There is something gratifying about finding your ancestor’s name in a record, particularly one that is not indexed.

This image is part of the entry for Thomas J. Rampley from the Bureau of Land Management Tract books for Ohio. And while these books are not indexed by name, there is organization. It is just that the organization is by location and not by name. I knew that Thomas made an initial payment for property in Section 5 of township 5-7 in Coshocton County, Ohio. The location was the information that allowed me to locate this reference. The tract books cannot easily be searched by name only.

This reference styles Thomas as “of Coshocton County, Ohio” on 15 November 1817. This is the earliest document I have that provides evidence of his residence in Ohio. 

The image shown here is just part of the image–there is a right hand page as well which contains more payment information. And there’s another man who made his initial payment for property in the same section on the same date. 
From other sources, I already knew the other man was an associate of my ancestor and knew him back in Harford County, Maryland, where Thomas was from. I will look at the names of other men purchasing property in the same section. A map of the township would also be helpful and (in this case) the township to the north should be a part of my search as well because section 5 is along the northern line of the township.




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