Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Homesteading in Kansas

I have been intrigued by my 3rd great uncle, Peter Dougherty. He moved from County Monaghan, Ireland to Prince Edward Island, Canada and then married Margaret Cairns. They had 4 children and then picked up and moved to Dickinson County, Kansas. The majority of my ancestors travelled from Ireland to Prince Edward Island and then on to New York, Boston or another Northeastern city.

A few years back I just located his census details and attached to my tree, not really digesting the information found inside. I was more concerned with making sure I had the right "Peter Dougherty" and his family.

When I was at the NYS Family History Conference, I mentioned to my friend Jen that I wanted to see if I could find out more information on the land but didn't know where to search. Maps are a bit overwhelming for me. Jen suggested that I check on the Bureau of Land Management web site. Jen pulled up her computer and we checked to see if we could find him. We went to "Search Documents", filtered for Kansas, and then searched his name "Peter Dougherty". The following result popped up.

Figure 1: Bureau of Land Management search result (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov) accessed 9/27/2016

That result looked intriguing. Jen clicked on the accession link to see what information could be accessed.

Figure 2: Bureau of Land Management accession record KS2710_.402 (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=KS2710__.402&docClass=STA&sid=vsdge50o.ppx) accessed 9/27/2016

It gets better.

Jen clicks on the Patent Image.

I have a physical description of where the land is located.

Figure 3: Except from Peter Dougherty homestead certificate 5467. Bureau of Land Management (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=KS2710__.402&docClass=STA&sid=vsdge50o.ppx#patentDetailsTabIndex=1) accessed 9/27/2016
I went home and went online to see if I could find any information from the land management tract book. Using the information from the BLM web site, I was able to locate the following entry.

Figure 4: Record from United States Bureau of Land Management Tract Books, 1800-c. 1955; pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32486-8553-33 accessed on FamilySearch on 9/27/2016

Before I put on my "To Do" list to request a copy of the application and deed paperwork for Dickinson County, I wanted to see if this information matched up with the Schedule 2 census I already pulled for Peter Dougherty.

Figure 5 : Line 5- Peter Dougherty - shows that he was farming 80 acres of land in Dickin County, KS. Census Year: 1880: Census Place: Banner, Dickinson, Kansas; Kansas; Archive Collection Number T1130; Roll: 19; Page: 11; Line 5; Schedule Type: Agriculture accessed on Ancestry.com 9/27/2016

Bingo - The Schedule 2 confirms that a Peter Dougherty owned 80 acres of land in Dickinson County, KS, which matches up with the patent record and land tract entry. 

I do have questions on why the Dougherty family moved from PEI, Canada to Kansas to farm. Hopefully, the deed application may fill in some gaps on what spurred my ancestors to migrate out West. 

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