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Within this Collection:

Laws of Maryland 1788, dealing with land grants

Maps of lots in Garrett and Allegany

Map of lots assigned to officers and soldiers

The Soldiers Lands - Scharf

Land assigned to officers

Land assigned to soldiers

Land assigned to veterans and land occupied by settlers, in lot order

Land assigned to veterans and land occupied by settlers, in name order

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Allegany County
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Garrett County
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Washington County
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Civil War in Maryland
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Genealogy Resources
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Photographs and Prints
Map of Military Lots assigned to soldiers, Garrett County, Maryland. 1787

In 1777 the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis passed An act for recruiting the quota of troops of this state in the American army, and furnishing them with cloathing and other necessaries. “Every effective recruit is to receive, besides the continental allowances, a bounty of forty dollars, a pair of shoes, a pair of stockings, and at the expiration of his term, provided he shall not desert from the army, 50 acres of land, to be procured and laid off as aforesaid, to him or his representative” (Laws of Maryland 1763-1784, page 182). Officers were to receive four lots of 50 acres each. Land was also to be granted to those who recruited soldiers to fight in the Revolutionary War.

The Assembly agreed that “all the lands in Washington county, westward of Fort Cumberland, except as in the said act is excepted, were appropriated to discharge the engagement of lands heretofore made to the officers and soldiers of this state.” The land to be allotted was that “beginning at the mouth of Savage river, and running with the north branch of Patowmack river to the head thereof, then north with the present supposed boundary line of Maryland until the intersection of an east line to be drawn from the said boundary line, with a north course from the mouth of Savage river” (Laws of Maryland 1785-1791, page 350). This land is now in Allegany and Garrett counties.

Colonel Francis Deakins was appointed to “lay out the manors, and such parts of the reserves and vacant lands belonging to this state, lying to the westward of Fort Cumberland, as he might think fit and capable of being settled and improved, in lots of fifty acres each” (Laws of Maryland 1785-1791, page 351). He, with the help of 10 surveyors, returned a general plot of the state of Maryland west of Fort Cumberland (now Cumberland in Allegany County), on which 4165 lots of fifty acres each are laid out. Deakins also found 323 families already living on 636 of these lots, and the Assembly agreed that settlers could purchase the land. Some did. For example, Joseph Warnick and his wife, Sarah, occupied lots 3836 and 3837 on Big Savage Mountain, and in 1787, George Fazenbaker was listed as a settler on Military Lot 3869 near Barton (Walt Warnick).

The Maryland auditor-general reported that there were 2475 soldiers entitled under the several acts of the legislature to the bounty of these lands. The Assembly in 1788 decreed that 2575 of the allocations should be distributed by lot among the soldiers and recruiting officers. This meant that, although Francis Deakins surveyed over four thousand parcels of land, only 2575 of them were assigned as payment for services rendered during the Revolutionary War. Of those assigned all were in what is now Garrett County, even though Deakins’ original survey included areas in western Allegany County. Only Garrett County is shown on this website, since the lots in Allegany were not used for military land grants.

The oldest known map based on Deakins’ survey was the Map of military lots, tracts, patents, etc. in western Allegany and Garrett Counties, Maryland copied from the original by Hezekiah Veatch in 1787. This map is available at the Library of Congress and there is a copy at the Ruth Enlow Library Oakland, Garrett County.

The map used on this website is a more modern one. In 1874 the Maryland General Assembly authorized a revision of Deakins' map to remedy omissions and provide additional information. The resulting product, directed by the Land Office and signed by W.A.H., numbered all military lots and showed topography. It also indicated land that had, since 1787, reverted to the state when no legal heirs or claimants existed. The 1874 map was redrawn and reformatted in 1898 and 1935. The Western Maryland Room of the Washington County Free Library owns a copy of this map.

The list of names of those to whom land was assigned is taken from J. Thomas Scharf’s History of Western Maryland, 1882. Scharf, in addition to being a historian of note, was the Commissioner of the Land Office and so had access to the records, as the general plot and books of certificates were lodged in the Land Office.

There is no one-to-one match of names and lots. On a number of occasions, the 1874 map includes the same lot number in two areas of the map. That map seems to confuse 0s and 6s, at least as compared to the Veatch version. Scharf’s list of names occasionally assigns the same lot to more than one person. He also lists a number of people who have no assignment. Given the difficulty in transcribing the original handwriting and the number of versions of both documents over time, discrepancies are to be expected.

The information on the officers and soldiers is from Scharf. The abbreviations in rank are B, Bugler; D, Drummer; G, Gunner. M is the abbreviation for Matross, a soldier who assists artillery gunners in loading, firing, sponging and moving the guns. A number of the soldiers had been assigned to the German regiment, named possibly because Ludowick Weltner was in charge of one of the regiments.

Archives of Maryland Online

Map of military lots, tracts, patents, etc. in western Allegany and Garrett Counties, Maryland, Library of Congress.

Meyer, Mary K. (1993). Westward of Fort Cumberland: Military Lots set off for Maryland’s Revolutionary Soldiers. Finksburg: Pipe Creek Publications. Includes a list of Revolutionary Soldiers granted pensions by the State of Maryland.

Scharf, J. Thomas (1882). History of Western Maryland. Philadelphia: Louis A. Everts.

Warnick, Walt. Western Maryland Family History Pages

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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