Casefile Clues

02 December 2012

A Confederate Claim that is Not Mine

Names that are common present obvious research problems.

Names that are extremely rare have their own challenges although there are advantages to searching for names that are highly unique.

Sometimes names that are in between have their own issues as well. is the person yours or not? The name is rare enough to make you wonder, but common enough to make you think it could be another person of the same name.

A search of Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms  on Fold3 resulted in the location of a claim for man named Asa Landon, not the most common of names. I am also researching a man named Asa Landon and the Asa of interest lived in nearby Missouri in 1860. Is this Confederate Asa my Asa? Unassuming researchers, following those ever present "leaves" on Ancestry.com might be tempted to say "yes." I was not so tempted, but I was curious.

This claim was paid to Landon in Ft. Nelson, Arkansas in 1863. Research was actually focused on an Asa Landon, born about 1796 in Canada who lived in Winnebago County, Illinois, in 1850; in Union County, Iowa, in the 1850s; and in Christian County, Missouri, in 1860. At some point, before the 1871 Canadian census, Asa heads back to Canada where he eventually dies.

So is that Asa Landon in the Confederate Papers the Asa for whom I am looking? Or is it another Asa?

Determining if there are other Asa Landons in the area who could be the claimant one of the first steps.

A Soundex-search for "Asa Landon" on Ancestry.com in 1860 resulted in the following matches:



Asa Landon
Kendall, Kendall, Illinois
abt 1792
Connecticut
Asa Landon 
Benton, Christian, Missouri
abt 1798
New York
Asa Landon
Rockland, Ontonagon, Michigan
abt 1823
Canada
Asa Landon
Alford, Berkshire, Massachusetts
abt 1838
Connecticut
Asa HLandon
Hartford, Warren, Iowa
abt 1839
Ohio
Asa Landon
Monegaw, St Clair, Missouri
abt 1843
Canada
Asa Landon
Elk Horn, Carroll, Illinois
abt 1854
Illinois
Asa Lanton 
Dummerston, Windham, Vermont
abt 1797
Vermont
Asa Lanydin
Marcellon, Columbia, Wisconsin
abt 1838
Ohio
Asa C Linton
Mantua, Gloucester, New Jersey
abt 1797
Pennsylvania
Asa London
Wrightsville, York, Pennsylvania
abt 1808
New York


One might be tempted to think that the Christian County, Missouri, Asa is the one who filed the claim. The 1860 census search seems to indicate they could be the same man. This may or may not be the case. And there is nothing in the claim that indicates Asa was in the United States in 1860. He may very well have not been. The census search could have easily missed other Asa Landons because the names were spelled incorrectly, transcribed incorrectly, etc.  A search of the 1870 census is in order as well.

That search located several Asa Landons--the first one on the alphabetical list appears to be a better match for the Asa who filed the claim and not the Asa in Christian County, Missouri, in 1860. This 1870 Asa would have been the right age in 1863 to have filed a claim.

Asa Landon
Cotton Plant, Woodruff, Arkansas
abt 1826
Canada
Male
Azro H Landon
[Asa Landon
Vergennes, Addison, Vermont
abt 1833
Vermont
Male
Asa H Landon
Maple, Monona, Iowa
abt 1841
Missouri
Male
Asa Landon
Monegaw, St Clair, Missouri
abt 1844
Canada
Male
Asa Landon
Elkhorn Grove, Carroll, Illinois
abt 1854
Illinois
Male
Asa Landon
Monegaw, St Clair, Missouri
abt 1866
Illinois
Male
Asa Lindan
Chicago Ward 19, Cook, Illinois
abt 1869
Illinois
Male
Asa London
Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri
abt 1808
New York
Male

Have I completed an exhaustive search? No. Based upon these census enumerations, it appears to me that the Asa who filed the claim in 1863 is not the one for whom I am looking that lived in Christian County, Missouri in 1860. If I wanted to be even more certain, I could track the Woodruff County Asa Landon more. 

At this point, I'm not certain that's necessary. My research notes indicate why I think that the Asa who filed the claim is not "mine." And later if I need to revisit the research, I can. 

It's also important to keep in mind the research goals on "my" Asa Landon. He is my step-3rd great-grandfather whose family (including his step-children) left southern Missouri and returned north during the American Civil War. His step-daughter indicated in later years that they family had no connection with their step-father or half siblings after that point in time.

My research is focused on Asa's wife (who died before 1856 in either Illinois or Iowa) and her first husband.  It doesn't look like this claim even involves my Asa and, if it does, it's unlikely to help me in my actual search.