Many War of 1812 veterans, their widows, or their heirs received military bounty land warrants through Congressional Acts of the 1850s. Those land warrants were used to acquire land in the federal domain. The warrants were surrendered in order to obtain a patent that actual transferred title in real property from the federal government to private citizens. The patents are searchable on the Bureau of Land Management website (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov). The patent will indicate if it was issued based upon a surrendered warrant. The names of the individual obtaining the warrant are included in the database and are searchable. It can be one effective way of searching if veterans obtained a warrant based on their military service. If the names are fairly common, searches can result in a large number of search results.

One way to reduce the number of results is to search by the specific act under which the application for bounty land based on military service was submitted. Those were the scripwarrant acts of 1850 and 1855. That’s the “authority” in the search interface.

Users are also advised to leave the geographic information blank on the search form as well. That is based upon where the patented property was located and that may have nothing to do with where the soldier of interest actually lived.

The land warrant applications are at the National Archives. The application is similar to a military pension in terms of the documentation that was required.

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