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.