COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
RE: Secretary of State Trey Grayson Announces to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) that Selected Revolutionary War Patents are Now Online
DATE: June 11, 2004
CONTACT: Les Fugate, Director of Communications
Office of the Secretary of State
At the June 5, 2004, annual Flag Day luncheon hosted by the John Marshall Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Louisville, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced that scanned images for selected patent files are now available online. Researchers can view Revolutionary War documents in their actual format; this includes the official warrant (many of which include red wax seals) presented to the veteran, heir or assignee; the survey authorized by the warrant; and the governor’s grant finalizing the patent.
In 1999, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office introduced an internet website entitled “Revolutionary War Warrants”. Researchers have been able to study the database and determine the names of Virginia veterans (or their assignees) who received bounty land warrants as payment for military service. The database also includes scanned images from the Warrants Register and the file identification for the patent(s) authorized by the Revolutionary War land warrants.
With the announcement of the addition of scanned images to the Revolutionary War Warrants Database, Secretary of State Trey Grayson shares the objective of the NSDAR of “Historic Preservation, Patriotism and Education.”
“We are uniquely celebrating Flag Day by providing additional information to researchers studying the Revolutionary War period of our nation’s history,” Grayson stated. “It seems only fitting that this announcement be made with the Daughters of the American Revolution as they take such pride in our Country and its history.”
The largest grouping of Kentucky land patents is the County Court Order Series with 70239 patents authorized by county warrants. These records are accessed by title researchers, attorneys, and surveyors to settle land disputes in Kentucky. The Secretary of State’s website includes a database which allows researchers to access patent information by watercourse, county, survey name, grant name, grant year, survey year, specific patent number and specific grant book and page. On February 17, 2004, Secretary of State Grayson transferred scanned images of 8241 County Court Order Patent files (or 33,392 pages) to the County Court Order website.
Bud Salyer, General Counsel for the Kentucky State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors noted that “the database will ultimately prove to be of great benefit to the public through its availability to surveyors.” Surveyors should attempt to access that information for virtually every boundary survey they perform according to Salyer.
Having the documents in digitized format allows the records to be featured on internet websites. Not only is this cost beneficial to state government, but it allows researchers to access patent files—whether for court cases or genealogical & historical study—from any where they have internet access.
“We are extremely excited to be placing more records online, so that researchers can have ready access to the materials,” stated Kandie Adkinson, the administrative specialist in the Kentucky Land Office. “Secretary Grayson wants as many records online as possible. We are excited to provide greater access for the public to these wonderful treasures of Kentucky’s history all the while providing services in a cost beneficial manner to the citizens of Kentucky.”
The Kentucky Secretary of State is charged with the preservation and security of land patents prior to statehood when Kentucky was a part of Virginia’s western frontier and continuing through to the most recent issued patent in 2000. Documents include George Rogers Clark’s original bounty land warrant issued for service in the Revolutionary War and original surveys by Daniel Boone. There are over 100,000 land patents in the Kentucky Land Office located in the Kentucky Capitol Building in Frankfort, including 9441 patents issued by Virginia prior to Kentucky’s statehood.
The Kentucky Land Office can be accessed through the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website at www.kysos.com. Researchers can open the Revolutionary War files by clicking on the patent identification number in the “Authorized” field under the Kentucky Land Office. If the warrant was not used in Kentucky, researchers can click the “No Identified Patents in Kentucky” link for research suggestions.