Monthly Archives: August 2012

Huge Breakthrough Made for a Client

Okay.  So it’s been a good while since I have posted anything in my blog.  After a recently discovery for a client of mine; I decided this would be a great find to share.

I have been assisting this client for a while now; searching for the parents of her ancestor; Robert H. Forrester.  My client had always believed his father’s name was William; based on information that had been passed down.  However; I try not to dwell too much on that kind of information.  Since there was nothing documenting the father’s name; I tried to keep my mind and eyes open; and this search went on.

What We Knew

Robert was found on the 1850 census of Itawamba County, Mississippi; with his mother and siblings.  He was 10 years old at that time.  The eldest child in the household was 21 years old; and had been born in Alabama.  All other children; down through Robert; were also born in Alabama.  The youngest child; a 9 year old girl; had been born in Mississippi.

Based on the ages and birth places of the children; I was able to easily determine that the parents must have left Alabama about 1840; soon after Robert was born; and before the last child was born.  There was an Isaac Forrester living nearby in 1850; whom I suspected was also a child of the unknown father and his wife, Mary.

As the search progressed; I had found that there was an Isaac Forrester; who had two Land Patents, in Itawamba County; in 1844.  The Isaac whom I had found near Mary in 1850; was too young to have had land in 1844.  So… I knew this was an older Isaac.  He really peaked my interest; since there seemed to be a son named Isaac.  However; I knew nothing of this older Isaac; but certainly wanted to find out more.

As I often do; I turned to the deed records; in hopes of finding answers or clues.  In searching the microfilmed deed indexes for Itawamba County; I found no transactions for Isaac.  Since I could not find this older Isaac on the 1850 census; I suspected he had died.  Often times; when a father died; his heirs would often sell the land they had inherited; within a few years of his death.  There did not seem to be any deeds for the family until late in the 1850’s; and one in 1860.  I decided I should look at those deeds.  The deed index listed three deeds that I thought I should take a look at.


One of the deeds I had found; was a transaction in 1860; in which Mary and her children were selling a couple of pieces of land.  Because the Mother and children were all a party to the sell of the land; I knew this must have been land inherited by the husband and father.  However; normally; with these types of deeds; the deed would refer to the grantors as “heirs of _____”.  This one did not.  I was initially disappointed.  However; I knew I need to take a closer look at the deed; and really analyze it.

The deed referred to a section of land in the SE Quarter of Section 26 of Township 8 and Range 10E.  It also referred to a section in the NW Quarter of Section 36, Township 8, and Range 10E.  Since the original Land Patents I found gave the Section, Township and Range numbers of the land; I decided to go back and look at Isaac’s Land Patents in 1844.  Low and behold; the land being sold by Mary and her children; were parts of those same two Land Patents of Isaac!  They were selling land that had belonged to Isaac.

A Good Lesson

Although this deed did not refer to Mary and her children as “heirs of”; I was still able to determine whose land this had been; and thus found documentation that the husband of Mary; and father of Robert (and his siblings) was Isaac Forrester.

I have since found Isaac on the 1840 and 1830 census, in Dallas County, Alabama.  Now off to find his parents.

I know I have said this before; but deeds are a great source of finding parents and other relatives.  It’s not easy finding answers in deeds.  It does often take a lot of time; and some deep studying and analyzing.  However; they often times hold answers to many questions.

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Deeds