Early Land Surveys Made in Kentucky

Early Land Surveys made in Kentucky bypass courthouse loss and identify those ancestors who came to Kentucky before the United States Censuses were taken.  The first two censuses–1790 and 1800 are missing for Kentucky.  Substitutes from tax rolls have been printed–but they are incomplete.  Surveys can help to fill this void:

Cotteril, R.S.  “The Thompson Expedition of 1773,” Filson Club History Quarterly 20 (July 1946) 179-196.  Sponsored by Pennsylvania men who had fought in the French and Indian Wars to locate bounty lands under the Royal Proclamation of 1763.  In 1773, the Donelson Line cleared Indian titles from the South Bank of the Ohio River as far west as the Kentucky River.   Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, under Captain William Thompson.  60 men on expedition into the Blue Licks country, North Fork of the Licking River–early Fleming and Nicholas Counties.

Surveyed 200,000 acres; prepared a plot on which the separate claims were numbered; distributed lots by lottery.  Warrants issued by Governor Dunmore in 1774, were disallowed by William Preston, county surveyor of Fincastle County Virginia as illegal –without permission and without an authorized surveyor present.

Pennsylvania veterans submitted claims to Virginia, Oct 1783;  Pennsylvania veterans submitted claims to U.S. Congress, 3 Feb 1807.  Source:  American State Papers, Public Lands I, 583-84.

5,000 Acres to Field Officers;  3,000 Acres to Captains;  2,000 Acres to Lieutenants;                    200 Acres to Non-commissioned Officers;  50 Acres to Privates

Study and Reference Bibliography:
Hammon, Neal O.  “The Fincastle Surveyors in the Bluegrass, 1774,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 70 (1972).

_____________.  “The Fincastle Surveyors at the Falls of the Ohio,” Filson Club Historical Quarterly (Oct 1972).

_____________.  “Historic Lawsuits of the 18th Century,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 69 (July 1971).  Surveyors surveyed 150,000 acres in central Kentucky – 36 men under John Floyd – near Harrodsburg, Georgetown, headwaters of the Elkhorn, “Great Crossing Place,” North Fork, South Fork, area that became Bryan’s Station.

_____________.  Early Kentucky Land Records, 1773-1780.  The Filson Club, 1310 S. Third St., Louisville, KY 40208.  1992.   Includes the Fincastle Surveys.  Very important  source book.  Also describes survey trip of Captain Thomas Bullit, 1773 – none of his surveys were accepted – since they were not pre-authorized by Colonel William Preston.  Some surveys went beyond the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville).  Even though the surveys were not accepted by Preston, the names of the men are legitimate claimants and their places of residence important evidence.

_____________.  “Land Acquisition on the Kentucky Frontier,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 78 (1980) 241-62.

_____________.  “Settlers, Land Jobbers and Outlyers, A Quantitative Analysis of Land Acquisition on the Kentucky Frontier,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 84 (1986) 297-321.

Most of these articles written by Neal Hammon have not been read by genealogists–they are filled with names of ancestors in the early days of Kentucky.  We need one alphabetical index to the whole series.  Any takers?  Your favorite Kentucky Genealogist, Arlene Eakle   http://arleneeakle.com

PS  I hope to visit Kentucky this Fall to collect resources not available to me in Utah.

About Arlene Eakle

I trace your family tree; or, teach you how.

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