09 June 2013

A Declaration in an Incomplete Homestead Application

This declaration of intention to become a citizen was made out by John H. Ufkes in August of 1871 in Hancock County, Illinois.

But that's not where I located this copy of John's intent as the county's record of these intents from the 1870s are no longer extant.

This declaration was in John's incomplete homestead application file for land in Franklin County, Nebraska. In order to start the homestead claim process, John had to show that he at least had started the naturalization process. If he had completed his homestead claim in Nebraska, he would have had to have been a citizen by the time was time to submit final proof for his claim.

Because John did not remain on this homestead, the claim was never finalized and there is no paperwork in the file on John past 1871.

Did your ancestor start a claim and not finish it? There still may be excellent information in the file even if the claim was never completed.

This image is from the cover of the packet of papers that comprises John's incomplete claim.

Researchers familiar with the records will know that there's enough information in this image so that anyone could obtain the complete file from the National Archives. It's posted as a reminder that we don't include formal citations in this blog, but do include enough information in every post so that the original information could be located.

John returned to Hancock County, Illinois, where he married and eventually naturalized.