Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dividing Family Lands

As family historians we share what we have gathered knowing we have given the time and done our best with what we've found.  We open and close our research with an open mind that something new may come to light down the line and that's o.k.

I begin this post with that statement because the information that follows contains some correction to facts that have been updated. It originally appeared that Belle's great grandparents Jacob and Mary Ann (Cornelius) Covert had obtained land in Mercer County as the result of the Bounty Lands Act for his service in the War of 1812.
  • He did serve in the War of 1812
  • He did purchase land in Mercer County
  • That land was not his bounty lands. (the search goes on for those acres which now appear to have been located in Butler County.

As the community around West Liberty, Butler County continued to grow, in April of 1856 Jacob made the decision to purchase one hundred acres of land along Wolf Creek in Liberty Twp., Mercer County. This tract was bought from James McClintock. It was a part of an original land grant to George Taylor. Once again the wagons were loaded and Jacob and Mary Ann along with their youngest son Jacob D. set off for this new land of opportunity.  While in those days transportation was by horse and wagon, the new location was only ten miles to the northwest from West Liberty, and the family continued to be active in both areas.

Three months after the move Jacob sold twenty-five acres of the new tract to his son-in-law John W. Campbell and nineteen acres to his son William.

During the same time period some of his adult children also made the move to Mercer County. They were Mariah who first married Henry Campbell and later, Wm. Dale; Isaac M. married (Belle's grandfather) to his second wife Nancy Campbell; as well as William married to Catherine Adams; Elizabeth Jane, married to John H. Campbell; and John V. married to Clara Taggart.  Jacob's son Lucas, married to Elsie Douglas, chose to move to Iowa between 1850 and 1860.  Daughter, Rose Ann married before the family move and settled with her husband, James Thompson in Cherry Twp, Butler County. He was a casualty of the Civil War and she later married Thomas Campbell and a third time to John Turk. Maps of that time also indicate that other families from the West Liberty area moved to Mercer County also.

Several of these names can be seen on the map above along the northern border of the township near Wolf Creek. For a closer look: 

Being in their seventh decades, Jacob and Mary Ann built their new home along Wolf Creek just southwest of the village of Pine which would later become Grove City. They were probably glad to sit back and watch the family grow surrounded by grandchildren to dote on. Their youngest son, Jacob Decalb Covert lived with them and he and his wife, Sarah (Bixler), raised their family there.

Land records also show that in 1864 Jacob sold property to a granddaughter, Mary E. (Campbell) Miller. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Jane (Covert) Campbell. Mary had recently been widowed when her husband James Y. Miller was a casualty of the Civil War. Her husband's family lived in the area as well and it appears everyone came together in helping her become settled nearby to raise her two children. This sales agreement also stated that Isaac M. was a co-seller but no earlier deed from Jacob to Isaac has been found. The 1860 census of Liberty Twp. records that Isaac M. owned real estate. Yet another land record mystery.

Jacob also sold property to George Clupper, the husband of a niece, Isabella (Vogan) Clupper.  Isabella was the daughter of Jacob's sister Sarah (Covert) Vogan and she and her husband were residing with Isabella.

The last tract of land, eight and one half acres, that Jacob sold was too James Christy in 1868. This left Jacob about fifty-three acres of the original one hundred he purchased in 1856. Those acres were bequeathed to his youngest son, Jacob Decalb Covert.

Having acquired many acres of land over the years, Jacob could go to his grave knowing he had provided well for his family. In his eighties Jacob wrote his will in which he stated that he was leaving his home and acreage to his youngest son Jacob Decalb Covert. To his other living sons he gave one dollar since he had helped them with their lands earlier and his living daughters five dollars. His remaining assets were left to his beloved wife, Mary Ann.

excerpt from a Covert Family research project I am co-authoring.
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