27 November 2014

Documenting Migration in Homestead Files

Affidavits in virtually any record can contain unexpected clues. 

This 1887 statement made by Renke Kaiser in the homestead application of Jurgen T. Ehmen of Dawson County, Nebraska, documents how long the men have known each other. Kaiser indicates that he has known Ehmen for over twenty years and that Ehmen lived in Adams County, Illinois, until 1870 and then in Knox County, Illinois, until 1880 and then in Grand Island, Nebraska, until September of 1882 and then on his tract in Dawson County, Nebraska.

I knew Ehmen was in Adams County, Illinois, and eventually ended up in Dawson County, Nebraska, but was unaware of his residence in Knox County, Illinois. Hopefully Kaiser's testimony is accurate and his knowledge of the information firsthand. Some witnesses' answers to this question are vague and not as detailed as Kaiser's answer is. Kaiser also does not indicate whether or not he lived near Ehmen in these locations, only that he has known him for over twenty years.

Note: this image was taken from "Nebraska, Homestead, Records, 1861-1936."

Note 2: Ehmen is a first cousin of Focke Goldenstein, my ancestor who also homesteaded in Dawson County, Nebraska.