Friday, October 19, 2012


As I've been writing these posts about my 3x great grandfather Nathaniel
Barker and his War of 1812 Pension and Land Bounty file, I've included
information about Nathaniel's farm. I did this because I made an assumption
that at least one of those land grants was reflected in the size of his farm,
especially in 1860, and that the land he received was in Maine.

It was a faulty assumption.

Last night distant cousin Chris Dunham of the Maine Genealogy Network
sent a comment on my last post in this series that included the links to
Nathaniel's land patents. They are located at the U.S. Department of the
Interior Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records site.
The first one was the 1850 grant of 40 acres:

As you can see, it wasn't located in Maine. It was in Palestine , Illinois.
Here's the second grant from 1855 of 120 acres:

Again, the land is not in Maine, it's at Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Now, Nathaniel never moved to Iowa nor did any of his children. So what
happened to the land. Well, you can't see it on the above images(because I
was having trouble with my PDF to JPEG converter so I had to use the "Snipping
Tool") but Nathaniel "assigned" both patents to another person. Further down
the page in the first image the land is assigned to a  David A. Hall. The second,
larger grant of 1855 went to a  Israel Loucks.  I can't believe that Nathaniel
simply gave 160 acres away so it's probable Nathaniel sold the land to Mr. Hall
and Mr. Laucks.

On the Land Office Records site there's a tab on the Patent image that says
"Related Documents".  That window included other transactions involving
both men. Hall was assigned land by two other veterans for a total of 120 acres,
including Nathaniel's patent. Loucks did the same in 1855, gaining three grants,
totaling 360m acres. Were Hall and Laucks land speculators, acquiring the land
grant patents from the original recipients and reselling them for a profit? I
don't know yet, and I'm certainly not going to make another assumption.

I still have Nathaniel's cash pension to discuss, and there is question about
Nathaniel's farm after that to blog abut.

And thanks, Chris Dunham, for finding these land patent images for me!


Patti Browning said...


Though I suspect it's simply a typo, I wanted to jump in and correct the city mentioned in the first land grant you featured. There is no Palantine, IL but there are two places in IL with similar names. There is a Palatine, IL (in Cook County) but I am certain this is not the place referenced in the grant. The correct city is Palestine, IL (in Crawford County.) Palestine was the location of one of the district offices of the GLO.

Bill West said...

Thanks for the heads up, Patti. TYpo corrected! :)