Thursday, March 31, 2011

Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems - Part 5

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 the Land Warrant Certificate which is the next document in William's file. Today I'll start with what I learned from this document, then the transcription and finally an image of the original.

What I learned
  • William inspected his property on or about 6 April 1849. Then on the 10th he went in to the Iowa City land office and filed this particular certificate. This puts William in Iowa the first half of April 1849.
  • He requested his land patent to be sent to Oskaloosa, Iowa which is in Mahaska County where his property is located. It's probably the nearest post office.


I William H Ballenger being desirous of locating
the South East quarter of Section No. fifteen West
5th Mer, in the District of lands subject to sale at the Land Office at Iowa City
Iowa with the attached Military Land Warrant Certificate, No. 12,389 issued under
the provisions of the ninth Section of the Act of Congress, approved February 11th, 1847,
do solemnly swear that from my own knowledge of the fact, after actual inspection of
the said tract of land, on or about the 6th day of April
A. D. 1849, there was not at that time, an actual settlement and cultivation upon any part
of said land, nor was there any person or persons
residing upon it; And I do
verily believe that there is no actual settlement and cultivation
or any person or persons residing upon any part of said land at this time.

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this
10th day of April A. D. 1849                     William H Ballenger [signature]

Register of the Land Office
Charles Nealley [signature]

I request my patent to be sent to Oskaloosa, Iowa
William H Ballenger [signature]

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© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. When someone requested that an important document be sent to "a town", did it mean that all mail was held in General Delivery for pickup? If so, for how long? Wonder what sort of ID you needed to pick up your mail? Just facial recognition?

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