Casefile Clues

06 April 2013

Twelve Years to Purchase Federal Land

It took twelve years for the federal land purchase of Thomas Rampley in Coshocton County, Ohio, to be complete. This was partially due to this federal purchase being made on credit and also because Rampley died before the purchase could be complete.

This image is part of the final certificate that was issued to James Shores who actually completed the Rampley purchase in what is now Coshocton County, Ohio's Jackson Township. The complete credit under file contains documentation of the claim.

Federal land records are an underutilized resource. The land patents on the Bureau of Land Management website are only the tip of the iceberg. The documentation to prove the claim is in the records of the National Archives. Sales like this one typically have little information--unless there is a death during the process.

I usually don't obtain copies of the cash land sales myself--unless there is something out of the ordinary about the claim, or I'm simply desperate for information on the person.