Georgia, Headright and Bounty Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-1909 .
This Collection will include records from 1783 to 1909.
This collection consists of individual documents from Georgia’s original land grant system, the headright and bounty land system. The files, filmed at the Georgia State Archives, contain the following types of records relating to the acquisition of a piece of land:
- Headrights which provided the head of a family with a grant of land.
- Bounty land grants which were awarded by the government as a reward to citizens for the risks and hardships they endured in the service of their country, usually in a military related capacity.
- Warrant files which may include land plats, although not all transactions included surveys.
- Vouchers listing the applicant’s status during the Revolutionary War
- Certificates of eligibility for a land grant
- Powers of attorney
The files are generally organized by county and then by record type. The original grant files are arranged alphabetically by name of applicant. Each grant book has an index which usually appears at the beginning of the digital files.
This collection is being published as images become available. Check the wiki or browse the collection to determine current coverage.
Georgia was a state-land state. The land was distributed by the provincial and later, state governors of the Colony and later the State of Georgia. After the Revolutionary War, a land act was passed which allowed a man to receive from 200 or more acres of land. Georgia also issued lands to its civilian population who had remained loyal, or at the very least neutral, to the Revolutionary cause after the British restored royal control. Settlers in good standing who owned land at the time of the establishment of the land offices received grants for their land.
Applicants for grants would swear to oaths regarding the size of their families to determine the number of acres granted. A warrant of survey would generally be issued, and the county surveyor would lay out the land. Copies of the survey plats were kept by the county surveyor and Surveyor General.
Settlers were required to live on their land for a year and cultivate at least 3 percent of the land. After that time the applicant could apply for a grant.
Most of the headright and bounty grants issued were for land located east of the Oconee River.
For more historical information about land records in Georgia see the following websites:
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
This collection includes records for the years 1783 to 1909.
These records were created to document the processes of receiving land grants from the State of Georgia, including headright land grants and bounties.
These records should contain reliable information regarding the location and disposition of land, as well as military service information.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Georgia Court of Justice. Georgia headright and bounty documents. Georgia State Archives, Morrow, Georgia.
Key genealogical facts found in the collection are listed below:
- Name of grantee
- Date of land grant
- Legal description of land
- Location of the land
- Number of acres
- Date of the grant
How to Use the Record
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page. Next select the Record Type, Date Range and Volume which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
To search the records do the following:
- If you know the county that your ancestor lived in and the approximate time period check the index found at the beginning of most volumes. Indexes enable you to access land records quickly by searching for the names of owners.
- Check for the family name (surname) and then the given name. Make a list of the volumes and page numbers for each record you wish to check.
- Search the noted volume and page number.
- You may also browse through the images within each file.
- Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
- When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Make a photocopy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed.
- These pieces of information may give you new biographical details about your family. Add this new information to your records of each family.
Additional search strategies;
- Search for the land transactions of a couple and their children. The parents may have sold or given property to a son or daughter. Such transactions confirm relationships that might not be found in other records.
- Search for records of people in the county who shared a surname. These may have been the couple’s parents, uncles, or other relatives. Your ancestor may have been an heir who sold inherited land that had belonged to parents or grandparents.
- To find later generations, search the land records a few years before and after a person’s death. Your ancestor may have sold or given land to his or her heirs before death, or the heirs may have sold the land after the individual died. For daughters, the names of their husbands are often provided. For sons, the given names of their wives may be included. Heirs may have sold their interest in the land to another heir even though the record may not indicate this. Continue this process for identifying each succeeding generation.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
The information in these records may lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
- Use the land location and names of the parents to search for church and census records.
- If your ancestor received a bounty land grant, search for military records.
Tips for searching the records:
- Some entries in earlier years may have been missed.
- Indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.
- Some of the documents are difficult to read.
- Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching neighboring counties as well since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person.
- One record alone does not usually give complete information about a couple and their children. A careful study of all records for the person or the family will yield a richer return of information.
- Land Lottery
- Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants
- Georgia Archives, Surveyor General Records
- Georgia Land Records and Deeds Directory
- Georgia Land and Property Records
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-1909," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 25 May 2011), Register of grants, 1790-1791, v. UUU > image 467 of 690, John Dysart, land granted 12 April 1791; citing Georgia Court of Justice, Georgia headright and bounty documents, Georgia State Archives, Morrow, Georgia.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.