Humanities › History & Culture Bounty Land Warrants Share Flipboard Email Print U.S. National Archives and Records Administration /Wikimedia Commons History & Culture Genealogy Vital Records Around the World Basics Surnames Genealogy Fun American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated April 28, 2019 Bounty land warrants were grants of free land issued to veterans in return for military service from the time of the Revolutionary War through 1855 in the United States. They contained the surrendered warrant, a letter of assignment if the warrant was transferred to another individual, and other papers pertaining to the transaction. What Are Bounty Land Warrants in Detail Bounty land is a grant of free land from a government given to citizens as a reward for service to their country, generally for military-related service. Most bounty-land warrants in the United States were given to veterans or their survivors for wartime military service performed between 1775 and 3 March 1855. This includes veterans who served in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. Bounty land warrants weren't automatically issued to every veteran who served. The veteran first had to apply for a warrant and then, if the warrant was granted, he could use the warrant to apply for a land patent. The land patent is the document which granted him ownership of the land. Bounty land warrants could also be transferred or sold to other individuals. They were also used as a way to provide evidence of military service, especially in cases where a veteran or his widow did not apply for a pension How They Were Awarded Revolutionary War bounty land warrants were first awarded through an act of Congress on 16 September 1776. They were last awarded for military service in 1858, although the ability to claim bounty land previously earned extended until 1863. A few claims that were tied up in the courts caused lands to be granted as late as 1912. What You Can Learn From Bounty Land Warrants A bounty land warrant application for a veteran of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or the Mexican War will include the individual's rank, military unit and period of service. It will also generally provide his age and place of residence at the time of application. If the application was made by the surviving widow, it will usually include her age, place of residence, the date and place of marriage, and her maiden name. Accessing Bounty Land Warrants Federal bounty land warrants are kept at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and can be requested through the mail on NATF Form 85 ("Military Pension/Bounty Land Warrant Applications") or ordered online.