Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Finding the Taylor County, Iowa Properties of Devier J. Smith

I've been transcribing land deeds of my second great-grandfather, Devier J. Smith (1839-1894), in Taylor County, Iowa in my weekly Amanuensis Monday series.  I summarized all of the deeds in  Organizing the Taylor County, Iowa Land Deeds of Ranslow Smith and Devier J. Smith (posted 22 July 2014).

In the process, I identified the properties that Devier J. Smith held deeds between 1867 and 1875 in Taylor County, using the Federal Land terminology (Township, Range, Section, Aliquot part) as:

*  Township 68 North in Range 34 West, Section 23, Southwest quarter

*  Township 67 North in Range 33 West, Section 18, part of Lot 3

*  Township 67 North in Range 34 West, Section 11, Southeast quarter of Southwest quarter

*  Township 67 North in Range 34 West, Section 14, Northeast quarter of Northeast quarter

*  Township 69 North in Range 34 West, Section 7, South 72 acres of Southwest quarter

Now I want to find out where these properties were.  I've used the Earthpoint.us Township and Range website before, which creates a file readable by Google Earth, which then "flies" to the specific section and draws a box around it.

On the Earthpoint.us Township and Range Search by Description page (http://earthpoint.us/TownshipsSearchByDescription.aspx), I entered the Township number, Range number, and section number into the search fields for the first location on the list above:

When I clicked on the "Fly To On Google Earth" button, a file was downloaded to my computer.

When I click on that file to open it on my computer, Google Earth (a free program already on my computer) opened with a picture of the Earth, and then Google Earth "flew" (zoomed in) to the specific section in the defined township and range.  Here is the Google Earth image for the first location on the list:

The purple box around Section 23 in Township 68N and Range 34W is shown above.  The section is just north of the present town of Bedford in Taylor County, Iowa.

I did the same thing for all five of the locations on the list above.  Here is an overview of all five property locations:

I believe that Devier J. Smith's family resided on the Township 68N, Range 34W, Section 23 property.  The Southwest quarter of this section is outlined in red on the image below:

A look at the Google Map for this area helps me figure out how to get there:

The southwest quarter land appears to be bounded by highway 148 (Bent Street) on the west and highway 2 (Pollock Blvd) on the south.  The Taylor County Historical Museum is just across the street on the northwest corner of that intersection.  I wonder if they have any information about my second great-grandfather Devier J. Smith?

I've done a similar exercise for Devier's adoptive father, Ranslow Smith (1805-1873).

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/07/finding-taylor-county-iowa-properties.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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