Thursday, April 28, 2011

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems -Summary of William Ballenger's Military Warrant File

We have reviewed and analyzed the Military Land Warrant of William Ballenger and the deed of sale of the property to Jeremiah J. Ballenger. Today it's time for the "final report".

Each document in the file represents one of the steps in obtaining the land.

Step 1: A warrant was issued to Christopher Rian for his service in the Mexican-American War on 20 March 1848. See Part 7.

Step 2: Christopher Rian sold the warrant to William H. Ballenger on 17 February 1849. See Part 8.

Step 3: William located the property he wanted in Mahaska County, Iowa, took the warrant to the Land Office in Iowa City on 10 April 1849 and filled out the appropriate paperwork to notify them of his intention to claim the property. See Part 4 and Part 5.

Step 4: The patent, which granted William ownership of the land, was subsequently issued. The patent was not actually in the file obtained from NARA but is available for viewing at Bureau of Land Management(BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site.

We can use some of the information from the file to fill in William Ballenger's timeline from 1848 to 1856 more thoroughly.

Remember this 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).


Numerous questions still beg an answer:

  1. Who is Christopher Rian?
  2. Is William associated or related to Christopher Rian somehow?
  3. Why does William want property in Iowa? What's the push or pull factor?
  4. Who are Jeremiah J. Ballinger and Samuel Ballinger?
  5. When did William leave Scott County, Illinois for Mahaska County, Iowa?
I hope examining this Military Land Warrant File has helped you to understand the kinds of information that can be obtained by obtaining one from NARA. We have gained some valuable information about the life of William Ballenger by examining this file. It hasn't directly answered my question of, "Who were William Ballenger's parents?" but many valuable clues have been unearthed and I am confident they will eventually help to answer this question when combined and correlated with other data.

Note: My timeline format is a slightly modified version of one that Miriam Robbins Midkif of Ancestories uses. She wrote about it in her post, Using Timelines.

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

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, April 25, 2011

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems - Part 9

After a short break, today we return to the William Ballenger/Christopher Rian Military Land Warrant File. If you want to review the posts to date, check out the Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems Compendium. We have reviewed the documents in the file as well as the deed of sale when William later sold the property.

In Part 1, when we looked at the Bureau of Land Management website, there were some other Ballinger/Ballengers listed in Mahaska County, Iowa. Today let's look at the legal description of their land and map their property in relation to William's.

First, here are the legal descriptions. Remember this 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).



Here are the properties plotted out. I have bolded the dividing lines between the different ranges and townships and included arrows to point out which is which. Remember the viewing TIP from above.


I immediately note the proximity of the various Ballenger/Ballingers to each other. To me this indicates a possible relationship between some or all of these men. Using the various censuses to look for additional clues to analyze and correlate this information might be helpful. Perhaps in another future series...

We're almost done. Stay tuned just a little bit longer.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Old Spagetti Factory - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

One of our family's favorite restaurants that has spanned several generations is The Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Seattle. As a kid, my family would go there for a family occasion with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Now that I am a parent, I understand why The Old Spaghetti Factory was the restaurant of choice; it's casual and noisy, which is perfect for kids, and it's relatively inexpensive.

Two things stick out from childhood experiences there. First, one time, when the restaurant was really busy, the adults wanted to wait in the bar but in Washington State, minors cannot even put their big toe in a bar. Since our party was large, tables were set up in such a way that the adults were sitting inside the bar and the kids were out in the very large waiting area. We thought that was pretty wild.

Second, one of my cousins was very social, so by the time we left the restaurant, we had a full report on all the people sitting near us, and on the way to the restroom. Including why they were having dinner there and pretty much their life story!

Once we moved to Phoenix and started our own family, we continued the tradition of eating at the restaurant in downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue. We would take the kids there for dinner on New Year's Eve and if we were really lucky would score a table in the cable car!

Oh, and one more thing. My favorite dish: spagetti with clam sauce and a side of misithra cheese.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, by Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts to encourage people to record memories and insights about their lives for future descendants. It's not necessary to be a blogger to join in. Just record your memories on your own if you wish.



© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bow Down To Washington - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History


My parents were big fans of college sports, particularly the University of Washington Huskies. I don’t ever remember them not having Husky Basketball tickets. They had Husky Football season tickets all through the Don James years and beyond. When the Huskies earned their berth in the 1978 Rose Bowl, their first Rose Bowl trip in many years, Mom and Dad were all about getting tickets to the Rose Bowl. For me, a high school senior, that meant my first trip to Disney Land ever!

So for our whirlwind trip to So Cal, we took in Disney, Universal Studios, New Years Eve at the Bonaventure Hotel and on New Year’s morning, the Rose Parade, and then the Rose Bowl later that day. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember too much about the game except the cheerleaders getting the Husky fans to do an early version of “the wave” starting at the bottom of the stands and going to the top.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts to encourage people to record memories and insights about their lives for future descendants. It's not necessary to be a blogger to join in. Just record your memories on your own if you wish.


© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Desert Daisies - Wordless Wednesday

These desert daisies are trying to establish a foothold in what is not considered the best year for wildflowers in the southwest.






© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, April 11, 2011

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems - Part 8

Today we look at the last document in William Ballenger's Military Land Warrant File. First we will look at  a clue and what I learned. Below that section you will find a transcription that basically says Christopher Rian sold his warrant to William H. Ballenger. For an image of the document, look at the very bottom of this post.

Clues:
  • Christopher Rian did not know how to write his name.
What I learned:

  • William purchased the warrant for 160 acres on 17 February 1849 at Winchester, Scott County, Illinois.
Question:

  • William didn't actually sign this document. So does this put him in Winchester, Illinois on 17 February 1849 when the transaction occurred?

Transcription:
For value received I do hereby sell and assign


unto William H Ballenger all my right and
title to the within certificate or warrant No. 12389
for 160 acres of land . Witness my hand this 17th day
                                                    his
of February AD 1849 Christopher X Rian
                                                   mark
Acknowledged before me this 17th day of February
AD 1849
Attest Joseph H Berry
Jos. H Berry Justice of the Peace Scott County
D Johnson Illinois


State of Illinois
                       SS I Ornshe Wayrice[?] Clerk of the County Commis
Scott County
sioners Court and Recorder of Civil Commissions within and for Said County
Do hereby certify that Joseph W Berry Esq Whose name appears
to the above acknowledgments was on the date thereof an Acting
Justice of the Peace, within & for Said County of Scott duly Elected
and Commissioned and as Such full faith & credit is and Should
be given to all his official acts as Such
In testimony whereof I have hereunto Set
my hand and affixed the Seal of Said Court
at my office in Winchester this 17th day
of February AD 1840
Ornshe Wayrice[?] Clerk
C.C.C.S.C



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).




© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, April 8, 2011

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems - Part 7

After getting slightly out of order, I am back on track (I think).

So today we look at the next document in William Ballenger's Military Land Warrant File.

First the transcript, then the clues gleaned from the document. An image of the original will appear at the bottom of this post.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Office of the Commissioner of Pensions.

IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED, that the Land Warrant No. 12389 for 160 acres
has been issued in the name of Christopher Rian, Private
in Captain Montgomery's Company -
1st Regiment Illinois volunteers,
under the date of March 20th, 1848 - and will be deposited
in the GENERAL LAND OFFICE, at the Seat of Government, and that,
pursuant to the provisions of the subjoined ninth section of the Act of Congress,
approved on the 11th day of February, 1847, entitled "An act to raise for a limited
time an additional military force, and for other purposes," this Certificate of right
to locate said warrant on any quarter Section of land subject
to private entry, will be received at any of the Land Offices of the United States,
under the regulations and restrictions set forth in the accompanying statement of the
Commissioner of the General Land Office.


After the location of this Certificate, it is to be surrendered to the General
Land Office, whence the PATENT will issue.


GIVEN under my hand, at the Pension Office,
this 20th day of March, 1848


J. S. Edwards [signature]
Commissioner of Pensions.
By F[?] S. Evans

[notation below is to the left of the signatures]
Claimant
Winchester
Scott - Co:
Ills:

Clues:
  • On 20 March 1848, Christopher Rian’s land warrant was issued for his military service.
  • The notation “Claimant Winchester Scott – Co: Ills:” is a big clue since William and Lucinda Ballenger’s marriage return was filed in that location in November 1849.
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).

