Land warrants may have been issued to the heirs of single men who died in US military action for service prior to the US Civil War. These land warrants may provide significant family clues and help clarify relationships.
The patent in the illustration was issued based on a land warrant that was obtained by Harrison Ramsey based on his son Andrew’s service in the Illinois Volunteers in the 1840s.
The patents can be searched on the BLM site. The warrant applications and surrendered warrants are at the US National Archives.