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Monday, January 9, 2017

How Headrights were Issued in Virginia #virginiapioneers

More About Headright Grants in Virginia

Planters of Colonial Virginia summarized his analysis of patents and concluded that both before 1635 and in the following two or three decades, thirty to forty per cent of the landholders of Virginia came to the colony as indentured servants. Professor Wertenbaker also indicated general agreement with conclusions drawn by William G. Stanard about the proportion of immigrants that were indentured servants. From an analysis of the patent rolls from 1623 to July 14, 1637 (printed in the April, 1901 issue of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography), Stanard estimated that seventy-five per cent of immigrants from 1623 to 1637 were imported under term of the indenture. Out of 2,675 names on the rolls, 336 entered as freemen at their own cost and an additional 245 persons were believed for the most part to be of the same status although there was some uncertainty about this group. Transportation expenses were paid by others for 2,094. From these numbers, the conclusion was reached that 675 persons on the patent rolls were freemen, including women and children; the remaining 2,000 were servants and a much smaller number of slaves. To prove himself worthy of a headright grant, the claimant appeared before a county court or the Governor and Council and stating under oath that he had imported a certain number of persons whose names were listed. The clerk of the court issued a certificate which was validated in the office of the secretary and the authorization for the headright was then passed on to a commissioned surveyor who ran off fifty acres for each person imported and located the grant in the area selected by land already patented by the claimant and not barred for white settlement in order to maintain peace with the Indians. Upon completion of the survey and of marking the boundaries, a copy of the record along with the headright certificate was presented to the office of the secretary where a patent was prepared and a notation made of those imported. The final step was the signing of the patent by the Governor in the presence of, and with the approval of, the Council. Source: Mother Earth: Land Grants in Virginia 1607-1699 by W. Stitt Robinson, Jr.  Prince William County VA Genealogy Resources

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