This week, my library received the FHL films that I ordered for Kentucky Land Grants.  I had 4 specific grants to look at.  I thought they would be certificates of some kind and I probably wouldn’t get much information from them, but instead, they look like deeds with land descriptions and such.  Neat!  But they leave me with more questions than I had originally, probably because I still don’t completely understand how the land grants work.

Two of the land grants were given jointly to John M. Smith and James Gilbert.  I thought I might be able to find out if these men were related. Brother-in-law maybe.  It gives me no information like that.  But the pages do give me warrant numbers.

Now I need to research what I can do with these numbers. Can I tell if they were military warrants?  I guess I thought that’s what I WAS getting with this microfilm, so I’m confused. There are also many other names in here and after talking with my librarians, we believe it is almost like a provenance of the land warrant because of an abbreviation that looks like assee with the two ee’s like superscripts. 

They believe that means “assignee” so I’m going with that for now.  When I did a quick “google” of land patent assignee, it tells me it’s the same as the buyer.  (Feel free to comment with any corrections or further info!!)

The two grants are on consecutive pages in the book.  The first grant only mentions John M. Smith and James Gilbert.  But the second grant says: “there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto John M. Smith and James Gilbert assignee of said Smith who was assignee of Timothy Burgess assignee of Braxton Carter who was assignee of Elijah Hutchison a certain tract or parcel of land….”

So I interpret that to mean that Elijah Hutchison earned the original warrant. Braxton Carter purchased it and sold it to Timothy Burgess who sold it to John M. Smith who sold part of it to James Gilbert.  Does anyone know if I’m correct in this?

I have 2 warrant numbers within the document and a different warrant number in the margin.  Can I follow the land through these numbers? That’s what I’ll need to figure out next.

Time to learn more about the whole Land Grant system!  I have several different presentations on my computer about the process, and I thought I understood it pretty well, but now that I have actual information to follow up on, I can see that I need to watch those again with these specifics in hand.