Casefile Clues

01 February 2013

Mapping out the Claimants

It is not the fanciest of pictures, but it served my purpose. Sometimes fancy is not necessary in order for the researcher to get an idea of the lay of the land.

I've been analyzing entries in the Bureau of Land Management tract books for the area near where my family homesteaded in the 1880s. To help get me organized, I decided to create a map of the area and include the names of families who had some connection to my ancestor Foke Goldenstein. This map does that--for Willm and Jurgen Ehmen and Antje and Cornelia Albers. When I went to mapping the properties, I realized that the Albers ladies claimed and later abandonded the same eighty acre piece of property.  That didnt "click" when I read their names on the tract book.

The red lines on the map are the section lines. Each square represents one square mile or 640 acres.

Jurgen Ehmen gave up his claim as well and, according to the map made from the tract books, William claimed part of his abandonded claim.

If you'd like to know more about searching the tract books, we've got a recorded webinar on the topic.