Friday, May 12, 2017

Jackson County, Alabama, Township 2-S, 6-E (Selected Landowners: Bryant, Gray, Blanset, Wigley, Morgan, Colvin)

Page of old notes about Township 2-S, Range 6-E, Huntsville Meridian
in Jackson County, Alabama; and random notes on other townships.
In transcribing old genealogy files, I found this old page of my scribbled notes on land lots for my Bryant and Gray families of Jackson County, Alabama, and on allied or married lines, such as the Colvin and Blanset families. Unfortunately, my notes were completely out of context, and had nothing to tell me what sources I used, or what dates were relevant. I didn't even put the county and state on there, but the noted surnames told me that it must be Jackson County, Alabama. I vaguely remembered traveling to a genealogy workshop to learn about ancestors by studying maps and land-lot descriptions. The theme of the workshop turned out to be the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), and how to read and understand land descriptions, find meridian, identify a township, and plot the sections. Right away, I was disappointed to learn that if I was from Georgia or Tennessee (and I am), the workshop probably wouldn’t be of much use to me. As it turns out, these two states still use the metes-and-bounds survey system of colonial days, and the workshop instructor laughingly explained that it was a crazy and impossible system. Deeds in Georgia and Tennessee describe land in this manner: “…beginning at a point thirty rods from a white oak, continuing ten rods to a large rock, and thence 20 rods north to a public road, then east along Muskrat Creek to the northwest corner of the property belonging to Mrs. Murray, bounded on the east by D. Boone, and on the west by John Johnson…” I always wondered: what do they do when the white oak dies?

I still found the workshop interesting, and was able to use some of my new-found knowledge in my Alabama research. Apparently I used a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) index for Jackson County, Alabama, and tried to plot a chart from that index. I have since found a separate text file, which is an extract of names from the Huntsville Meridian. A few of the range numbers do not correspond correctly to the information in the index. I don't know if I mapped them incorrectly, or if the people bought land in more than one range. I probably drew the grid wrong, so that the section is right, but the range may be disproportionate. It still helps me see which of my people lived next to each other.

The large diagram in my chart, above, is of Township 2-S, in the Huntsville Meridian (as I now know). Originally, I thought all of the land lots fell into Range 6-E, but (judging from the separate text file), it appears to include several adjacent ranges. At the top of my diagram are three sections of Township 1-S, which abuts 2-S on the south. I probably did that because a James Morgan appears in Twp. 1-S, 6-E, section 35. My Coopers have a few Morgan relations, so I would have been interested in looking up these neighbors. I also drew a little diagram in the bottom left-hand corner to remind myself how Township 2-S relates to meridian, and how the lots are numbered in the township. I then drew another little graph in the bottom-right corner of the page, but unfortunately did not make a legend to explain my shaded areas. That small graph doesn’t seem to correspond to the larger graph, of Twp. 2-S. It may be a graph of section 6-S, 8-E, possibly related to a note about the Gray surname that I wrote under it. A word of caution: I remember that the PLSS workshop and the explanation of finding meridian and working from there was a wonderful revelation to me, and perfectly clear at the time—but by the time I set down the graph and began to chart the landowners from the Land Office index, I was a little less sure of my understanding of the subject. Also, the list of landowners is probably incomplete—it would only include surnames of interest to me, with a few unrelated neighbors thrown in.

Here are the landowners I noted, from Townships 1-S and 2-S—probably an incomplete list, concentrating on my own ancestral surnames and a few of the neighbors:

Jackson County, Alabama (Huntsville Meridian)

Township 1-S, Range 6-E? (three sections), noting selected name and surnames:

  • Section 34: Culver, Knight, and Matthews
  • Section 35: Allen Matthews; James Morgan
  • Section 36: no surnames, or none of interest to my lineage

