Georgia Archives

University System of Georgia

Headright and Bounty Grants

Between 1783 and 1909, Georgia distributed land east of the Oconee River through two types of grant: Headright and Bounty. With both types of grant, the grantee selected the land they wanted. There was no preliminary survey to divide the land into sections or districts, then into lots, as there was with land distributed by the Federal government, or Georgia land west of the Oconee River distributed by lottery.

Revolutionary-era Land Grant Laws

  • 1777 (June 7 and September 16) : First Headright Land Grant laws passed by Revolutionary government, no grants from this law survive. (Watkins, p. 203-206)

  • 1780 (January 23): Grants for Wilkes County to encourage settlement. (Watkins, p. 232).

  • 1781 (August 20): Citizenship granted to anyone who took an oath of allegiance to the State of Georgia, “except those who have been guilty of murder or plundering, or distressing the peaceable inhabitants of this or any other State.” (Watkins, p. 237)

Land Act of 1783 (February 17th, amended August 1st) (Watkins, p. 258 and p. 286)

  • Headright Land Grants, defined qualifications and process.

  • Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants, defined qualifications.

  • Established county land courts to accept petitions for land and to issue warrants of survey.

Headright Grants

Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants

Issues with Headright and Bounty Grants

Headright and Bounty Resources