Secretary of State Trey Grayson recently launched the Virginia Treasury Warrants Database, the latest addition to Kentucky's nationally recognized Land Office Web site at sos.ky.gov/land. The announcement was made at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Virginia on May 18, 2007.
“One of the top priorities of my administration has been the development of our Web site and in particular, the addition of online images and services to the site,” remarked Grayson. “This new database is going to be an incredible resource for researchers and historians. This and other upcoming announcements will allow our Web site to continue to maintain its stature as one of the best government Web sites in the world.
Researchers may now access entries recorded in two Virginia Treasury Warrants Registers transcribed in 1798 by Edmund Thomas, agent from Kentucky, and certified by William Price, Register of the Virginia Land Office. The new database includes information for over 23,200 treasury warrants authorized by the May 1779 Virginia Land Law.
The treasury warrants were purchased, initially at a cost of 40 pounds per 100 acres, or were authorized by Special Act or Resolution of the Virginia Assembly. Included in the database are listings of 300 treasury warrants issued to George Rogers Clark “for the purpose of recruiting his battalions.” Many of the database entries will link to color-scanned images in the Virginia and Old Kentucky Series land patent files maintained by the Kentucky Office of the Secretary of State.
Ann Pennington, President of the Kentucky Genealogical Society, was present in Richmond when the announcement was made. She said, “Having Internet access to these records opens new research opportunities for all genealogists and historians studying early land acquisition in Kentucky. We appreciate the Office of the Secretary of State and all those who endeavor to preserve the history of Kentucky and her people.”
This announcement marks the continued development of the online presence of the Kentucky Land Office during Sec. Grayson's tenure. The site now 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.
Historians, genealogists and constituents may 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. 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. The site also includes a Kentucky Land Office Reference Library that features an online Gazetteer, Glossary, Quick-Reference Guides and an Online Seminar.
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.
The Kentucky Office of the Secretary of State Web site has been honored by three international organizations for recognition as an outstanding government Web site: the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, Summit International Awards and WebAward.
“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. This new Web site represents a continuation of our office’s effort to make government more user-friendly,” noted Grayson.