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


  1. From these documents were you ever able to determine who his parents were, Michelle?

  2. Nancy, I am still working on answering that question. This has turned into a lesson on just how difficult and tedious genealogical research can be! I do believe that these documents (and many others) will eventually help me answer the question of who William's parents were.

    I'm feeling like this could become one of Thomas Jones presentations. Now if I only had his skill...