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NC Land Records before 1800: Land Grant Process

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

Multi-Step Process

Receiving land through a grant from the Lords Proprietor, the Crown, or the State was a multi-step process that could take months, even years to complete. The three types of land records you will see associated with land grants are entries, warrants, and grants or patents. The numbers for the entry, the warrant, and the grant may all be different. this is especially true with Revolutionary bounty land. This page will go through the steps and hopefully help to lessen confusion many researchers experience.

  • The first step in the land grand process is the entry. Land entries are essentially applications to receive a parcel of vacant land.
  • The next step is the land warrant. This is an order from the court to the county surveyor to survey the land in question
  • The final step is the state granting the land with a land patent. The words patent and grant are often used interchangeably, but they do have a difference in meaning. A grant is the action of giving the land, but the resulting record is called a patent.

The entire process often takes a few years to complete. Also, the numbers for the entry, the warrant, and the grant may all be different. this is especially true with Revolutionary bounty land.