The patent series indicates what types of warrants were used to authorize surveys. Each series is based on time period and land location. The nine major groupings are as follows:
• Virginia Series (Grants issued prior to 1792) -- 9,441 surveys
• Old Kentucky Series (Grants issued from 1792-1815) -- 7,668 surveys
Patents in the Virginia and Old Kentucky Series were authorized by French and Indian War Warrants, Treasury Warrants, Importation Warrants, Acts for the Relief of Certain Poor Persons, Acts for the Establishment of Academies and Seminaries, Warrants for Finding Salt, Warrants for Clearing Roads, Certificates of Settlement, and Preemption Warrants.
• South of Green River Series (Grants from 1795 forward) -- 16,664 surveys
This series opened the Military District to settlement by non-veterans. County commissioners approved the issuance of warrants/certificates to residents purchasing no more than 400 acres of unappropriated land. Applicants had to meet age and residency requirements and they had to have occupied the land one year prior to application. An improvement, such as a cabin or a crop, was also required. The original 1795 Act of the General Assembly required the applicants to be 21 years of age or older. The minimum age was lowered in 1798 to 18. Due to errors in patent series assignments, a number of patents in the South of Green River Series are located outside the region. Some are as far north as Pendleton County.
• Tellico Series (Grants in southeast Kentucky) -- 590 surveys
This area was purchased from the Cherokee Indians in 1805. Under the Act of 1810, settlers meeting the six-month residency requirement could patent up to 200 acres of land by paying $40 per 100 acres. Due to errors in patent series assignments, a number of patents in the Tellico Series fall out of the Tellico Region.
• Kentucky Land Warrant Series (Grants from 1815 forward) -- 26,080 surveys
These warrants were purchased or issued by the Kentucky Land Office. Many were authorized by the General Assembly for the development of Kentucky's infrastructure, i.e., proceeds from warrant sales were used to build roads.
• South of Walker's Line Series (Grants from 1820 forward) -- 4,327 surveys
These patents are located in northern Tennessee. They generally run to the 36 degrees 30 minute parallel or the baseline of the Jackson Purchase. The Kentucky Land Office has patent records for the following Tennessee counties: Sumner, Smith, Robertson, Macon, Montgomery, Stewart, Jackson, Claiborne, Clay, Fentress, Pickett, Scott and Campbell.
• West of Tennessee River Military Series -- (Grants from 1821 to 1828) -- 242 surveys
This area was purchased from the Chickasaw Indians in 1818. A number of Revolutionary War soldiers occupied the land, known later as the Jackson Purchase, without having clear title. In 1820, the Kentucky General Assembly advised the veterans to immediately file for patents.
• West of Tennessee River Series (Grants from 1822 to 1900) -- 9,308 surveys
While the Revolutionary War veterans were patenting their land, the Jackson Purchase was being mapped in ranges, townships and sections by William Henderson. In 1821, the General Assembly authorized the auctioning of "odd sections" in the West of Tennessee River area. Sales would be held in Princeton. Upon presentation of a receipt, the Register issued a certificate authorizing the grant. In 1825, public sales were authorized in Waidsborough in Calloway county. The state set a minimum price per acre for the land sales. By 1835, that price had been reduced to 12.5 cents per acre.
• County Court Order Series (Grants from 1835 to present date) -- 70,238 surveys.
In 1835, the General Assembly granted county courts the right to issue warrants authorizing surveys. Fees are set locally, however, the law requires a minimum of $5 per 100 acres of unappropriated land. The County Court Order Patent Series is codified in Chapter 56 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes.