Tuesday, May 18, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #20 - Gov. Land Office Records

Evans Land Records in Vandalia, Fayette Co., Illinois

I've used the Bureau of Land Management - Government Land Office  web site to search for Federal land records of my ancestors for many years so I felt up to this week's Challenge #52 to do some further exploring and play around some with the search engines there. The first thing I noticed is they have more records added than when I last visited which gave me new places to check out.

I ended up back with some of the records I was already familiar with and those were the records of my early Evans ancestors. Jeremiah Evans and at least three of his sons, John, Aikens and Simeon (my ancestor), bought land in Vandalia, Fayette Co. Illinois back in the early 1800s. What I failed to notice before was the date on Simeon's record was over 6 months after his death. Since these purchases were prepaid I suppose it's fairly safe to assume the land remained in his wife's possession. However, she and her minor children returned to their home state of Virginia not long after Simeon's death. It would be interesting to know who ended up with the land. Did she sell it to his father or one of his brothers?  

So, this little exercise brought some new questions to be answered, another challenge to take on! 

Note: For those in my family who might not be sure who our Evan's kin were, I will explain. Hopefully most of you know of my great grandfather, Oliver Morton Wallen who wrote "the Diary" (see my blog: "In The Beginning..."). His wife was Sarah Frances Davis. Sarah's father was John Miller Davis, John's mother was Mary Ann Evans. Mary Ann's father was Simeon Evans, Simeon's father was Jeremiah. Clear as mud, right?


1 comment:

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