Tuesday, December 05, 2023

A Cancelled Land Transaction in an Arkansas Tract Book

Over Thanksgiving break, I found an entry in the US Bureau of Land Management Tract Books for a William C Cook. The transaction is noted as cancelled on Oct 14th 1881. This makes sense as Wm C Cook passed in January of 1882 and his wife Elizabeth died from a fall in September of 1880. William & Elizabeth's older sons traveled to Arkansas in the early 1880s. Cass B Cook, youngest son of William Clifford Cook received the family bible which contained several clippings that seemed to suggest that might have been planned to travel to Arkansas during the 1870s.  I was able to come up with that date by finding digitized papers which contained the ads using my Newspapers.com subscription.

"United States Bureau of Land Management Tract Books, 1800-c. 1955," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9W3-7QR8?cc=2074276&wc=M7W3-VM9%3A356162401%2C356168701 : 12 June 2023), Arkansas > Vol 10 > image 161 of 313; Records Improvement, Bureau of Land Management, Washington D.C.

At Newspapers.com

I've placed an order with a document retrieval company for the Case Entry File of the cancelled transaction of William C Cook.  Hopefully, the file can be found.  While I'm waiting I took the time to look at the transactions surrounding the cancelled one of Cook as well as to note the names and locations of those on adjacent land.   I did this using the search at Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records search.

HistoryGeo,com makes it easier to see the earliest land owners.

Section 12
Township 18N Range 3W

One interesting find so far is the Benj. F Austin.  I am familiar with him.  In 1850, the ancestors of several of my DNA matches were living in Dickson Co TN.  These matches have ancestry in common with the Hall, Estes, Cathey, Marsh and Goodwin lines of that area.  I've yet to determine the exact connection but can tell my connection to those matches comes from my PGF's ancestors. At this point I feel like they are more likely in the King / Manire line judging by the shared matches rather than in the Cook line. but with tangled roots it's hard to say for sure.  😀

I would recommend the book Land and Property Research in the United States by E. Wade Hone for anyone who is researching ancestry in the US.  It was very helpful in finding answers about where to look and what documents to expect.  You should be able to find it at several of the online bookstores and maybe even at your local library. Consult WorldCat, Bookfinder, Thriftbooks or your favorite search engine.  If you use the Chrome Browser, you might also find the Library Extension useful when searching for books.

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