The records that I needed for Clinton County, Illinois, are not accessible online and making a personal trip is not practical at this point due to other time commitments.

It’s important to remember the research goals when hiring or contracting any research. My goal is to try and document children of Harrison Ramsey who obtained federal land via land patents in two separate transactions in Clinton County, Illinois, in 1851. How long Harrison lived in Clinton County is not known, but he was styled as “of Clinton County” in the 1851 documents. As mentioned in an earlier post, one of these patents was obtained for military service of his son deceased Andrew.

The ultimate goal is to find paper documentation connecting Harrison Ramsey to a Lucinda Ramsey who married Andrew Trask in Clinton County in the late 1840s.

The items desired were:

  • land transactions where the property acquired by Harrison left his possession
  • possible estate/probate for his son Andrew Ramsey

I decided I did not need the record copy of the land patents for Harrison Ramsey that should have been recorded in the County Recorder’s Office–after those record copies are simply transcriptions of the land patents that I already have copies of. I did want the documents showing how the property left Harrison’s possession. Andrew Ramsey died at a relatively young age while he was enlisted in the military. It is remotely possible that an estate for him had to be opened up to receive any military pay that he was owed at his death. I also decided to have court records searched for Harrison, his wife Sarah, and Andrew as well.

My discussion of the research with the researcher indicated what my goals were, what records I wanted searched, and what amount of time would initially be a time limit. It’s always advised to mention the specific goals in addition to the desired records–locals familiar with actual records may have an additional suggestion based upon their personal knowledge of the local records.

As always, there’s no guarantee the goals will be met. There should be land deeds for the transfer of Harrison’s property–but there is always the possibility the deeds were not recorded or that the transaction was facilitated through some court action. If that’s the case, it is hopefully found through the search of court records. However, that may not be successful if the action is indexed by last names other than the ones in the research list.

Researchers don’t guarantee results. They search what’s agreed upon and find what’s there.

Stay tuned.





2 Responses

  1. Clinton county has a spotty at best early records. I know of many people who are known to have been here, but the records start 30,40 or 50 years after the records I want. I expect that for birth certs. Buy sadly its also true of marriage and death too. It makes me sad. Im so very glad i have fairly complete personal records in my family from this era.

    • I’ll have to wait to see what there is to discover. Fortunately this family may have some military benefit records which hopefully will augment whatever is found at the courthouse.

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