Township 2-S, Originally Thought to be Range 6E (This may incorporate several ranges, since the range numbers don't all correspond to the separate text file at the bottom of this post):
  • No surnames noted for sections 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, and 16?
  • Section 3: Allison, Culver, Kellum, Orear  
  • Section 4: Wm. Troxell; Jeremiah Walker
  • Section 5: Jeff Gray [this would be my great-great grandfather, Jefferson Gray, who married Nancy Howard]; Crook, Kirk, McCrary, Walker (neighbors, unrelated) 
  • Section 6: William E. Bryant [Bryant is one of my surnames. My new thought, looking back on this old note, is that William E. Bryant might possibly be another name for, or a relation of, Elisha Bryant, another great-great grandfather. Elisha’s son, Charlie Bryant, married Jefferson Gray’s daughter, Mary Smith Gray—so it would make sense that they might be neighbors. Elisha’s daughter, Mary E. Bryant, married first a Wigley, then a Blanset. Some Blanset land is found in the next township down, 3-S.
  • Section 7: Allen Bryant; Goin Morgan [?as in original, but could they mean “Gain” or “Gains”?]
  • Section 8: Collins, Dockery, Ivy, Mathews, Mathis [no surnames from my line]
  • Section 9: Jonathan C. Walker; Jasper Gray [Jasper Gray would be related to my Grays]
  • Section 10: Allison, Brandon, Gentry, Isbell, Kellum, Owens [no surnames from my line]
  • Section 14: Jos Collins
  • Section 15: Goin Morgan; Mary Wiggley [Mary Wiggley is Mary (Bryant) Wigley, daughter of Elisha Bryant. She married first James Wigley, and then John Blanset. I do recollect that the BLM records had one notation or application under Mary Wigley, and another under Mary Blanset, which was very helpful at a time before I could find documentation for the Wigley-Blanset marriage, that I knew should exist. I later found it, and think that it had gone unrecorded in the courthouse until the issue of the land may have come up. It was found out of sequence in the marriage books: Marriage Book D, Dade County, Georgia,  (January 1899 through July 1913), p.253, John "Blansit" married "Miss" Mary Wigley on 30 Dec 1898. The license was granted the previous day and the marriage was performed by J.L. Hadaway, M.G. Although Mary is listed as "Miss," she should have been "Mrs.," having been married previously to J. Wigley. The Blanset-Wigley marriage was not recorded until 1906.]
  • Section 16: No notations, unless Mary Wiggley’s land extends across the two sections
  • Section 17: Alexander, Mathews, Siler, Priestwood [no surnames from my line]
  • Section 18: James Collins; Goin Morgan
  • Section 19: James Walker
  • Section 20: Alexander, Lamb, Siler; Thomas Priestwood [no surnames from my line] 
  • Section 21: Alfred Howard; James Wooten; Alford Howard [possibly related to my Howards; of interest to me]
  • Section 22: Austell, Foshee, Howell, Lovelady, Wilson [no surnames from my line] 
  • Section 23: Coffey, Howell, Lovelady [no surnames from my line]
  • Section 24: Bird; Eli Coffee, etc. [surnames of passing interest to me] 
  • Section 25: Joseph Thornton
  • Section 26: Charles Moore; Andrew H. Moore; John S. Burks [possibly related lines] 
  • Section 27: John Bryant [Bryant surname of Alabama: esp. relevant to my research] 
  • Section 28: John A. Bryant; Jos. Morgan; John Bryant [esp. relevant to my research] 
  • Section 29: Wm. Walker [not really relevant, but I often copy down stray Walkers; the surname is relevant to my paternal line, in East Tennessee and North Georgia]
  • Section 30: Wm. Thornton
  • Section 31: [?] James & Franc. [?] Not sure what this means; to the left, outside the grid, I’ve written “Wm. E. Clemens” and “Dora B. Clemons,” and what looks like two lines connecting them to the land grid. Possibly, James and Franc. are of the Clemens surname.
  • Section 32: James Gray [probably of my Gray/Howard/Bryant line]; Dora B. Clemens; Wm. E. Clemens
  • Section 33: Wm. Jenkins; Sam. Bryan
  • Section 34: Geo. R. Burks and Sarah Edwards; John S. Burks [lines to study—possibly branch relations]; also, Wm. Morgan et. al.
  • Section 35: John S. Burks
  • Section 36: Hancock, Sisk, Rorex, etc. [unrelated lines]

Notes for Townships not shown in my graphs/charts; sections not given:

Township 1-S, 7-E: Walker, Weaver [unrelated, but interesting in paternal line, because of surname only]

Township 1-S, 8-E: Troxell

Township 1-S, 9-E: Bryant, Adkins [possibly related or branch kin]

Township 3-S, 8-E and 7-E: Moore, Blanset, Blansett, Bryant, Lewis, Clemons, Gray, Millikan, Thornhill, Thornton [surnames of interest, including some possible branch kin]

Township 12-S and 13-S: Has Colvins (Alfred), a lot of land [Note: Colvins are of interest in my Cooper line; my great-grandfather’s first wife was Mattie Wigley, but his second wife was Clarancy Cleo Colvin.]

