The four-step patenting process did not convey title within days or weeks, and occasionally patent applicants died before receiving a grant conveying title. In that event, heirs would submit to the Land Office a will or court judgment to establish their claim to the unfinished patent. If accepted, the grant would be issued to the decedent's heirs.

This database includes scanned s images of wills that have been located in patent files during the Land Office's ongoing scanning project. Because wills include names of family members, disposition of slaves (many of whom are named in the will) and other estate components, they can be valuable for historical and genealogical research.

To view the entire patent file, access the corresponding database and search by patent number. If the patent series is not available online at this time, you can request a copy of the patent file via online order form or by contacting the Land Office at (502) 564-3490 or via email.