If you are not familiar with the North Carolina Land Grant process, there are links to background material on the Resources page.
Each land grant found on this website is represented by a Land Grant File. These files consist of an envelope call a shuck with summary information about the grant written on the front, and various loose documents such as warrants and surveys contained within the shuck. The information from these shucks is available as searchable data for all North Carolina grants. Actual images of all shucks and associated documents are available for Caswell, Mecklenburg, Orange, Person, Wake, and Wilkes Counties. Much of the information contained on the shuck was abstracted from the Land Patent Books where the grant was recorded by the Secretary of State. Images for all existing Land Patent Books are on this website and linked to each grant by book and page number.
STEP 1 – FINDING A LAND GRANT FILE
You know the name of the specific individual receiving the grant
If you know the individual’s first and last name, the easiest place to start is the subject index on the Index link above. Select the first letter of the last name, scan to find the correct person, and click on their name. You will be taken to the Query page for that subject and will see a list of all matching grant files with basic information at the bottom. You can click on the link to view the details.
You may list the subjects for all grants, or restrict the list to a specific county and optionally the surrounding counties.
You know the surname of the individual, or you want to find all grants for a specific surname.
For more generic searches, use the Query page. It will let you enter one or more search terms such as names and locations along with various other options. As with the index, you will see a list of matching grants at the bottom, and can click for more details.
You want to find grants for a specific geographical location.
The best place to start is the Index to get an idea of the types of locations indexed. They typically refer to the river/creek basin as opposed to a town or region.
STEP 2 – VIEWING DOCUMENT IMAGES
Once you have found a grant, click on the link in the More… column to display to the page devoted to that grant. This page is known as a “Virtual Shuck” and contains text and images from various sources related to the grant. If images are available, you will see a thumbnail version of each one on that page. Simply click on the thumbnail to open a new page/tab allowing you to view the image at various sizes including full screen. From here you can move forwards and backwards through the selected images and grants, or close the tab to return to the results.
If the images are available but not yet linked to the grant, you will need to go through a quick search process. Click on the Search link, and you will be taken to the approximate spot on the digitized microfilm that will have the grant. Page forwards or backwards through the images to find the file number you are looking for.
Land Patent Book Images
Most of the grants on this website were recorded in a series of 198 Land Patent Books maintained by the Secretary of State Land office. For these grants you will see an image of the page where the grant was recorded, typically along with several other grants often from different counties. To find the grant you are interested in, scan the left margin for the File Number which typically appears within a circle. Note that file numbers are unique within counties, so you may see the same file number on the same page but for different counties.
Loose Document Images
Images of warrant, surveys, and receipts are available for Caswell, Mecklenburg, Orange, Person, Wake, and Wilkes Counties. Some grants only have the “shuck” or envelope since no other documents were found for that grant. The shuck will contain summary data and can be used to verify the searchable data.
Most loose document images are not available on this website.
For counties other than those listed, shuck/loose document images are not on this website. If you need an image not on this website, you will need to find the actual microfilm reel at the State Archives or other repositories that may have it.