Township 3-S, 9-E

  • Section 13: Nancy A. Morgan [prob. related/of interest in Morgan/Cooper lines]
  • Section 28: James M. Pritchett [popped out at me—surname of interest in a general way]

Separate Text File

This is a partial index from the Bureau of Land Management records (BLM), and it seems to be what I used to draw the rather faulty graph at the top of this post. Some of the names and section numbers do correspond with the above graph of Township 2-S, but the ranges do not all fall into range 6E, which I originally thought to be the Range for the whole graph.

Land Patents for Jackson County, Alabama (orig. extracted from Bureau of Land Management files), Containing Selected Names from the Huntsville Meridian of Jackson County, Alabama 

Nancy Blancet, Section 18, Twp. 3S, Range 8E, 79.58 Acres. Date Signed: 01 June 1845

Hardin Blancet, Section 13, Twp. 3S,  Range 7E, 50.47 Acres. Date Signed: 01 May 1845

William C. Blancet, Section 23, Twp. 4S, Range 8E, 40 Acres. Date Signed: 15 July 1854

Daniel Blanset, Section 18, Twp. 3S, Range 8E, 99.78 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Oct. 1845

Joel Blanset, Section 14, Twp. 3S, Range 7E, 40 Acres. Date Signed: 16 Oct. 1835

William Blanset, Section 12, Twp. 3S, Range 7E, 120.35 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Aug. 1831

William Blansett, Section 18, Twp. 3S, Range 8E, 39.78 Acres. Date Signed: 01 July 1845

William Blansett, Section 10, Twp. 3S, Range 7E, 40.06 Acres. Date Signed: 16 Oct. 1835. Remarks: John McReynolds

Mary E. Blansett, Section 15, Twp. 2S, Range 9E, 120 Acres. Date Signed: 14 May 1906. Formerly Mary E. Wiggley.

Mary E. Blansett, Section 15, Twp. 2S, Range 9E, 0 Acres. Date Signed: 14 May 1906. Formerly Mary E. Wiggley.

William Blansett, Section 10, Twp. 3S, Range 7E, 40.06 Acres. Date Signed: 14 Oct. 1834

Hugh Blansit, Section 18, Twp. 4S, Range 8E, 152.37 Acres. Date Signed: 06 June 1891

Allen Bryant, Section 7, Twp. 2S, Range 7E, 40 Acres. Date Signed: 05 Aug. 1837

John Bryant, Section 27, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 120.16 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Dec. 1859

John A. Bryant, Section 28, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 159.32 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Dec. 1860

John Bryant, Section 27, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 160.22 Acres. Date Signed: 01 May 1861

George W. Bryant, Section 22, Twp. 1S, Range 9E, 120.12 Acres. Date Signed: 30 June 1891

John Bryant, Section 27, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 0 Acres. Date Signed: 01 May 1861

John Bryant, Section 27, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 0 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Dec. 1859

George W. Bryant, Section 22, Twp. 1S, Range 9E, 0 Acres. Date Signed: 30 June 1891

William E. Bryant, Section 6, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 40.18 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Dec. 1859

Lewis Bryant, Section 8, Twp. 3S, Range 8E, 40.18 Acres. Date Signed: 01 May 1850

John Bryant, Section 27, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 0 Acres. Date Signed: 01 May 1861

James Gray: Section 32, Twp. 2S, Range 9E, 80.9 Acres. Date Signed: 06 June 1891

Jasper Gray: Section 9, Twp. 2S, Range 9E, 80.04 Acres. Date Signed: 10 March 1884

Jefferson J. Gray: Section 5, Twp. 2S, Range 9E, 160.37 Acres. Date Signed: 10 Sept. 1898

James Morgan, Section 35, Twp. 1S, Range 6E, 159.04. Date Signed: 10 May 1831

Goin Morgan, Section 18, Twp. 2S, Range 7E, 39.85. Date Signed: 10 Oct. 1840

Nancy A. Morgan, Section 13, Twp. 3S, Range 9E, 159.8 Acres. Date Signed: 28 Nov. 1894

Goin Morgan, Section 7, Twp. 2S, Range 7E, 80.01 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Jun 1831

Joseph Morgan, Section 29, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 39.94 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Sept. 1858

Joseph Morgan, Section 28, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 39.91 Acres. Date Signed: 01 April 1852

Goin Morgan, Section 15, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 80.32 Acres. Date Signed: 01 Aug. 1831

Goin Morgan, Section 15, Twp. 2S, Range 6E, 40.16 Acres. Date Signed: 10 Sept. 1834

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