Casefile Clues

17 March 2014

He Could Not Find His New Mexico Patent

This letter from 1924 appears in the homestead application of Montevill Harness.

There is no indication of what prompted the need for a copy of Montevill's patent, but this letter was addressed to John F. Simms in Albuquerque, New Mexico, appears in the homestead file.

Apparent carbon copy of letter dated 26 March 1924 to John F. Simms,
Homestead application of Montville Harness, Santa Fe Land Office,
Bureau of Land Management, Serial Patent 653766
Simms was an attorney who served for a short time on the New Mexico Supreme Court. My guess is that either Montevill was selling the property and needed to document ownership or he had died and his estate was being settled and the ownership needed to be documented.

There's a potential fly in the ointment here and a reason to obtain land records even though typically they don't reveal a great amount of detail. Montevill indicated that he was parted from his wife in his 1917 homestead application. Given his marital status at the time of his homestead application (married and not divorced), it will be interesting to see how the transfer of his property is handled--regardless of whether he sold it himself or it was transferred after his death. It may provide clues as to whether Montevill was divorced or not

Next step in the research process is to obtain land and property records from the county in New Mexico where the property was located.

Stay tuned.