Casefile Clues

01 June 2014

Finding Grass When I Was Not Looking For It

This was an unintentional find while searching for land records in Adams County, Illinois. Sometimes the accidental finds are the best ones.

While working my way to the "H" section of the grantor index for Adams County, Illinois, I stopped the microfilm at the "G" section to see where I was and an index entry for Bertus Grass literally popped out at me on the page. I wrote down the book and page number and went back to my assigned task. Copying the record would not take much time, but I was not going to get sidetracked.

Deed Dated 19 October 1883,
Adams County, Illinois, Deed Book 100: 619; obtained on microfilm
at Family History Library. 

I knew that my uncle Bertus Grass and his wife Anna G. Grass had lived in Adams County, Illinois, for a while in the 1880s. What I was not aware of was that he owned a mill in Payson--which was the subject of this quit claim deed in 1883.

Going forward, I'll need to determine when Grass acquired the property by searching the grantee indexes for Bertus. There should be an entry as Grass probably acquired the property through a purchase instead of an inheritance as his parents and his in-laws were in Germany.

It is also somewhat unusual that the Grasses were in Payson. The Grasses were one of hundreds of Ostfriesen immigrants to Adams County, Illinois, but the majority of those immigrants settled in the immediate vicinity of Golden. Goes to show that people don't always settle precisely where we think they "should." Grass may have had to settle in a slightly different area as there is only so much mill work to go around.

It always pays to keep your eyes open.

In my notes on Bertus, I'll make a note that this reference was a "stumbleupon" find. That way I don't think I forgot to locate the deed of purchase.