Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh, John? I'm Looking for You!

My heart sank as I went through the Grantee and Grantor Deed Index Books for Columbiana County. There was just one entry for John Ruppard between 1803-1850. Lots of entries showed up for Adam Rupert and Jacob Rupert during that time period. But just a single entry for John.

That entry (v9 p47) showed that John Ruppard and Barbara his wife and Andrew Richard Ruppard and Mary his wife of the county of Columbiana in consideration of the sum of $300 sold a parcel of land to Durs Walser in the SW 1/4 of Section 26 of Township 15 in Range 4, which quarter section was confirmed to John Ruppard by Patent under the hand of James Madison President dated the seventh day of December Annon Domini One Thousand eight hundred and nine... [description of the land...] containing 70 and 79/100 acres.

Bottom of page 47 in Columbiana County, Ohio deed book 9
from microfilm 926865 at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City
John Ruppard and Andrew Richard Ruppard selling land to Durs Walser
(As always, double-click on the images to view a larger version.)

Page 48 in Columbiana County, Ohio deed book 9

page 48 in Columbiana County, Ohio deed book 9
Signatures of John (in “German”), Andrew Richard, Mary, and Barbery Rupert/Rupard

That was nice, to say the least!

The deed confirmed that Barbara was John's wife. And, Township 15 in Range 4 is Hanover township. And that means that he is probably the John Rupert mentioned on page 157 in the “History of Columbiana County, Ohio” (Mack, 1879).
“John Rupert, a German, who upon his arrival in Baltimore from Germany, being unable to pay his passage money, was sold by the captain of the vessel to a person who, in consideration of receiving Rupert's services free for the ensuing three years, paid the captain's demand. Rupert lived in Hanover until his death, after reaching the age of one hundred years. The farm he owned is now owned by C. Pfeffer, in section 26, Hanover twp.
But just as interesting was the fact that John Ruppard had obtained the land by Patent. A quick search of the patent records at the BLM Website using his last name, as well as variations, brought up nothing. A search for township 15, range 4, section 26 displayed three entries – for the NW 1/4, the NE 1/4, and the SE 1/4. That was a bit confusing. What happened to the SW 1/4?

In a moment of serendipity later that day, I decided to take a look at the May issue of “Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library” that was still sitting in my email unread. That issue included an article by John D. Beatty on Ohio Public Land Records. Talking about the BLM database, Mr. Beatty states “While Ohio is represented, the database does not contain the names of those who bought land on credit before 1820.”

That could explain why John Ruppard does not show up in the BLM database! A trip to the Allen County Library will be forthcoming since “the records of Ohio’s public land sales, including those omitted from the GLO database, are available on microfilm in The Genealogy Center.” The article continues by providing a resource, also at the Genealogy Center, to find out whether an ancestor purchased land on credit.

There were two enticing grantor entries for “Conrad Yarian Exr etal” one in 1834 selling land to John Sheets and the other in 1842 selling land to Wm Ehrhart. From this entry in a WorldConnect database I knew that Catharina Rupert (presumed daughter of John Rupert) had married David Ehrhart.

In the 1834 entry, Conrad Yarian and George Snoke were the executors of the estate of John Snoke. For $2,000.00 they sold 190 and 75/100ths acres in the SW corner of Section 6 Township 8 Range 1 to George Sheets. Date of transaction was July 3, 1834. John Snoke (Snook) was married to Mary Rupert, daughter of Adam. I moved on to the next item.

As I began reading the deed record of the 1842 transaction (v33 p649), my heart skipped a beat and then started pumping faster. The names David Ehrhart and Conrod Yarian were there but the name John Rupart nearly jumped off the page! The record stated, in part:

“This Indenture made this sixth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty two between David Ehrhart and Conrod Yerrien Executors of the last will and testament of John Rupart late of the county of Columbiana and state of Ohio, deceased, of the one part and William Ehrhart of the same county and State of the other part witnesseth that whereas the said John Rupart by his said last will and testament did authorise, impower and require his said executors to grant, bargain and sell the West 1/2 of the South West 1/4 of Section 26 Township 15 Range 4 in the said county of Columbiana...”

Page 649 in Columbiana County, Ohio deed book 33
David Ehrhart & Conrod Yarian executors of John Rupart
Selling land to William Ehrhart

Page 650 in Columbiana County, Ohio deed book 33

It was almost “happy dance” time, but not quite. It still didn't prove that John was Eva's father. I was thrilled that I had found this because it meant that he DID have a will, and there would be estate papers! But when did John Rupert die?

I pulled microfilm (927750), which contained “Probate records, v. 11-13 1841-1846” and found an entry for the estate of John Rupert (I neglected to write down the volume number, but it was on page 360 and dated the August term of 1842, so probably book 11). But all it contained was the financial accounting of the final settlement of the estate. No mention of a distribution to heirs. It did, however, provide a clue to his date of death in an item for “Cash for Rent of Real estate” dated July 14, 1836.

Presuming that John died prior to July 14, 1836 when money was received for renting his land, I pulled the microfilm (2032650) “Estate records, no. 1694-1862 1834-1837” and went through the entire roll without finding anything on John Rupert. It had taken over an hour to read that roll of microfilm, looking at the names on the packets and hoping for positive results. I was concerned when I kept seeing the “Missing Packet” place holders and I was more than a little disappointed that I hadn't found the estate record for John. Was his one of the missing packets?


In Black and White: Cross-Cultural Genealogy said...

I love the leads that land deeds offer. It appears that your second and fourth images are full legal-sized deed pages: How did you manage to scan them full-sized?

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Kathryn Doyle said...

Thanks for sharing the details of your search for John. It's great to see you back into your research! (But I still love your photos from the road, too.)