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Need an Explanation Please

Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 6 Apr 2011 4:39AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have Finley ancestors who settled in Dallas County, Missouri in 1842. They occupied a parcel of land for 30+ years. There is a family cemetery on that property where they are buried so I know the land belonged to them.

The problem is, that exact land was bought from the US government in 1874 by a family named Ownby. I can find no record of the Finleys buying or selling any property in the area. How could my Finleys have lived on that land for 30 years when it was government land until 1874?

Could the Finleys have lived on that property, making improvements, for 30 years without purchasing it? There is no question that they occupied the property from 1842-1870s. Can anyone explain how this could happen?

Re: Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 6 Apr 2011 10:59AM GMT
Classification: Query
This is an interesting case. I've found that in Michigan sometimes land patents were never recorded, or they were recorded late in order to clear up a chain of title issue. Your case is hard to judge without looking at all the possible angles. Have you looked at the BLM site?

http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabI...

I looked for Ownby and Finley surnames in Dallas County, MO and there is information you might be able to use. Are there any tax, probate or court case records for you to examine - for either surname? There may have been things going on aside from a normal transfer of land title, with any deed never properly recorded or recorded years after the event occured.

Bob Gaudio

Re: Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 6 Apr 2011 5:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for responding to my post. Yes, I have searched BLM records. I am very familiar with the people and land owners of Dallas County of that era and this is just stumping me.

There is a problem with court records as the Dallas Co. courthouse burned three times during the Civil War, the last time being in 1867. That is a big part of my problem.

My main question is how could this land have been my Finley land for 30+ years (1842-1874) & yet the first transfer of ownership from the government to a private individual (Ownby) occurs in 1874?

I found one other notation in my old land notes which said “only the “paid real money” land buyers are listed in the BLM.” However that note was from years ago and now I can’t find any reference to that situation.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Re: Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 6 Apr 2011 8:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Another thought. Are/were abstract of title documents used in Missouri? If so, perhaps the current land owner, or a neighbor has one. It may predate the court house fires.

Bob Gaudio

Re: Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 6 Apr 2011 9:11PM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes, I have an old abstract on another parcel in that area, it was for another ancestor. So they do exist if they can be found. It was just dumb luck that I found that one. It was in a drawer in an air-conditioning repair shop……..long story.

My research partner made a trip to the property and talked to the present owners. They gave her what little info that they had. That info was from the Ownbys who bought that land in 1874 to the present. Nothing before that, or as early as 1842. One of the Finley sons was a witness on the land transaction when the Ownbys purchased the land from the govt in 1874. I don’t have the land transaction, only the notes from the present owners.

I have a letter, half drafted, that I intend to send to the landowners of the property in question to see if they had any additional info. So your suggestion that a neighbor may have an abstract is a good one. I’ll check with the surrounding land owners also.

It is a mystery how the land could have belonged to my Finleys 30 years before the government sold it to Ownby. Obviously I am missing something here.

Re: Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 6 Apr 2011 10:37PM GMT
Classification: Query
I would like to know what progress you make in your search. I am working on an early 1900's case here in Michigan where a 4 rod X 4 rod portion of a parcel was excepted in a land transaction and has somehow gotten lost in the chain of title. The excepted protion contains a structure which happens to be a mausoleum.

I have found abstracts at garage sales!

Bob Gaudio

Re: Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 6 Apr 2011 11:50PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 6 Apr 2011 11:51PM GMT
I wish I were closer to Dallas County, MO because if I had the time to go knocking on doors, digging through courthouse records & talking to long time residents, I could probably come up with some answers. Unfortunately I am on the west coast.

Property with burials on it is sometimes set aside (the portion with the burials) from later sales/transactions & designated as cemeteries. Some are just sold with the land as it passes from one owner to the next as my Finley property was. The little family graveyard is in someone’s back yard.

I have an ancestor’s property in Hamilton Co., Illinois and in Dallas County, MO, 1850s, where he built a church and started a cemetery on both parcels. In each case the cemetery & church/chapel were set aside/excepted in further transactions.

It seems that early 1900s transactions would be easier to track than early 1800s, but if your luck runs like mine, the only missing records are for the property that I am trying to follow.

If I ever figure out the circumstances surrounding my mystery I will indeed post it as it may help someone else.
Cindy

Re: Need an Explanation Please

Posted: 7 Aug 2012 5:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have found cases like this before in Oregon. What happens is you have have to live on a piece of land for a number of years before you can get a patent on it, and many people delayed things even further after that. What could have happened in your case is that the Finleys lived on the land for 30 years and then sold their rights to the claim by deed to the Ownbys.

It might be a good idea to call up a surveyor in Dallas County, and ask them if they've seen such cases before in the area.
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