30 October 2014

Selling A Land Warrant for $47.00

Estate inventories and sale lists tend to be household and items that a relative used in the course of his daily life. At times these listings can provide a glimpse into our ancestor's life and clues as to his occupation.

Sometimes they can give us more.

On 8 May 1852 near Keithsburg, Mercer County, Illinois, there was a sale to settle up the affairs of James Kile. One of the items sold was a land warrant.

That's as specific as the description gets: land warrant.

There's no mention of how James obtained the warrant, but there are likely two ways:

  • he had military service and the warrant was based upon his eligibility for a land warrant based upon his documentation of that service
  • he had purchased the land warrant from someone else.
A land warrant entitles the holder to a specific amount of acreage within the federal lands available at that point in time. Federal land warrants usually don't mention a specific piece of property. The patent, which actually transfers real property title from the federal government to a private individual does that. The warrant indicates the holder is entitled to so much land but the patent specifies where that land is located.

How did James come to get the warrant?

We're working on that...stay tuned.

And you thought estate inventories were just about livestock, plows, and butter churns.