Friday, May 5, 2023

Pursuing the Property


Sometimes, we need to dig deeply to discover the names of ancestral daughters. In this month's case, attempting to learn the names of all the daughters of William Ijams and Elizabeth Howard does indeed mean digging through property records. The question is whether there were more than the two daughters I already know about: my mother-in-law's third great-grandmother, Sarah Howard Ijams, and her sister, Comfort.

Their father's 1815 will, as we saw yesterday, neglected to name any of his daughters, though in the collective he did refer to them in his instructions to divide his property. In one particular line in which he specified property to be divided among his daughters, we can possibly extrapolate a sense that there were more than two.

My line of thinking: first check to see whether—and thus, when—the property was sold. Handily for us, William Ijams' will mentioned the specific property in question in just the terms we need to follow through with this research plan. According to his will, the property was identified as the southeast quarter of section twenty nine, township 17, range 17, in Fairfield County, Ohio.

As a first step, looking at Fairfield County's Index to Grantors for letters G through O during the nineteenth century, it is fairly easy to find all entries for the surname Ijams. From that point, looking specifically for the property's identifying numbers, 17-17-29, we can follow the history of who sold the Ijams property and who bought it, year by year.

Of course, it's not all that easy to determine the answer to our final question regarding the daughters' names. Remember, the property was to be sold, and the money proceeding from the sale was to be divided among the daughters. For that information, I'll need to take a few extra steps. But it is my hunch that names appearing among the grantees in these Ijams exchanges might point me toward other interested parties, especially William Ijams' kin, either by blood or by marriage.


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