Indexes to the Virginia Patents and Grants

On 10 microfilm reels, through the Family History Library, you will find abstracts from the Virginia Land Office:  Patents, vols 1-42.  Grants, vols A-Z, A2-D2, and 1-123.  Listed as County Abstracts, 0-42.  Since each entry gives the patentee or grantee, the date the document was issued, the quantity of land awarded, and a description of that property, these abstracts can serve as a comparative index to the original land records and the official indexes created by Virginia.  These original records are also available on microfilm:

Patents: The 42 volumes contain “recorded copies of patents for land issued by the English crown between 1623-1706 and 1710-1774. A few issued under the authority of the Virginia Company of London and presented for re-recording in order to affirm title are interspersed under their original dates.” — Virginia Land Office Inventory, p. 3

Grants: Grants, 1779-1921 ; index, land grants, bks. 74-124, ca. 1825-1921

Combined Indexes:  Official indexes to land patents and grants, 1623-1774, 1779-1991   Filmed under the title: Land office card catalog 1623-1990 : patents and grants.

Supporting Index:   County Abstracts, 042.  “Because this index was taken from the ‘County Abstracts’ which were begun in 1818, rather than from the patent and grant books, there are some discrepancies. Arranged by name of patentee (grantee), each card shows the date of patent (grant), the county in which the land was located when granted, the number of acres in each tract, a brief description of the property, volume, beginning page where the record appears.” — Prelim. materials

Virginia Land Grants:  A Study of Conveyancing in relation to colonial politics, 1624 to American Revolution, by Fairfax Harrison.  Richmond:  Old Dominion Press, 1925.

Other land and property record categories that are also available–

__Bounty Lands


__Certificates, deeds, warrants to Military Lands

__Council Grants (Issued under the British Crown Authority)

__Freedmen’s Bureau Records


__Kentucky Lands

__Land Companies Accounts and Ledgers

__Land Ownership Maps


__Northern Neck Lands


__Quitrents, Rent Rolls

__Revolutionary War Scrip

__Surveys Southwest Pennsylvania (District of West Augusta)

Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Some years ago, I read all the abstracts from Augusta, Rockbridge, and Rockingham counties.  When I searched the grants and patents, I was familiar with the surnames from these specific counties–for unidentified volumes and loose papers, I could determine the county and the period of time for those records by the surnames and neighbors I knew came from those three counties. Entries not included in any of the indexes appeared as I read card by card, and page by page.  If in doubt, stop and read the records.

PPS Note that Patents are dated before 1774 and grants are dated after 1774.  It is a matter of terminology, they are the same basic record.

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