Monday, October 3, 2011

A Look at a Cash Entry Land File - The Summary

It's time to wrap up our look at William H. Ballinger's land file in Boulder, Colorado Territory, and this series, after several interuptions called Life. What I originally ordered from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was a Cash Entry file. What I got was a pre-emption file which was a pleasant surprise.

Quick overview: From Part 1 and Part 4, files relating to cash sales of land by the federal government are often said to contain little information. However, please remember when ordering land files from The National Archives and Records Administration, several types of land entry case files are lumped together under Cash Entry.

For instance, the entryman may have begun the process of filing for a Homestead, then decided to pay for the land outright, rather than meeting the residency and other requirements for a homestead. Any paperwork created to that point will be in the case file.

Another example is that of the pre-emption file which is consistent with William's case. From
The act of 1841 permitted settlers to stake a claim of 160 acres (65 hectares) and after about 14 months of residence to purchase it from the government for as little as $1.25 an acre before it was offered for public sale.
(For an excellent explanation of pre-emption files, check out Dibs on Pre-emption and Private Land Claims from Susan's Genealogy Blog.)

These are reasons for going ahead and ordering those cash entry files, even though a true one probably doesn't contain much information (see Part 2).

Summary of William Ballinger's pre-emption file:

  1. Using the legal description, in Part 5, we were able to map the property and physically visit the area, which is not far from the town of Boulder, to see what it is like today.
  2. In Part 7, we discovered an oath William H. Ballenger signed himself. This is important because when I compare the signature from this document to the signature in the Military Bounty Land Warrant File in Mahaska County, Iowa (from the series Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems), there is no doubt in my mind that this is the same individual. Also, examining the composition of this family in the 1856 Mahaska County Iowa census further confirms this.
  3. The statement made by Calvin W. Ward in Part 8, showed us that William settled the property 5 December 1864 and built a 15 X 20 foot home (which is approximately the size of 2 large horse stalls). Not very large for a family of 8 with more children to come.

From the various documents in William's pre-emption file we can compile a simple timeline to incorporate into his overall timeline.
  • 5 December 1864 - William settled on his land and built a 15 x 20 foot home.
  • 3 April 1865 - William paid $200 for the 160 acres he settled on.
  • 1 December 1865 - The patent was issued.
  • 12 November 1892 - The patent was recorded with the Boulder County Recorder's Office.  No this is not a typo. The patent really was recorded in 1892! I obtained a copy of it from the Boulder County Recorder. Note: Back in Part 3 there was a notation on the right hand side of the cover sheet, "E. J. Moratti Oct. 18/92. M.I.G." I'm not sure what that meant but there was something going on with this property decades after the patent was issued.

As always there are questions that come up in our research. They never seem to end, do they?
  1. Why was the patent recorded with the Boulder County Recorder 27 years after it was issued?
  2. Who is Calvin Ward? What sort of relationship does he have to William Ballinger? When and under what circumstances did he meet William Ballinger? These questions caused me to place Calvin on my Persons of Interest List relative to William Ballinger.
  3. Why did William sell part of his property to Calvin in August of 1865?
Wait, what?? Question number 3 wasn't in the case file!! This was a discovery made during my research in the Boulder County Recorder's Office. There was a lawsuit filed too. There definitely was something going on with this property.

I'm just beginning to sort through this and more research will be required in the court records (if they still exist). So we will eventually return to this story.

For now remember the main point of this series (besides seeing what documents can be found in the various land entry case files): when it comes to Cash Entry files, you don't know what you are going to get until you see the case file. It could be a Cash Entry file, or a Homestead file (cut short because the entryman went ahead and purchased the land), or  pre-emption file. They all contain differing but valuable information.

  • William H. Ballinger (Boulder County) cash entry (pre-emption) file, certificate no. 244, Denver City, Colorado Territory, Land Office; Land Entry Papers, 1800-1908; Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49; National Archives, Washington D.C.
  • Boulder County, Colorado, Book 59: Pages 406-407, United States to William H. Ballinger, patent, 12 November 1892; Boulder County Recorder, Boulder
  • Boulder County, Colorado Territory, Book D: Pages 104-105, William H. and Lucinda Ballinger to Calvin Ward, Warranty Deed, 5 August 1865; Boulder County Recorder, Boulder.

  • Hone, E. Wade. Land & Property Research in the United States. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry, 1997. Print.
  • Bettag, Claire. Land Entry Papers: Federal Land Records at the National Archives. Handout from the National Archives 7th Annual Genealogy Fair held April 20 and 21, 2011. There is a link on this page for the handout.
  • Hawkins, Kenneth. Research in the Land Entry Files of the General Land Office.Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. 2009. Downloadable from NARA.
Previous Installations:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

To cite this post:

Michelle Goodrum, “A Look at a Cash Entry Land File - The Summary.” Michelle Goodrum, The Turning of Generations, 3 October 2011 : access date DD Month YYYY), para. XX.

Artwork compliments of Free Clip Art Now

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

1 comment:

  1. You are making me re-think this, I have never ordered one, wondering - - -