Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson and the Office of the Secretary of State continue to pioneer in using Internet technology to provide instant access to historical records in the office’s custody with the recent launch of the new Kentucky Land Office on the Office of the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.ky.gov/land.
Historians, genealogists, and constituents can now access databases and view images of newly discovered records regarding “Corn and Cabin” patents authorized by “Certificates of Settlement & Preemption Warrants” issued by the Virginia Land Commissioners from 1779 to 1780. New images are added to the database daily. A second database, “Lincoln Entries,” allows researchers to access information and view scanned images of over 4,700 Lincoln County entries filed from 1779 to 1792 when Lincoln County was one-third of the Kentucky District of Virginia.
“I think that our new Kentucky Land Office website represents a researcher’s dream,” stated Secretary Grayson. “As a passionate historian myself, I recognize the importance of making Kentucky’s history available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This new site will allow around the clock access to information while providing a host of valuable resources to aid citizens in their research.”
For research enthusiasts studying the history of Kentucky’s counties, the new site offers a “County Formations” database where one can see the complete text of all acts creating Kentucky’s 120 counties plus Fincastle, Kentucky, Henrietta and Beckham counties.
Researchers now can access complete text of legislation approved by the Virginia General Assembly and the Kentucky General Assembly establishing each Kentucky land patent series and other early acts of historical interest. Also included in the Kentucky Land Office “Reference Library” is an online Gazetteer, Glossary, Quick-Reference Guides and an Online Seminar.
“Whether business records, election services, or some of Kentucky’s most prized historical records, I believe that government should become accessible via the World Wide Web," said Grayson. "This new website represents a continuation of our office’s effort to making government more user-friendly.”
At the June 2004 annual Flag Day meeting of the John Marshall Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Secretary Grayson announced that color images of all patents authorized by Virginia Revolutionary War Warrants were available on the Land Office website. Kentucky is one of the first repositories in the United States to offer a complete collection of patent files in color format. Archivists have proclaimed the color digitization of documents, such as Veteran’s Warrants with red wax seals, as the supreme form of document preservation.
On February 17, 2004, Secretary Grayson transferred scanned images of over 8,200 County Court Order Patent files (nearly 33,400 pages) to the “County Court Order” website. This database provides instant access to patents utilized by title researchers on a daily basis. Additional County Court Order patents are scheduled for Internet access in late 2005.
The website was built by the Office of the Secretary of State in partnership with Kentucky.gov, which also built and maintains the commonwealth’s official website at www.kentucky.gov.
The Office of the Secretary of State is entrusted with filing, maintaining and preserving the important documents and records of the commonwealth and her people. Access to documents not found online is available at the State Capitol Building in Frankfort, KY.
Republished with the permission of the Secretary of State's Office
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