Monday, March 21, 2011

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems - Part 4

We have been going through the Military Land Warrant File of William H. Ballenger to see what information this type of file contains and how it might help solve genealogical questions, particularly that of who are William's parents. If you would like to review or need to catch up, you can go to the Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems Compendium of William H. Ballenger for a list of links.

Today we look at a receipt of sorts from the Iowa City Land Office in the case of William H. Ballenger's Military Bounty Land Warrant. The transcription is shown below. So let's take a look at the transcription and then review clues and what I learned from this document. (The image of the original is at the very bottom of this post.)

Register and Receiver's

No. [number is smudged]

LAND OFFICE, Iowa City Iowa April [^] 1849
WE HEREBY CERTIFY that, the attached Military Bounty Land Warrant No. 12389 was on this day
received at this office, from William H Ballenger, of
Mahaska county, State of Iowa
Charles Nealley [signature] Register.
Enos Lowe [signature] Receiver.

I, William H Ballenger, of Mahaska county, State of
Iowa, hereby locate the South East quarter
of Section No. thirty four in Township No. Seventy Six N of Range No.
fifteen West 5th Mer in the District of Lands subject to sale at the Land Office at
Iowa City, Iowa containing 160 acres, in satis-
faction of the attached Warrant numbered 12,389
Witness my hand this 10th day of April A.D. 1849
Charles Nealley [signature] Register.
                                                              William H Ballenger [signature]
Enos Lowe [signature] Receiver.

Land Office Iowa City, Iowa May 10 1849

WE HEREBY CERTIFY that the above location is correct, being in accordance with law and instruction.
Enos Lowe Receiver.
Charles Nealley Register


  1. The statement, "I, William H Ballenger, of Mahaska county, State of Iowa..." indicates that William was at living in Mahaska County by 19 April 1849, the date of this document. This is interesting and could be important because his marriage return dated 8 November 1849 was recorded in Scott County, Illinois on 8 November 1849.
What I learned

  1. This particular parcel of land was 160 acres (although that could also have been inferred from the legal description of the land).
  2. William himself signed this document. In this particular case, obtaining his signature was helpful because it eliminated any question as to whether this William H. Ballenger is the same man who settled on land in Boulder County, Colorado in December 1864 and August 1869. I have the Land Cash Entry File and the Homestead File for those transactions which also contain his signature and they are a match.
Part 5 is coming up...

Tip: Click on the image to view a larger version and then click on the back arrow button to return to this post. If the larger version isn't big enough try this: Windows users: hold down the Control key (Mac users hold down the Command key) and press the plus key to make it even bigger (minus key makes it smaller).

For a full list of posts in this series, go to Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems Compendium.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Whoa... how does Enos Lowe fit into this picture? Somewhat of a coincidence, eh?

  2. I keep asking myself if Enos Lowe is a coincidence! One of those little tidbits I'm filing this little factoid away in case something pops up. You never know...