-1906), release books (1866-1909), trust deeds (1855-1910), deeds (1790-1946), and homesteads (1874-1944).

Online Resources

http://www.lva.lib.va.us/whatwehave/

http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvmorgan/sims/Sims.htm

http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvminera/simsindex.htm

http://www.wvculture.org/hiStory/journal_wvh/wvh40-2.html

References