Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 4

In post #3, we learned of 4 Goodwin men listed in the Putnam Co., IN Deed Grantor's Index who were selling off their 1/7th shares of land in Putnam Co., IN. The descriptions of the land provided in the index matched the lands that were patented by Dred Godwin in 1838. Could they have been selling off land they received as legacies from the estate of Dred Godwin? To find out, the actual deeds were ordered from my local family history library and reviewed.

Deeds can provide valuable genealogical information like familial relationships, including names of the wives of deed holders, current or prior residence information, and transfer of land between deed holders. They oftentimes also contain information about who the holder of the original land patent was as all land parcels were originally distributed via patent (or grant).

According to the Putnam Co., IN Grantors Deed index, the deeds of Joshua, Scion, Nathan, and Jonathan were recorded in Putnam County IN deed book R on pages 116, 120, and 310. I ordered the film from my local Family History Library. Deed books Q and R are contained on Film no. 1315560 (covers the years 1852-1853). The film arrived within a couple of weeks.

Our local Family History Library has a new digital microfilm reader that lets you scan images from the microfilm. I scanned copies of these 4 deeds. I have included snippets of them below.

Here are some interesting facts about these original deeds:

1) In the index, these men were listed as "Goodwins" however in the actual deeds, their names were listed as "Godwin."

Joshua Godwin Deed

2) The land being sold is listed as the "undivided 1/7th part descended to said _____ Godwin as one of the seven heirs and legal representatives of Natheldred Godwin deceased..."

Sion Godwin Deed

3) Sarah Godwin, and not Jonathan, is listed as the actual "heir" of Natheldred Godwin: "eighty acres which said seventh undivided part descended to said Sarah Godwin as one of the seven heirs and legal representatives of Natheldread Godwin, deceased, ..." Although Jonathan Godwin was the actual grantor selling the land, with his wife, Sarah Godwin, agreeing to the sale. The deed also mentioned that Jonathan and Sarah Godwin were living in Vigo County, IN at the time the deed was executed.

Jonathan and Sarah Godwin Deed

4) Nathan Godwin and his wife, Elizabeth Godwin sold his 1/7th share off in 1852. This mention of his wife separates him from the many other Nathan Godwins in the area at this time. This Nathan Godwin married to Elizabeth was born about 1807 in NC. He was the Nathan Godwin who had purchased a land grant that I mentioned in post no. 3 - Nathan and his wife Elizabeth sold this land off to George Lucas in 1839. They were last seen in Parke Co., Indiana in the 1860 census report with son Natheldred Godwin.

Nathan and Elizabeth Godwin Deed

Through the review of these deed records 4 of the 7 "heirs" of Natheldred "Dred" Godwin were identified. These deed records provided valuable information about the grantors, including their wives' names, where they lived, and where they obtained the land from, ie, it was land descended to them from Natheldred Godwin, deceased. They also were very clear about exactly which grantor inherited the land which was important in the case of Jonathan and Sarah Godwin/Godden who were 1st cousins!

But what about the other 3/7th shares?

The 1850 census report mentioned in post 2 listed one of Dred Godwin's daughters - Margaret Godwin. Is it possible she received a 1/7th share as well? Find out in the upcoming Part 5 of the "Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin" blog series.

Related Posts:

Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 1
Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 2
Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 3
Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 5

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finding the heirs of Ethedred Godwin - Part 3

In the first post of this series we were introduced to Etheldred Godwin, one of two or three brothers who moved from Randolph Co., NC to Clay and Putnam Counties, IN between 1828 and 1830. They might have wanted to move to Indiana for a couple of reasons: (1) the land was better for farming (2) they were Quakers and there was a movement of Quakers into this area of Indiana.

At least two Godwin brothers made the journey together - Nathan and Etheldred Godwin - both of whom were born in the late 1770s. Etheldred Godwin and his family remained in Putnam Co., IN until his death in 1852. Nathan Godwin removed to Perry Co., IL, where he died in 1833. In the second post of this series, we were introduced to a possible third brother - Enoch Godwin - who was connected to the family of Jonathan and Sarah Godden. We met Jonathan and Sarah Godden, who were married in Putnam Co., Indiana in 1844, while evaluating the sources used in tracking the life of Sion Godwin, who has been identified as a possible son of Etheldred Godwin.

Sion Godwin was listed on the 1880 Larimer Co., CO census report as "brother" to Margaret Sabin. Margaret Godwin had married George Sabin in Putnam Co., IN in January of 1853. Both Margaret and Sion Godwin had been enumerated previously in the household of Etheldred Godwin in 1850, along with Joshua Godwin.

So far, 3 possible children of Etheldred Godwin have been identified - Margaret, Joshua, and Cyon/Sion/Scion Godwin. However, Godwin cousins were popping up all over the map in IN, IL, and IA census reports! After all, it was possible there were 3 brothers who came to Indiana and with them came several children each - many of whom were given the same names. Sorting through which Godwin children belonged to which Godwin brother became a more and more daunting task.

