Thursday, October 18, 2012


Nathaniel Barker was 61 years old in 1855 when he received his second and
larger Land Bounty grant of 120 acres. In the application for that second grant
he says he had disposed of his original 1850 grant of 40 acres but doesn't say
how or why. He may have sold it or he may have set up either one of his sons
Nathaniel S. or Amos with it to start their own farm. I've no way of knowing
for sure at this time. 

Five years later in 1860 some things had changed. The 1860 Federal Census
shows that Nathaniel had real estate valued at $500 and personal estate of
$140. He was now 66 years old, and son Nathaniel S. Barker had returned to
the family farm with his wife, the former Lucy Coburn.  From the 1860
Agricultural Schedule I learned:

Nathaniel owned 300 acres of land, 50 acres of which were "Developed" and
250 "Undeveloped". His farm implements and machinery were worth $10

He owned one horse, three "milch cows", three "other cows"  and two sheep.
The total value of the livestock was $150 dollars. Those two sheep produced
6 pounds of wool and the cows 500 pounds of butter. The value of slaughtered
animals was $45.

Crop production included 6 bushels of "peas and beans", 100 bushels of
"Irish potatoes", and 9 tons of hay. It appears he also still raised "Indian Corn"
but the figure entered them is faded and illegible.

Sometime between 1860 and 1870, things changed. On the 1870 Census
Nathaniel and Huldah were no longer living on the farm in Albany. At age
77, Nathaniel was living with Huldah in Bethel. Maine but still working
at something or other because he was lasted as being a laborer. (His son
Nathaniel S Barker and his family were still at Albany on the farm
and doing quite well which I'll discuss later.) He'd already lived long past
the average lifespan for a male 19th century American and he wasn't done
yet, which is why Nathaniel was still around when Congress passed a new
War of 1812 Pension Act in March of 1878.

To be continued.


Chris said...

Here is the land patent for his first grant (40 acres in Palestine, Illinois):

And for his second grant (120 acres in Fort Dodge, Iowa):

The patents show that Nathaniel assigned his grants to other parties without taking possession himself.

Bill West said...

Wow Chris, thanks! That was goig to be the next step, to try to find where the land was. It never occurred to me that the land wasn't land in Maine!

Pat Richley-Erickson said...

Selling ones bounty land is common, as the elderly had no interest it taking up roots, traveling over 1,000 miles into virgin territory, staking a claim, clearing the land, building a home and turning the soil for the first time. Since your 3rd great grandfather was elderly, he fit the bill.

I've heard US military experts Craig R. Scott, CG and Rick Sayre, CG state the majority of 1812 bounty land warrants were assigned to another who paid the veteran soldier.

At this later stage in life money was more important than land. The federal government had plenty of land to give in support of these aged soldiers...