Tuesday Tools, Bureau of Land Management Surveys

Better late than never, I am exploring the Survey portion of the BLM site. To access the surveys, go to the Bureau’s home page and click search surveys from the green menu bar. You can enlarge any of my screen shots for a better view, just click on them.

sur 1

I am searching in territory I know a lot about, T23N R10W in Wexford County, Michigan. That is Colfax Township, where many of Papa’s ancestor’s settled. I left the county blank, the township and range are enough to identify the land. I selected all survey types and all surveyors. The only meridian used in Michigan surveys is the “Michigan – Toledo Strip“. The meridian is actually called Meridian Road when it runs between Saginaw and Gratiot Counties.

sur 2

Clicking on the survey type brings you to a screen with more survey detail. I clicked on the top link, original survey. Several tabs show information about the survey and plat, but I wanted to see the map, so I clicked on the tab “Plat Image”. There are several ways to view the plats, I used the ExpressView browser plugin. You may wish to use another method, depending on the browser you use and your preferences. Directions at the bottom of the page give information on ExpressView plugin.

sur 3

I checked the original survey marked N, S, E, W and the one called Sub divisional and could not find any differences.

I am disappointed, since I wanted to check the survey notes, but they have not been loaded yet. I will be checking back frequently. Judge Peterson’s history of the county says that and early settler, Perry Hannah “…found the woods do dark, even with the leaves off the trees, that he had to make constant use of his compass to maintain his direction…”1. This was in 1854, nearly 15 years after the survey was approved, and longer after it was made. The book also said, “…In places, all ground growth seemed choked out by an evergreen vine growing multiple, tentacle-like vines three to six feet in length. A species of ground hemlock, it was appropriately referred to by the settlers as “shin-tangle….”2

Understand the conditions in the area where our ancestors lived adds information which may explain why they made certain decisions. The thickness and density of the woods explains the prevalence of lumber camps in the area in the early days.

In reviewing the surveys in lines three and four of the results I noticed the addition of the coordinates of the section corners and section lines. Also this text was written across the map:

Surface rolling soil sandy 2nd and good 2nd rate timber lumber Sugar, Beach, Elm, Lynn, Hemlock, Ironwood, Maple
In the southeast part of the town is some good White Pine and a few Red Oaks

Last, I look at the survey marked “Dependent resurvey”, and “sub divisional”. There appears to be no difference, the re-survey confirmed the correctness of the original survey.

 

  1. Peterson, Judge William R. The View From Courthouse Hill. Philadelphia, PA: Dorrance, 1972. 9. Print.
  2. Peterson, Judge William R. The View From Courthouse Hill. Philadelphia, PA: Dorrance, 1972. 9-10. Print.

Abbott Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 8 page 377

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Deeds from other families

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to early residents of Wexford County, Michigan with the surname Abbott. Papa’s second great-grandmother was Mary Jane Abbott; I have undertaken a study of the early Abbott deeds to look for connections to her and her family. I know that her brother Erastmus D. [E.D.] Abbott was in Wexford County, but have not connected any others to her at this time.

Date: 3 Oct 1879
Liber: 8
Page: 377
Location: Wexford Co MI
Grantor: John Hague and Susan his wife
Grantee: Laura Abbott
Witnesses: Ezra Snell, Edwin M. Frisbey
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 3 Oct 1879
Clerk/registrar: Manktelow
Location of land: Colfax, Wexford MI
Consideration: $800
Notes:
Description: NE1/4 of Section 22 T23N $10W

This is the same land that was sold by Abbott and his wife Laura to Hague on the deed I described yesterday. Both deeds were recorded on October 3, 1879, also. The only thing I can think of is that John Hague wanted the land transferred into his wife’s name exclusively.

Does anyone else out there have any ideas about this set of transactions?

I have surveyed the first two deed index books for transactions with the surname Abbott. When I return to the Wexford County courthouse I will continue through the index books.

Read This about Evidence and Conclusions

I have rarely felt so strongly that about the importance of a piece of genealogical writing.

The author who writes as ‘The Ancestry Insider’ has is writing about how computer programs and online trees handle evidence and conclusions; more to the point, how they should handle it.

You need to read this post, now. Reading this explains why many beginning genealogists have problems understanding analyzing what they have found. It also explains why so many people have ongoing problems reaching conclusions regarding evidence. Computer programs have no way to display evidence systematically to aid decision making.