In order to piece together the Godwins of Putnam Co., IN, the first thing I did was collect all of the land grant records for each Godwin. I went to the Bureau of Land Management's website and did a search for "Godwin" in Putnam Co., IN. Three records came up - two for "Netheldre(a)d" Godwin and one for "Nathan" Godwin. The latter Nathan Godwin was not the same Nathan who was Dred's brother, as he had died in 1833 in Perry Co., IL. Dred Godwin had applied for two separate patents of 40 acres each for land in Putnam Co., IN. The first was issued on Sept 1st, 1838, the second was issued 4 days later on Sept 5th, 1838.
Here are the land descriptions for the two tracts of land Dred Godwin patented:

(1) The north east quarter of the north west quarter of section 17, township 12 north, range 5 west

(2) The south west quarter of the north west quarter of section 8, township 12 north, range 5 west

Land in Indiana was divided according to the Public Land Survey System, sometimes known as the "Rectangular Survey System." According to a basic Section Township map, sections 8 and 17 are in close proximity to each other. Below is a schematic of how a Section township map should look like:

Dred Godwin purchased a total of 80 acres from the State of Indiana. My next step is to then see if this land was sold to anyone. The subsequent transfer of land was recorded in "deeds." I ordered the Putnam Co., IN Deed Index for Grantors (sellers) from my local Family History Library (Film no. 1315537) to see if and when Dred Godwin sold this land. I looked through all the Godwin deed entries. Although I did not find an entry for Dred Godwin selling off these two parcels of land, I did find several "Goodwin" entries all lumped together. Each Goodwin entry had two tracts of land being sold in 1852 and a couple of them mentioned a "1/7th part" which caught my attention.

Goodwins mentioned in Putnam Co., IN Deed Index (Grantors) in 1852:

Sion Goodwin
Jonathan Goodwin
Nathan Goodwin
Joshua Goodwin

Each entry in the index for these 4 men was for a 1/7th share (each) of the same two tracts of land:
(1) The north east quarter of the north west quarter of section 17, township 12 north, range 5 west
(2) The south west quarter of the north west quarter of section 8, township 12 north, range 5 west

Sound familiar? They should! These two tracts of land were the exact tracts of land that Etheldred Godwin originally patented from the Viciennes, Indiana Land Office in 1838!

And what about the grantor names? At least two of those names are somewhat familiar - two males by the name of Joshua and Sion Godwin had been enumerated with Dred Godwin on the 1850 Putnam Co., IN census report.

Being "1/7th shares" of these two tracts of land indicates that this land was heired to "7" descendants of Dred Godwin. An indepth review of the actual deeds might indicate a relationship between Dred Godwin and these heirs. This will be discussed in the next post of this series.

Related Posts:
Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 1
Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 2
Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 4
Finding the Heirs of Etheldred Godwin - Part 5

Thursday, June 4, 2009

DeedMapper(tm) Software

Last night I attended my first Durham-Orange Genealogical Society Meeting (DOGS).  The guest speaker was Mr. Jim Jones who gave a presentation on his research project - Mapping the North Carolina Land Grants of Wake County at the time of its formation in 1771 (also to include the Granville Grants) - using the DeedMapper(tm) software distributed by the Direct Line Software company.

When Mr. Jones started his research project, he requested copies of all of the North Carolina Land Grants issued in Wake County, although not present day Wake County, but how it was laid out at the time of its formation in 1771.  He also requested copies of the Granville Grants which were issued from the Lord Proprietor, John Carteret, Earl of Granville between 1746-1763, also for this area of Land. The copies totalled to about 1700.

He then entered all of the information gleaned from each and every land entry, warrant, and survey into a database which was then uploaded into the proprietary DeedMapper(tm) software, organized into a table format, and later merged into the Wake County locality map. 

DeedMapper(tm) can be purchased for about $100. The software is worth the money based on what Mr. Jones was able to show us. It can be purchased through Direct Line Software. According to their website, DeedMapper(tm) is "the premier software program for analyzing old grants, deeds, surveys, and claims, particularly those described by metes and bounds. DeedMapper's being used by local historians, genealogists, and archaeologists to make land ownership maps of days gone by." Many users of the DeedMapper software have already contributed thousands of maps of land grants issued throughout several old North Carolina counties including Anson, Burke, Buncombe, Beaufort, Craven, Pitt, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, and Moore.

Mr. Jones hopes to have his Wake County Map completed within a couple of years. He plans to post it online to a website for the public to access and use in their own research. He also uses DeedMapper(tm) to track the land transfers via Deeds through individuals.  Clicking on an original land grant would show the user the original land plat, and how it was later divided and sold off to individuals throughout the last 200 years or so.

I would love to start a project like this for Edgecombe and Sampson Counties in order to track the migration of my Godwin families.  I believe the Godwin families from Johnston County are already represented in Mr. Jones' Wake County map because they lived in a part of Johnston County that was later divided and given to Wake County.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

International Society of Genetic Genealogy

I saw a message posted by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak on Facebook about how people are using Twitter to find DNA participants. She said she heard about it on the ISOGG mailing list. I googled "ISOGG" and found the  International Society of Genetic Genealogy website.  It is free to join, so I filled out the online form and submitted it. I also requested to join their yahoo group for DNA-newbies.
Update 7/15/09: I still have not received confirmation that I have been approved to join the yahoo group. I sent another request today and I hope they will approve me soon.

I assume that when she said "mailing list" she was referring to the yahoo group because I don't see any other mailing list on the ISOGG website. I am very interested to know how twitter is being used to recruit DNA participants!

I have been very active with our own Godwin/Goodwin/Goodin Surname project at You can read about my Godwin and Smith DNA activities here.