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems - Part 6a



Looks like I did an oops and got slightly ahead of myself! I stated in my last post that we were finished with William's Military Land Warrant File. There were two more documents we have not yet examined! Hang in there...I'm trying to!

Photo by Thundafunda

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems - Part 6

We have been reviewing the documents in the Military Land Warrant File of William H. Ballenger. While we are finished with that file, there is much more to look at in relation to William's property, particularly as it relates to answering the question of who were William's parents. Today we take a look at what William did with this particular piece of property by looking at the deed recorded at the time of the sale. I will start with a summary of what information was gleaned from this deed and follow with a transcription.

Summary
  • On 7 March 1854 William H. and Lucinda Ballenger sold 160 acres, with the same description as the land acquired in the file we have been studying, to Jeremiah J. Ballenger.
  • Price was $300.
  • Samuel Ballenger was the witness.
  • The deed was filed on 20 April 1854 and recorded 22 April 1854.
The significance of his transaction lies in who the land was sold to (Jeremiah J. Ballenger) and who the witness was (Samuel Ballenger). My theory is they are brothers or possibly some other relation.

Transcription

[left hand margin is written “34-76-15”]



Wm H Ballenger etux
To Deed
JJ Ballinger

Filed for Record April 20th 1854 at 1
O'Clock PM & Recorded April 22nd 1854

For the consideration Three hundred dollars we hereby convey
unto Jeremiah J Ballinger the following tract of land Situated
in the County of Mahaska in the State of Iowa. Viz: the South
East Quarter of section Thirty four in Township Seventy six No

[page] 557


of Range fifteen West containing one hundred and Sixty acres
And we warrant the title to the same to the said Jeremiah J Ballinger
against all Persons whomsoever. Executed this Seventh day of March
AD 1854 in presence of
Samuel Ballinger

W H. Ballinger
Lucinda Ballinger


State of Iowa, Mahaska County ss
Before me Samuel Kirby a Justice of the Peace in and
For said County personally appeared the above named William H.
Ballinger and Lucinda Ballinger personally known to me to be the
identical persons whose names appeared in the foregoing Deed as grantors
and acknowledged the above instrument to be their voluntary act
and deed for the purposes there in expressed. Given under my
hand this 1 day of April AD 1854
Samuel Kirby
Justice of the Peace


Henry Blackburn recorder Mahaska County Iowa.

Source:
Iowa. Mahaska County. Deeds, 1853-54, Volume E.  County Recorder’s Office, Oskaloosa. FHL microfilm 972968. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT.

Note: When I obtained the copy of this deed, at the Family History Library, the copy was made on an 11x17 piece of paper which is difficult to scan, especially considering the quality of the original isn't that good. So I haven't attempted to put an image in this post.


© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Busy as a Bee - Wordless Wednesday

Spring has arrived in the Sonoran Desert. The bees are out doing their work among the desert marigolds on this particular day.



© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How Do You Organize Your Blog Reading?

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum One of the things I love about blogging is that sometimes you read a post that causes the light bulb to go on. Such was the case with Roots and Rambles, Where I Get My Information post by Marian Pierre-Louis.


Marian talked about how she uses folders in Google Reader to manage her blog reading. I’m probably going to embarrass myself here, but for some reason, using folders to organize blogs I read had not occurred to me! Duh. With over 350 blog subscriptions, it was becoming difficult to keep up and also not get sucked into spending all of my time reading blogs.

Here are the folders I set up:
  • Must read
  • Top Blogs
  • Non Genealogy
  • Read With Time
  • Rarely Posts
I find I’m getting through my reading much faster and am now able to pick and choose what I read based on how much time I have or simply what mood I’m in. One unforeseen benefit is that when an item shows up under Rarely Posts, I get right to it because I know it’s someone I don’t hear from as often but I want to read what they have to say.
So now I’m really curious. If you use folders to organize your blog reading, what folders have you set up?

Photo by p. Gordon


© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum