In this post, we are going to look at the first page in the file along with a transcription. Then we will look at clues, questions raised and what was learned. Finally, we'll plot the property on Google Earth.
Here's the first page in the file, along with it's transcription.
No 12389 //10
private in Capt Mont-
gomery's Compy 1st Reg
Wm H. Ballenger
of sd Christopher Rian
SE 1/4 34, 76N, 15W
Patd. 1st June 1850
Recd. Vol 29 page 409 =
- The patent date of 1 June 1850 could turn out to be important. That was census day and I have been unable to locate William in any federal censuses during his life.
- Who is Christopher Rian?
- Is William associated or related to Christopher Rian somehow?
- Why does William want property in Iowa? What's the push or pull factor?
- The exact location of the property.
- The date of the patent (June 1, 1850).
- A quick online search for Christopher Rian in the 1850 census doesn't turn up Christopher but does reveal several Rians in Scott County, Illinois. This is important because that is where William Ballenger married Lucinda Campbell in 1849.
- Another quick online search for Christopher reveals a Christopher Rian in Scott County, Illinois in the Illinois Census of 1855. There are also a couple of Campbells on the same page. This could be important and is worth following up.
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Getting in a little closer, we are looking at the section. William's property is the SE 1/4 or in the lower right hand corner of the purple box.
As a side note, using MapQuest, I was able to determine that Oskaloosa, the county seat of Mahaska County, Iowa, where William's land was located is about 230 miles on today's roads from Winchester, the county seat of Scott County, Illinois. Scott County is where William Ballenger married Lucinda Campbell and where a Christopher Rian appeared in the 1855 Illinois Census. For now, we'll just file that little piece of information away.
Stay tuned for the next page in William Ballenger's Iowa land file.
For a full list of posts in this series, go to Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems Compendium.
© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum