Kinsearching September 2, 2007




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Desiring to honor the colonial soldiers and sailors who served in the Crown's armed forces on the North American continent, Lloyd deWitt Bockstruck has compiled a valuable new reference--BOUNTY AND DONATION LAND GRANTS IN BRITISH COLONIAL AMERICA. This fascinating work provides data on approximately 6,500 individuals known to have received land grants for their participation in various colonial battles with the Indians, uprisings against colonial governments, and widespread conflicts like the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763).

     Bockstruck begins his volume with a helpful and interesting introduction which explains the reasons why governments gave land grants and the amounts of land offered, supplies details about major colonial wars, and furnishes source materials on the subject for each colony including Nova Scotia and West Florida. Although the meanings of the terms have become blurred, he defines a bounty land grant as "an inducement to military service" and a donation land grant as a "reward to a veteran or his heirs after the conflict...." He also points out that not all recipients were Caucasian. Matthew ROBERTS, for example, was a free black man and TOBY was an Indian. One female, Hannah BRADLEY of Essex County, Massachusetts, received land in her own right.

     Names of recipients are arranged alphabetically in the 480-page hardback. Additional names of individuals and ships appearing in the entries are indexed; females are indexed under their maiden and married names if both are known. The amount of information available varies from person to person. Facts may include the individual's place and dates of service, rank, military campaigns, location of bounty or donation land grants, acreage, and any assignment of title to heirs, relatives, or friends. An example of data that may be found is the entry for Charles MCCLUNG: "He served as a captain in the 3rd Pennsylvania regiment under Col. Hugh Mercer in the French and Indian War. His heir, James McClung, received three warrants for 1,000 acres each in Virginia. James McClung had been an inhabitant of Virginia for above 30 years."

     Since the British government awarded land located in various areas between Florida and Nova Scotia, veterans or their heirs may have received land in a colony different from the one in which they resided. As a result, the land grants may provide clues to migration patterns. Some grants may even indicate group migrations from coastal settlements to the interior. BOUNTY AND DONATION LAND GRANTS IN BRITISH COLONIAL AMERICA is a worthy addition to all genealogical library collections.

     To the book's price of $45.00, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.00 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. BOUNTY AND DONATION LAND GRANTS IN BRITISH COLONIAL AMERICA (item order #491) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     After Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States in 1783, the British press continued to publish news about American conflicts, both large and small. The following item can be found in the newspaper Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, London, England, 30 September 1829, p. 2, c. 3: "Hostilities seem to have broken out on the American frontiers with the native Indians, in consequence of a supposed trespass upon the hunting grounds of the latter, as (sic) the head waters of the Chariton. Eleven Indians and three whites were killed, and all the county (sic) was up in arms."

     Having fought with and against American armed forces for years, many British had apparently formed an opinion of them as fighters. The newspaper Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, London, England, 30 September 1829, p. 3, c. 1, contains an article about boxing, which states that "the honourable, manly, and fair principles, introduced into this country by the Patrons of the Prize Ring are superseded by the knife of the Portuguese, the treacherous kick of the Lancashire man, or the gouging ingenuity of the half-savage of Kentucky...."

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