Maine Genealogy Blog

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 now available at Digital Maine. The images of these applications are also available and searchable at FamilySearch, as are grants of Maine land made by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In his application, my ancestor Moses Dunham 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.

 Published August 26, 2016