Trying to pin down your ancestors land in Ohio is not an easy task. I attended a lecture on land years ago at the Seattle Genealogical Society and the instructor declined to discuss Ohio because it was very complicated.
Ohio was the first state to move to the Federal Land system. So your first step is to identify whether the land was Federal or State land. In this case, Ohio is Federal, however, before all that happened there were State land states laying claim to land, Revolutionary War soldiers claims and various Companies/Individuals that took over control of the land sales in the State of Ohio. See the Map below that shows Ohio all divided up, it is not detailed as you will need but it is a start.
When I was discussing Solomon Goss (Jr.) and Polly Devol Goss’s migration to Hardin County in the posts I have written on the son on this blog, I mentioned that Solomon, the son, sold the land he inherited from his father’s will. He sold this land in 1832 in Fearing Twp. and migrated to Hardin Co., Ohio.
Here is the deed of that sale:
Solomon Goss & [wife] Deed to To John Leedham )
This Indenture made the 4th day of April in the Year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two between Solomon Goss of Fearing Township, in the county of Washington and State of Ohio, and Mary C. Goss, wife to the said Solomon Goss of the one part, and John Leedham of township, County and State aforesaid of the other part Withnefsth. That we the said Solomon and Mary C. Gofs, fore and in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars to us in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained, sold, alien, _____and confirmed, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, alien, ______and confirm to the said John Leedham are certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Washington aforesaid and in the township of Fearing, butted and bounded as follows, viz., lying in section number eighteen of the third township and eighth range, beginning at the Northwest corner at a stake were a hickory 8 inches in diameter bears S 41o W 15 lks. and a bush 8 inches diameter bears S 28 o E 33 links, thence running south twenty five chains to a stake where a beach 16 inches diameter bears S 80 o W forty two links and a Suzan tree 20 inches diameter bears N 30 o W twenty-two links, thence running East forty chains to where a White Oak 15 inches diameter bears S 31 o E five links, and a dog wood Saphlen 5 inches diameter bears N 30 o W 7 links, thence running north twenty-five chains to a stake where a white oak bears N 37 o E six links and a hickory 10 inches diameter bears S 44 o W 22 lks., thence running west to the place of beginning, and is lot No. 82 in the plan of survey, containing one hundred acres: and is the same land bequeathed to the aforesaid Solomon Gofs by the last will and testament of Solomon Gofs, his father, which will and testament bears date in the year of our Lord of one thousand eight hundred and ten, twenty-sixth day of March. Together with all profits and commodities, hereto belonging and in any wise appurtaining and with all its appurtenances: To have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land with all its appurtenances unto unto the said John Leedham, his heirs and assigns forever, and we Solomon Gofs and Mary C. Gofs, for ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators do covenant that they will forever warrant and defend the said trait or parcel of land unto the said John Leedham his heirs and assigns. In witnesfs whereof, we the said Solomon Gofs and Mary C. have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals the day and year first above written.
Signed, sealed and delivered Solomon Goss (LS)
In presence of Mary C. Gofs (LS)
Robert Legat, Randolph Fearing
State of Ohio ) Before me the subscriber a Justice of the peace
Washington County ) in and for said County personally appeared Solomon Gofs
and acknowledge the signing (LS) to be his free and voluntary act and deed. Also Mary C. Gofs, who being examined separate from her said husband, and being by me made acquainted of the contents acknowledges that she signed the same of her own will and accord without any fear or coertion of her said husband, and by pursonal knowledge I am satisfied that Solomon Gofs and Mary his wife are the pursons set forth in said deed. Given under my hand and seal this 16 day of April 1832, Robert Leget Justice Peace
State of Ohio ) Marietta April 20th Anno Domina 1832
Washington County ) the foregoing is a true record from the original
[Attest], Dale H. Buell, Recording
Source: Recorder of Deeds, Washington County, Ohio, Grantor Solomon Goss and wife Mary C. Goss to John Leedham 4th April, 1832, FHL#941411, Vol. 22, page 324.
This deed is also featured in the book: The Leedham Letters, written by John Leedham from Washington Co., Ohio in 1818 to 1838 page 75 to 77, compiled and transcribed by Marilyn Handell Horton, a copy at the Special Collections, Marietta College.
I took the description of the land of Solomon Goss as written up in the above deed and using the information in that and other information I was able to pin down where in the township of Fearing his land was to be found. I also had other help from a man of the Marietta, Ohio Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He paved the way for me by find a copy of the deed and contacted the owner in 2011.
In 1832, Washington County, Ohio was pretty much established in its present borders but it did under go some township changes to get where it is today. You might want to review my post on an overview of Washington county just to get and idea of what was happening. It is a couple of posts back from the date of this post.
So Fearing Township is north of Marietta Township and sort of in the middle of the county. (Click on the map above with your mouse, right-click and make a choice just be careful when you close the window that you return to this blog.)
Washington County was pretty much dominated by the Ohio Land Company. You can see by this map that they had a big chuck in the southeastern part of Ohio. Open the map up to get a view and see just how carved up Ohio was. It was the first state where the federal lands were established.
There is a booklet: Donation Lands in the Ohio Company Purchase, Settlers Receiving allotments in the Donation Tract as Listed in the Ohio Company Records, Dawes Memorial Library, Marietta College, Transcribed by Gena Bucher. It has a list of the first proprietors which you can search at their online Marietta College Special Collection. It also has maps which attempt to explain this very confusing land settlement.
Source: Washington County, Ohio Map, Seven Ranges Survey, Congressional Lands, Ohio River Survey, Congressional Lands, Donation Tract of April 21, 1792, by L. R. Kocher, Woolkoch Publishing. These are a series of land survey maps with ranges and townships and more detail that you could purchase for individual counties unfortunately it looks like it has closed for I cannot get a fix on it online.
In the above map photo you can see that there are all these squares with numbers in Twp. 3. but in the northern part there are diagonal lines these represent the Donation Tract.
You can find this map at the Washington County Genealogical Society website but beware some of the links are broken. You can do searches. You can also find information at the Marietta College Special Collections website.
The 1875 Atlas of Washington County, features a good version of Fearing Township. http://www.historicmapworks.com/Atlas/US/7575/Washington+County+1875/ You might find this atlas in a large library with a good genealogical selection. Look for lot 82.
To get to Lot 82 in Fearing Twp. you will drive the highway almost to the town of Whipple, and then turn right onto Whipple Road. (Because is it private land you will need to ask me for more details to the land.) You will go off the highway onto black top or gravel roads. Some of the roads are rutted and the area is hilly so be ready and careful.
I visited with the owner back in 2011 and he was thinking of selling. He had been on the land about 80 years along with his parents. He had a dairy farm for years but now was raising cattle. He had lost his wife several years past. His children had land around him. I did call him before I visited.
The problem is, I cannot find a deed showing Solomon Goss’s purchase of this land. I have found bits and pieces and will share those with you in the next post. Again if you want more information and would like to visit the land of Solomon Goss, please leave a comment and I will find you.