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NC Land Grants before 1800: Home

Information on the different types of land grants in Colonial North Carolina through the Revolutionary War and some resources available at the Government and Heritage Library.

About this guide


This guide provides information on the various ways our ancestors acquired land before 1800. There were several ways the earliest settlers to North Carolina could receive land. They can always purchase from other residents, but there were several ways to get land from the crown before 1776 and from the state after the Revolutionary War. Resources are included from the Government and Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina.

This guide includes information on receiving land through headrights, as grants from the Lords proprietor and from the State after independence, as bounty land in Tennessee for service during the Revolutionary War, and land in Tennessee before statehood through the Wataugah Land Purchase.

​Pages in this guide:

  • Land Grants in 1663-1775 - Land practices during the colonial period just before the Revolutionary War including land from the Lords Proprietors.
  • Land Grants 1775-1790s - Land records during the Revolutionary period just before 1800. Bounty Land and that Wataugah Land Purchase, and land granted by the state.
  • Land Grant Process - This page talks about the mutli-step process of receiving a land grant.
  • Terms - A list of terminology found in land records.
  • Sources - A list of sources at the Government and Heritage Library for land records before 1800.
  • Get More Help - Contact GHL staff for additional assistance.

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Contact Information

Government & Heritage Library


Phone: (919) 814-6790


Physical address:
109 E. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27601

Mailing address:
4640 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4600