The deed was located easily in the Bedford County Virginia land records (Deed Book 18, page 100–digital image made from FamilySearch). On 17 January 1823, Harrison and Sally Ramsey (of Bedford County, Virginia) sold to Nathaniel Strange (of the same place) thirty-three acres in Bedford County for $33. Their thirty-three “parcel” wasn’t technically a tract or parcel at all. It was an “undivided part of a certain tract of land patented in the name of James Orrey which said land have been confirmed to Sally Ramsey and James Moses and John Parker by an act of the Legislature Made & Provided…”
That “certain tract of land” was a 206 acre parcel of property on the side of the Blue Ridge on the waters of Otter Creek. But who was James Orrey? And why was the Virginia Legislature involved?
As mentioned earlier, the deed was easy to locate. The grantor and grantee indexes to Bedford County’s land records were searched for Harrison Ramsey before this deed was located. The typewritten indexes were obviously not ones that were created contemporaneously to the recording of the records. Originally I was concerned because the only reference to Harrison or Sally that I could find in the grantor and grantee indexes was this one reference to them in the grantee index. I originally thought that either the grantor index had missed a reference or I had missed the reference in the grantor index myself–after all, if the Harrisons sold the property, they needed to acquire it in some way. It was also possible that the Harrisons had acquired the property in a way that did not result in a recorded deed. Instead of looking for the “missing” grantor index reference, I decided to just look at the deed and see what it said. The reference to the act of the Virginia Legislature explained why I likely didn’t have a deed transferring property to the Harrisons.
I figured out why there was no Harrison and Sally Ramsey reference in the grantee index. But now I still had questions.