Sunday, April 1, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 13 – The Old Homestead

The theme for this week is “The Old Homestead.” It was during the Civil War, in May of 1862 when the United States Congress passed the Homestead Act. I believe that 6 of my ancestors chose to use that legislation and gain “free” land: 2 in Oregon, 3 in Kansas and 1 in Nebraska.

So who were my “Homesteaders”? I'll begin with those from Oregon. My 2nd gt-grandfather, Commodore Perry O'Neal, received a patent dated 30 Jun 1891 for 164.53 acres located adjacent to land he had purchased in 1870. This was about 4 miles west of the town of Creswell in Lane County, Oregon. His son-in-law John Howard Bond, my gt-grandfather, received his patent about a year earlier, 28 May 1890, for 160 acres located about 2 miles northwest of Commodore Perry's land. John sold his land in 1893 and moved across the Cascade Mountains to Gilliam County Oregon where he stayed about 10 years before moving back to the Willamette Valley. Commodore Perry stayed on his land until his death in 1919. He had deeded his land to his 3 sons about 2 months before he died.

In Kansas, my gt-grandfather, Nathan Elias Albertson, received his patent 28 Sep 1893 for 160 acres in McPherson township, Sherman County Kansas. As I noted in a blog post about his homesteading last year, 9 Sep 2017, it was located about 10 miles southwest of the County Seat, Goodland Kansas.1 Before the 1900 census he had moved to another township in the County, Washington Township, about 2 ½ miles west of the town of Edson Kansas.

Nathan's future daughter-in-law's (Lucie Rachel Smalley) grandfather, my 2nd gt-grandfather, Joshua Rodney Shipman had a homestead also in Washington Township. His patent was dated 23 Sep 1893 for 159.28 acres, located about 2 ½ miles southwest of the town of Edson.

Lucie's other grandfather, another of my 2nd gt-grandfathers, John Wilson Smalley received his patent 29 Apr 1893 for 160 acres in Itasca Township, Sherman County, Kansas. This was a mile east of Goodland and so was about 5 miles west of where Nathan lived in Washington Township.

It was one of my 3rd gt-grandmothers who received the patent to a homestead in Nebraska, Lucy Irene Chase (the mother-in-law to Joshua Rodney Shipman.) Lucy's husband Timothy had originally filed for the homestead, but died in 1877 before it was finalized. She received the patent for 80 acres 30 Jun 1879 as his widow. This land was in Atlanta Township, Saline County Nebraska.

Knowing that some who filed for homesteads did not complete the process, I was glad to discover that at least 6 of my ancestors did the required work and were issued patents. Maybe I should also be thankful to the U.S. Congress for passing such a law so my family had the opportunity to be landowners.

1The blog post about Nathan Elias Albertson's homestead is at:

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