Wexford County, Michigan Liber 3 Page 219

This entry is part 25 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 with each post.

This is the first record I found in the early Wexford County land records for a Fenton ancestor of Papa’s. It is also unique among those I found; it is simply a recording of a payment for a homestead filing.

Date: 3 Aug 1974
Liber: 3
Page: 219
Location: Wexford Co MI
Grantor: The USA
Grantee: Eliza Fenton, widow of John Fenton Deceased
Type of deed: Homestead receipt, final
Rec’d and recording: 3 Nov 1874
Clerk/registrar: Perry Hannah
Location of land: Colfax Wexford
Consideration: $4.00
Description: S1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Sec 12 T23N R10W

There is no record of John Fenton’s death in the early Wexford records. His tombstone marks the year of his death as 1872. I searched, but found no probate record for John in the Wexford County records. This 80 acre section of land may have been the most valuable thing he had when he passed to a better place.


Eliza paid $4 for the second payment to complete the claim and get the land patent.  I ordered the land patent records from the national archives, and they revealed interesting information about the family. The exact date of John’s death was recorded on Eliza’s final proof for the patent. It says, in part:

That the said John Fenton entered upon and made settlement on said land on the 20th day of June 1868, and had built a house thereon of Logs story & a half board floor & Shingle roof, one door & two windows. and has lived in the said house and made it his exclusive home from the 18th day of ???, 1868, to the time of his death, the 2th day of March 1872 & his widow has continued to reside on the land to this present time, and that he has since said settlement plowed, fenced, and cultivated about 15 acres of said land, and has made the following improvements thereon, to wit: 8 acres more chopped, Log barn, 35 fruit trees, 15 Currant bushes, 200 Strawberry plants.

This document was signed by Warren Seaman and Alfred Thurston. Interestingly, Eliza married Alfred Thurston on 10 August 1873, and this document was signed in August 1874.

Series NavigationThe WebFenton Family Land Records, Wexford County, Michigan Liber 4 page 428

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