In “Do You Need to Match the Edges?” we looked at a homestead claim relinquishment” signed by John H. Aden in 1872. As indicated in that post, John H. Aden filed his initial claim to the property on 7 June 1872. Typically these claims are recorded in the tract book. There is no entry in the BLM tract book for section thirty in township 14 north 1 east for John H. Aden as shown in the image below.
There is an entry for Roolf J. Aden on the property he eventually homestead, but John H. Aden is not referenced as being an earlier claimant on the land. There are two other Adens who settled in the same section and they are likely relatives of Roolf or John H. Aden.
This raises an interesting research question and consideration. Typically researchers are advised to search these tract books for areas where their relatives are known to have homesteaded or patented land in order to locate patentees in the same general area who may have the same last name as the patentee or be known to the researcher.
I have seen incomplete or relinquished claims listed in the tract book and as we’ve mentioned in other blog posts, those claims can contain significant information.
But now I’m wondering:
How many of these relinquished claims do not appear in the tract book?
I don’t know. It could be that John H. Aden is a fluke.
Or maybe not.
Another example of why sometimes finding aids are not considered to be failsafe.