Posted 01-22-2005 at 12:01:15
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1st class headright certificate holders in Texas were entitled to a "League and a Labour". A league was about 4400 acres and a Labour was about 120 acres. It was expected that the Labour would be used for planting crops.
They had as much time as they wanted to stake the property. After staking they had to get it surveyed by a state or US govt. surveyor, then the survey had to be filed in a county courthouse (not necessarily the local one). Once the survey was filed, then they had to petition the county court for a 'Land Patent'.
Sometimes 40 or 50 years elapsed between when the land was staked and when the Land Patent was finally granted by the state. Six shooters and repeating rifles were used to defend the land till the Patent was granted. (Texan's still like to carry guns)
Many certificate holders used their one certificate and claimed land in many counties. Some times the total acres added up to what they were allowed and sometimes it was 2X or ever 5X what was technically allowed. There were no courts back then to check between counties.
One of my Taylor's obtained 640 acres in Fannin County in two separate parcels. I've been selling the Texas Land Grant maps for several years.