Maine Revolutionary War Bounty Land Applications, 1835-1838

In 1835, the Maine Legislature passed a "Resolve in favor of certain Officers and Soldiers of the Revolutionary War, and the widows of the deceased Officers and Soldiers," granting 200 acres of land to those who had served three years while residents of Massachusetts or the District of Maine. The land would be taken from the "Indian Purchase" in Penobscot County and from unappropriated townships in Washington County. The applications for these bounty land grants have long been available from the Maine State Archives, and are among those indexed on its website. The images of these applications are now available at FamilySearch. (Edit: The collection is now searchable.)

Using the index previously linked, we can find those applications marked "Maine" by browsing the alphabetically arranged images here. (Those marked "Mass." will be found here.) My ancestor Moses Dunham's application should be toward the back of Box 5. Sure enough, his file begins here and includes ten images. Moses declared that he had served the requisite three years.

Statements of Jonathan Holmes and Malachi Bartlett—neighbors he had previously called on to confirm his service—were copied from his pension file. On March 29, 1836, he was granted Lot No. 95 in Township No. 3, Indian Purchase. Moses soon assigned the certificate to his son-in-law Calvin Gurney for $70.

These applications may seem duplicative to those who have viewed their ancestors' applications for federal pensions, but careful comparison will often reveal unique and valuable testimony. In any event, they provide added evidence of each veteran's service and of his financial state a half century after the Revolution.

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Comment by Kristen Bryant on September 9, 2016 at 2:05pm

I had a quick question. How did you find the Lot he was granted? I have a copy of the same grant given to my 4x's great grandmother, but no indication where or what lot of 200 acres she was given.

Thank you!

Comment by Chris Dunham on September 9, 2016 at 4:18pm

It was written on the back of one of the documents in his file. I can't promise that every file will have this information. It could probably also be found in the records of the Maine Land Office at the Maine State Archives (not yet online), and/or at the registry of deeds in the relevant county.

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