Lately, I have seen many examples of individuals conducting research to support a IWAG1, instead of gathering evidence to lead them to a logical conclusion. Down with guessing! Down with posting guesses in on-line family trees!

  1. Illogical Wild A** Guess. Did not want to offend you with my opinion of some of the things I have seen lately until you read the important part!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

Mom5-25-2006

I still miss you every day.

Abbott Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 4 page 139

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Deeds from other families

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to early residents of Wexford County, Michigan with the surname Abbott. Papa’s second great-grandmother was Mary Jane Abbott; I have undertaken a study of the early Abbott deeds to look for connections to her and her family. I know that her brother Erastmus D. [E.D.] Abbott was in Wexford County, but have not connected any others to her at this time.

Date: 3 Oct 1879
Liber: 4
Page: 139
Location: Wexford Co MI
Grantor: William Abbott and wife Laura Abbott of Wexford Co MI
Grantee: John R. Hague of the same place
Witnesses: Eliza Snell, Edwin M. Frisbey
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 3 Oct 1879
Clerk/registrar: Manktelow
Location of land: Colfax, Wexford, MI
Consideration:
Notes: Land patented and recorded 22 Sept 1877
Description: NE1/4 Sec 22 T23N R10W

William Abbott did not hang around too long after he satisfied the terms of his land patent application and acquired this land. John Hague shows up on the old atlas as an owner in this section, on the south half of the southeast quarter.

4-139

Got map?

Abbott Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 6 page 430

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Deeds from other families

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to early residents of Wexford County, Michigan with the surname Abbott. Papa’s second great-grandmother was Mary Jane Abbott; I have undertaken a study of the early Abbott deeds to look for connections to her and her family. I know that her brother Erastmus D. [E.D.] Abbott was in Wexford County, but have not connected any others to her at this time.

Date: 15 June 1877
Liber: 6
Page: 430
Location: Washington DC
Grantor: US
Grantee: William D. Abbott
Witnesses:
Type of deed: US Land Patent
Rec’d and recording: 22 Sept 1877
Clerk/registrar: C.T. Manktelow
Location of land: Colfax, Wexford, MI
Consideration: Application 4786 Certificate 2822
Notes:
Description: NE 1/4 Sect 22 T23N R10W

This deed was of interest to me as I sort out the men with the surname Abbott who were residents of Wexford County. Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum, and it is possible that some of these men had some relationship to Mary Jane Abbott, wife of George W. Burdick. This land is once again in Colfax Township, Wexford County, and close to where Papa’s ancestors lived. However, we do not know anything about William D. Abbott. The yellow outlined parcel, marked on a part of the old 1889 atlas1, is the one which is described under this deed. The blue outlined area surrounds the location where Papa’s Fenton and Fellows ancestors owned land. The green outline is from the “other” Burdick family, so far we have proven no relationship between our family and them. The red outline surrounds the land patented by John Abbott, another mystery Abbott in Wexford County. Perhaps John and William are related to each other, if not to members of our family.

4-139

  1. E.L. Hayes & Co., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan / compiled by Eli L. Hayes from government surveys, county and township records, and personal investigations and observations , Eli L. Hayes, (Chicago, Ill.: E.L. Hayes & Co., 1889), page 29; digital images, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928170.0001.001 : accessed 28 April 2010.

Funeral Card Friday – Aldis Pratt

I am sharing funeral cards on Friday, following a Facebook meme which you an see here. Today’s card is from the service of Papa’s uncle, Aldis Pratt. You may click the thumbnail to enlarge it.

Aldis Pratt funeral card

Aldis and his wife Laura (Fenton) farmed and raised a family west of Saginaw, Michigan in Gratiot County. Uncle Aldis was a real gentleman. I remember going to a National Farmer’s Organization dance somewhere near his home about forty years ago. Papa was in the Army, I think it was when he was in Korea. Uncle Aldis danced with every lady in the place. He would bring one back, wait for the band to start again, and ask the next one to dance. It was probably the only time I danced the entire evening.

I remember being at the funeral, but I did not remember until I re-read the card to prepare this post that the funeral was on July 28, 1982, the day, but not the year, that Papa and I married.

