Thursday, July 16, 2015

An 1848 Land Transaction in Lake County, Illinois

I might have been neglecting my blog for a while now, but by no means have I quit wanting to write. I've been caught up in other projects and besides it is summer and one's mind turns to gardens and just enjoying the days when it doesn't rain in Chicago Land.

This post is short and sweet. 

It was raining today, so I decided to sort out the papers in my paternal great-great-grandparents "pile" and found a photocopy of an 1848 transaction for land document that states the purchase was "paid in full by Jacob Smith and William Glass of Lake County, Illinois.

This is the first time I ever saw the name William Glass. I have no clue who he is let alone any connection other than what's on this document. Jacob Smith is my great-great-grandfather. I wrote about him and his family coming to America in the post of Sunday, February 8, 2015   1832: The Smidth Family Comes to America; Great Grandmother Born At Sea

There was a Henry Glass family in that part of Lake County, but I don't have a connection for William to them either. Henry is buried in Ivanhoe Cemetery; his headstone says "Confederate Soldier."  His wife was Minnie; their daughter Anna married my great uncle John Smith Snyder; she was John's second wife.

[By the way, I don't think either are related to my husband's family, but there is always the chance. My husband's Glass family came to Chicago the later part of the 1800s.]

So I will have yet another research avenue to travel through while tracking down this Glass. 

I believe this document could actually be a "land patent" because at the bottom in the signatures area are these words "...the Letters to be made PATENT..." Jacob and William would be the original owners of this tract of land. Cool! This document was under the Land Act of 1820. Many years later the Homestead Act was signed by President Lincoln in 1862.

I'm also interested in finding out where this land is in Lake County. More than likely two men purchasing 160 acres of land, it is farming acreage. I wonder if it could be where the old home and barn were located on Gilmer-Volo Rd just west of Ivanhoe a few miles. I believe it cost them $200 which was a lot of money back then (160 acres times $1.25 per acre). If they paid it in full -- which was a requirement -- how did they raise that much money?

[bold text denotes handwritten by a clerk]
Certificate No. 22.741
WHEREAS Jacob Smith and William Glass of Lake County Illinois, have deposited in the GENERAL LAND OFFICE of the United States, a Certificate of the REGISTER OF THE LAND OFFICE at Chicago whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said Jacob Smith and William Glass, according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled "An Act making further provision for the sale of the Public Lands," for the East half of the North West quarter, the North West quarter of the North West quarter and the North West quarter of the North East quarter of Section Twenty in Township Fortyfour of Range Ten, in the District of Lands subject to sale at Chicago Illinois, containing one hundred and Sixty acres, according to the official plat of the survey of the said Lands, returned to the General Land Office by the SURVEYOR GENERAL, which said that has been punched by the said Jacob Smith and William Glass,

NOW KNOW YE, That the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in consideration of the Premises, and in conformity with the several acts of Congress, in such case made and provided, HAVE GIVEN AND GRANTED, and by these presents DO GIVE AND GRANT, unto the said Jacob Smith and William Glass and to their heirs, the said tract above described: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the same, together with all the rights, privileges, immunities, and appurtenances of whatsoever nature, thereunto belonging, unto the said Jacob Smith and William Glass.

As tenants in common and not as joint tenants –

In Testimony Whereof, I, James K. Polk PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, have caused these Letters to be made PATENT, and the SEAL of the GENERAL LAND OFFICE to be hereunto affixed.

GIVEN under my hand, at the CITY OF WASHINGTON, the First day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Forty eight and of the INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATE the Seventy Second BY THE PRESIDENT: James K. Polk
By I.K. Stephans asst Sec'y
J.H.Langhlin RECORDER of the General Land Office.
According to the Wikipedia entry for the Land Act of 1820:"The Land Act of 1820 (ch. 51, 3 Stat. 566), enacted April 24, 1820, is the United States federal law that ended the ability to purchase the United States' public domain lands on a credit or installment system over four years, as previously established. The new law became effective July 1, 1820 and required full payment at the time of purchase and registration. But to encourage more sales and make them more affordable, Congress also reduced both the minimum price (from $2.00 to $1.25 per acre ($495 to $309/km²)) and the minimum size of a standard tract (from 160 to 80 acres (647,000 to 324,000 m²)). The minimum full payment now amounted to $100, rather than $320.[1] At the time, these lands were located on the frontier within the Congress Lands of Ohio and elsewhere in the Northwest Territory and Missouri Territory, in what was then "The West"."
I have no idea if Jacob and William continued to own this property. I have not been able to trace further on my Smith/Schmidt family. I haven't been able to find when they died or where they were buried. Could they be buried on homestead property or in a cemetery? I'm trying to get some time to go out to one of the cemeteries in the area. The last time I was there, they had construction equipment and paving machines in the cemetery and I have never had a convenient time to drive back up there. Oh well, one of these days.

So, I've got much work ahead of me. I should just stop sorting the piles...that is driving me to more distractions and sidetracking. ARRGGH!

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