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North Carolina and Virginia Genealogy


Jason Duncan
222 Sundance Cir
Statesville, NC 28625
704-929-2643
jason@webjmd.com

Maintaining a website since April 1995


Go back to Wilkes Land Grants main page.


Wilkes Land Grant Records Explained

Overview

The purpose of this information on land grants is to serve as a research tool for finding the records that are needed for further study. By learning about where our ancestors lived, we start to understand what they're lives were like and the reasons behind the choices they made. The reports I've put together aren't meant to be a replacement for the actual documents. The original records sometimes have conflicting or incorrect information that can be understood when viewing the entire record in context. Further research can be done by looking for later deeds where the grants and adjoining tracts were later sold and resold.

Since this is meant to be used as a research tool, I have chosen to correct certain misspellings to make it easier to find specific names and places. Don't get hung up on how the person's name is spelled in these reports. The handwriting is often difficult to read, and sometimes the name is spelled multiple ways in the same document. Use this as a guide to investigate the actual record.

I assigned a main river system to every grant. The main river systems are Catawba River, New River, Unknown, South Yadkin, Watauga River, and Yadkin River. For the South Yadkin and Yadkin, I also assigned a sub river or creek. About 3/4 of the area covered by all the grants are located on the Yadkin River system. Also, remember that the county boundaries changed several times since the county was formed in 1778.

While all the grants are assigned to a river system, I haven't yet drawn all of them and placed them on the map. As of early 2021, I have drawn about 25% of the grants. About 80% of those have actually been placed on the map. I used my best estimation of where each grant is located using a variety of methods and sources. There are certainly some errors. There were multiple court cases involving disputes of property boundaries at the time the grants were issued due to errors with the metes and bounds or assigning the same property to different buyers.

I can't imagine even starting this project if I hadn't found images of all of the land grants online at http://nclandgrants.com. That site is managed by David McCorkle. The information I provide for the description of each grant began with information that he entered and provides on his website. As I dug deeper into determining the location of each one, I added more information from the grant that might be helpful. If you see a grant in my list that you're interested in, you can find the actual image of it on David's site.

Some grants are on a ridge between two watersheds, and I arbitrarily assigned it to one of the two river systems. Check adjoining areas for people who might have lived near a ridge line. The "Unknown" category includes grants where I was unable to find enough information to determine the river system. If you can provide information to move a grant from the "Unknown" group to one of the main rivers, let me know (jason@webjmd.com). I'll continue to make corrections and add more information to the grant descriptions. I'm also continuing to work on a map of the land grants. Maybe by the year 2030? or 2040? I'll have that finished! I started on Roaring River, and I'll continue with the northeast part of the county before moving west.


Information About Each Grant


Last Name
Generally, this is the last name of the person receiving the grant. When the grant was made to more than one person, I used the first last name that was provided. If the grant was made to a corporation or business, I picked the primary word in the title. I intentionally standardized on the spelling of these last names to make them easier to find in an alphabetized list.

Full Name of Grantee
This is the full name of the person or group receiving the grant. Many times, these names are spelled multiple ways within the records, so see the originals if you want to know exactly how their names were spelled. A note saying "assignee of..." means that the person that the grant was issued to was not the first person who entered the tract of land. Perhaps one person considered buying the land, but later changed his mind. He could transfer the opportunity to buy it to someone else.

Entry Date and Issue Date
The entry date is when land in a general area was claimed. Someone said, "I might want to buy this." It was later surveyed to define the boundaries, and the final step was for it to be officially issued to the grantee. This is the issue date.

File # and Grant #
The file number is the number assigned to the record by the NC State Archives. Every grant has a unique file number. The grant number is the number assigned at the time that the grant was issued. Perhaps due to poor record keeping, sometimes the same grant number was used multiple times. I've included grants that were apparently never officially issued. Those will not have a grant number or an issue date. Perhaps the person changed his mind and never bought the land. Or, maybe the issue papers were lost.

# Acres
The number of acres bought by the grantee is recorded in the files.

Creek/River
I looked at every grant file to determine the creek or river on which the land was located. Some were easy because the grant named said "on the waters of [creek name]". Sometimes that wasn't provided, and I used other clues to research the location. If I wasn't able to determine the location, it is listed as "Unknown". I feel confident about most of these, but it's possible there are a few mistakes.

Replaced?
A "y" in this field indicates that this tract of land was later replaced by another grant. It didn't happen often, but for grants that I've drawn, it is sometimes obvious that they occupy the same land. My guess is that the first grantee was either forced to give up the land or chose to move away. When the land became vacant, the state was able to reissue a later grant for it. I have chosen not to show these "replaced" grants on the map only to avoid clutter.

Grid
This is the location of the tract of land on my map. The map is divided into grid squares that are 15,000 ft x 15,000 ft, or about 8 square miles. When a tract overlaps multiple grid squares, the location is determined by the starting point for the metes and bounds in the survey.

Go back to Wilkes Land Grants main page.


Jason Duncan
222 Sundance Cir
Statesville, NC 28625
704-929-2643
jason@webjmd.com

Back to webjmd.com