Georgia Archives

University System of Georgia

Headright Grants

Available to any U.S. citizen, resident of Georgia for 12 months: head of household, including women (widows).

200 acres for every head of household.
50 acres for every dependent, including enslaved persons, up to 1,000 acres.

Must settle on the tract 12 months and improve 3 out of every 100 acres before receiving the grant. If conditions are not met, land reverts to the state.

200 acre grant: 6 acres improved after 12 months
1,000 acre grant: 30 acres improved after 12 months.

  • 1785 Provisions modified (February 22, Watkins p. 308): must settle on the tract and improve 3 out of every 100 acres after 18 months of receiving the grant, subject to a triple tax.

Pay surveying costs and filing fees.


  • Applicant chooses the land.
  • Appears before the land court in the county where they want the land.
  • Presents a petition, stating how long he or she had lived in Georgia, how many are in their household (number of acres for which they qualified).
  • Swears an oath that he or she is legally entitled to a grant (oath can be oral, no paper).
  • Describes the tract of land they want.
  • Land Court issues warrant of survey to applicant describing the tract, “taking especial care that the same has not heretofore been laid out to any other person or persons.”
  • Applicant presents warrant to county surveyor or his deputy, notifies adjoining land owners of survey.
  • Applicant usually accompanies surveyor to show him the exact bounds of his tract, and furnishes chainmen to help with the survey (not trained).

After Warrant of Survey issued

County Surveyor:

  • Draws a plat of the surveyed land, showing boundary markers, geographic features such as waterways, adjacent neighbors.
  • States the grantee’s name, county, number of acres, chainmen, date plat is certified.
  • Records the plat in his office within 2 months from date of warrant (copies into county plat book).
  • Advertises survey for at least 3 months.
  • Sends a copy of the plat to the State Surveyor General within 3 months of recording the plat


  • Has 1 year to pay grant fees and recording costs to State Surveyor General or grant is considered lapsed.

State Officials:

  • Sends a copy of plat to Secretary of State (loose plats in Georgia Archives holdings).
  • Governor signs the grant and returns it to Secretary of State.
  • Secretary of State adds the state seal to the grant, and records both grant and plat in bound volumes (official record copy).
  • Returns grant with seal and plat to county surveyor, who records grant in county records.
  • Presents grant and plat to grantee (his copy as proof he owns the land).

Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants

Issues with Headright and Bounty Grants

Headright and Bounty Resources

Back to main page