County Court Orders Home Page
In 1835, the Kentucky General Assembly modified the system for patenting unappropriated land in the Commonwealth. Prospective landowners purchased orders, also called "Warrants", from the county court authorizing the county surveyor to survey a tract of unappropriated land for a patent application. The total acreage could not exceed the amount specified in each warrant; the land had to be located within the county issuing the warrant. More than one warrant could be used for each survey. The survey and a copy of the authorizing order(s) were then sent to the Register of the Land Office in Frankfort. Upon approval by the Land Register and, in some instances, the Attorney General, the Governor signed the grant finalizing the patent. Since 1835 to the present date, there have been over 70,000 Kentucky land patents issued under the County Court Order Series. The process for patenting land is defined in Chapter 56 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes.
The quick-search function of this database allows researchers to search by "Patent Number" or by "Grant Book and Page" references listed in the "Grants in County Court Orders" section of Jillson's Kentucky Land Grants. The advanced search function allows researchers to search by more specific fields, such as: County, Watercourse, Grant Name, Survey Name, Survey Year, and Grant Year. At this time, a limited number of Warrants are indexed on this database. Additional Warrant information will be added as indexing continues.
Copies of Grants may be ordered from the Secretary of State's Land Office, the Kentucky History Center Library, and the Department for Libraries & Archives, all in Frankfort, Kentucky. Contact the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office for copies of Warrants and Surveys filed with the County Court Order Series.
Click here to start the search.