Bounty Land Warrants–Key to Early Kentucky Ancestors

The Richard Clough Anderson, Sr. (1750-1826) Collections (Registrar, Virginia Land Office); his son-in-law Allen Latham at Chillicothe, Ohio, to 1822; and his son Richard Clough Anderson, Jr. Chair Committee on Public Lands, United States House of Representatives, 1817-21 (Papers, 1781-1892):

  1. Illinois Historical Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana

Ledger Book A on spine; listed in Archive Inventory
Ledger Book 5, Cash Account Book, 1784-1799
Alpha list of names with year and page number printed in “Virginia  Land Grants  in Kentucky and Ohio, 1784-1799,” by Clifford Neal Smith, National Genealogical Society Quarterly 61 (1973) 16-27.
10,000 items, including large ledgers and original warrants for French and                     Indian Wars.

  1. Archives Division, Library of Virginia, Richmond, 2,500 items.

Richard Clough Anderson, Sr. and Allen Latham Collection of Revolutionary Land Warrants issued to Virginia soldiers and sailors for lands in Kentucky and Ohio. Transfers of titles were written on the back of the warrants. These records and their accompanying papers include heir’s claims and lists of heirs. Letters include copies of wills and service details.

  1. Western Reserve Historical Society Collections, Cleveland, Ohio

Five feet of archival material; including 4,000 Bounty-Land Warrants for service under Virginia claiming lands in Ohio.

  1. Virginia Land Office, Kentucky.

16,000 Bounty-Land Warrants for lands in Kentucky. Master list has been printed with an index. Original records preserved in the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. Online Index, part of the Digital Archives. See

  1.  The Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino CA.

Twenty-five boxes, 1,865 pieces, arranged chronologically. Includes extensive  correspondence for both Richard Clough Anderson, Jr. and his father Richard Clough Anderson, Sr. Real estate transactions and land speculation in Kentucky especially around Louisville. Elizabeth Clark, sister of General George Rogers Clark, was the wife of Richard, Sr. and mother of Richard, Jr.

Combine searches in the originals with searches in these printed resources to ensure that you don’t miss the very entries you are seeking to find. Remember that indexes are a compiled source, often created long after the fact and their accuracy may depend upon the exact version used to prepare them.

Land grants in the Virginia Military District of Ohio Printed in Kentucky Land Grants, 2 vols. by Willard Rouse Jillson (Filson Club Publications, No. 33-34, 1925); Federal Land Series, Vol. IV: Grants in the Virginia Military Land District by Clifford Neal Smith (Chicago: American Library Association, 1982-86); Catalogue of Revolutionary Soldiers and Sailors of the Commonwealth of Virginia to Whom Land Bounty Warrants Were Granted for Virginia Military Services in the War for Independence by Samuel M. Wilson. Reprint of 1913 Year Book, Kentucky Society of the SAR and 1917 Yearbook, Society of Colonial Wars in Kentucky.1994. Southern Historical Press, PO Box 1267, 375 West Broad Street, Greenville, SC 29602. This edition includes new index, warrants, and surveys by bundle. Many of these printed records are also available online.

The Kentucky History Center and Museums/The Kentucky Historical Society. Three Sites. One Story: the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol Building, and the State Arsenal Museum. Within the Center, is Martin F. Schmidt Research Library. 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-1792 Keep in mind that all of the museums, historical rooms, libraries, and archives are named for Kentucky events or people. So it is easy to become confused.

Filson Historical Society (originally, The Filson Club), 1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208. (502) 635-5083. A rich collection of original documents, personal papers collections, printed volumes, and indexes.

Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, 300 Coffee Tree Road (P.O. Box 537), Frankfort, KY 40602-0537. This is the State Archives for the state of Kentucky.

Many of these collections, I have had the privilege of searching myself for clients with early Kentucky and Virginia origins, as well as Tennessee. I carefully reviewed these land warrants kept alphabetically as well as the bound ledgers (often reflecting copies of the original loose documents). These early Kentucky documents may preserve the record of your ancestors first venture into the rich lands of Kentucky—the primary reason that they risked Indian displeasure to strike it rich for themselves and their families. Your favorite Kentucky genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS The Kentucky Historical Society has just announced that they are open at their regular hours Tues-Friday. Masks and social distancing required. We can hope the other historical facilities will soon follow suit.

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