Monday, May 9, 2011

The search for Marcellus' land - Mappy Monday

Marcellus White is "THE" brick wall in my ancestry at the moment. I have written numerous times about Marcellus and his elusiveness. I recently checked out The Family Tree Problem Solver, by Marsha Hoffman Rising, from my library with the wondrous idea that the book may lead me to a new line of inquiry. A chapter in the book call "Give me Land - Lots of Land" hit me smack in the face. I had never tried to locate land for Marcellus. He was a farmer and I have been told by family that the land still owned by the Whites has been in the family for many years. I did look for probate records for Marcellus, assuming his land would have been given to family, but Ray County, Missouri has no record of his death or any probate records.

Today I looked at numerous sources trying to locate land record information for Ray County, Missouri. I started at the Ray County GenWeb site and browsed the records there. No luck. Then I headed to the Missouri Digital Heritage website and located a Missouri Platbooks Collection. The collection includes Plat books for the state of Missouri dated from between 1920-1930, long after Marcellus died in 1898. But it dawned on me that if I could locate any land owned by a White in my family I might be able to trace it to Marcellus. I knew the White family had lived in the Grape Grove township of Ray County so I browsed that map. I located H.C. White listed as owning 200 acres of land. H.C. White, or Hugh Cleveland, was my 2nd great-grandfather and the third son of Marcellus.
The land is on section 25/26 and T.53N and R.27W. So what does that mean? Is it possible that Hugh received his land from his father? Marcellus' oldest son lived in another part of the county and did not own the land he farmed. The second oldest son lived with Hugh and appears to be farming the same land with him. Where to go from here?

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