Treasure Chest Thursday – The Tulip Platter

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Treasures and Curiosities

In keeping with the spring season, here is a platter which I am lucky to have. I remember it on the evening dinner tables of my childhood days. For some reason, I see ham when I see this plate, and believe I should have ham.

tulip

I have always thought of this as the Tulip plate, but I also see other things, like the Lilly of the valley.

There is no mark of any kind on the back of the plate, and I have no idea of its origin or if anyone owned it before my parents. I have vague memories of a teapot, but I believe it just had the red flower, so it was probably not part of a set.

This platter is a great reminder of simple days, and a good ham dinner!

This post was written following the “Treasure Chest Thursday” theme over at Geneabloggers.

Abbott Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 4 page 450

This entry is part 93 of 99 in the series Deeds in the Family

I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update frequently, but probably not every day. This group pertain to early residents of Wexford County, Michigan with the surname Abbott. Papa’s second great-grandmother was Mary Jane Abbott; I have undertaken a study of the early Abbott deeds to look for connections to her and her family. I know that her brother Erasmus D. [E.D.] Abbott was in Wexford County, but have not connected any others to her at this time.

Date: 21 Oct 1876
Liber: 4
Page: 450
Location: Wexford Co MI
Grantor: E.E. Abbott and Sarah Abbott his wife of Wexford Co MI
Grantee: Thomas Ferguson of the same place
Witnesses: Victoria R. Marr and Charles S. Marr
Type of deed: Warranty
Rec’d and recording: 23 Oct 1876
Clerk/registrar: Strutevant
Location of land: Colfax, Wexford, MI
Consideration: $600
Notes:
Description: W 12/ of the NW 1/4 Section 10 T23N R10W

This description is from the land patent certificate #1312, issued 20 August 1873, application #2795 on for land described as: W1/2 of the NW 1/4 Section 10 T23N R10W. I discussed both of E.D. Abbott’s Wexford County land patents here. It is outlined in red on this small portion of the Colfax Township map from the old Atlas1.

abbott patients

  1. E.L. Hayes & Co., Atlas of Wexford County, Michigan / compiled by Eli L. Hayes from government surveys, county and township records, and personal investigations and observations , Eli L. Hayes, (Chicago, Ill.: E.L. Hayes & Co., 1889), page 29; digital images, The University of Michigan. Michigan County Histories and Atlases. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/3928170.0001.001 : accessed 28 April 2010.

Tuesday Tools – The Bureau of Land Management Website and Records

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Land Records

I recently reviewed some land patents from our family. In most cases, little genealogical information can be found in land patent records. I find that land records are useful in identifying where my ancestors lived, and when.

The (United States) Bureau of Land Management has a useful website with a lot of information concerning Federal lands. Many genealogists are familiar with the Land Patent Search page. Today I will discuss the land patent search. Start from the front page of the site, and at the top, on the green bar, click Land Patent Search.

1

The land patent records on the site are for certain states, the search form clearly states that the original thirteen colonies, their territories and a “few other states” are not included. You see a search screen, which you fill in with as much information as you have. This search is for Erastus Fellows, Ohio; an ancestor we are researching. (The images below are thumbnails, which you can enlarge by clicking.)

2

The search result:
3

The result shows one patent for an Erastus Fellows in Ohio. Clicking on the name provides more information:
4

You can see that the patent was a result of a Cash Entry Sale, dated 24 April 1820, for 40 acres, land office at Wooster, Ohio. There are also some important numbers, the document number, the accession/Serial number and the BLM Serial number. Clicking the “legal land description” tab will show you the legal description of the land, which is the SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 33 T20N R20W.

On the “Document Image” tab you may view or download a copy of the certificate granted to the patentee. This is the certificate that the new land owner took to the local court house to register his purchase. Some were not registered, but may were. You may order a certified copy of the patent if you wish, but it will not provide any more information that you can see by viewing the patent on your computer.

I have researched the local records for this family, and the evidence indicates that he is another man named Erastus Fellows, not Papa’s ancestor.

If you are inclined, you may order copies of the original land entry case file, which can be far more useful. You will need the document numbers, the name of the person who received the patent, and the land description to order the file. One patent we ordered contained the only record of the date of John Fenton’s death, 2 May 1872, we have ever found. These files are currently $40; I only order patents which I believe may contain information I do not already have. If you have identified an ancestor who patented land and you are interested in the record, you can order online or get the form here.

Next week on Tuesday I will discuss the Federal Survey Plats and survey notes section of the Bureau website.