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Tennants in Common

I’m trying to use deeds to help separate information for two James Crawfords who resided in Preble County Ohio at the same time. They both owned parts of section 14, Township 7 North, Range 2 East.

As discussed in my post, James Crawford of Preble County, I use the selling of the land to figure out which James Crawford owned the land. I also use their wife’s name to help me keep them straight. James and Sally are my ancestors while James and Martha may or may not be related.

James (Martha) Crawford filed a patent for the Southwest quarter of section 14 township 7 North, range 2 East in 1812.


Four years later, my ancestor, James Crawford along with William Sellers, husband of Sarah Crawford filed a patent as ‘tenants in common’ for the northwest quarter of section 14 township 7 North range 2 East.


After looking at an article about Tenancy in Common, I now understand the exchange of land between James Crawford and William Sellers in 1821. Basically, James purchases the West half of the quarter from William Sellers


and sells the East half of the quarter to William Sellers.


Preble County Ohio Deed Book 5 page 86

The final land transaction involving James Crawford’s land is after his death. His step-son, William Duggins, and his widow, Sally Crawford, sell the land. Within the deed is a statement that the land was transferred to William Duggins by Nelson Crawford, James’ son and heir.


The purchase of the land as ‘tenants in common’ by William Sellers and James Crawford adjoining land purchased by another James Crawford just makes everything more confusing. William Sellers wife, Sarah Crawford, is believed to be the sister of the James Crawford (b1770) who married Martha Knight. If that is the case, then why is William Sellers essentially sharing land with the James Crawford (b1772) that married Sally Duggins?

2 thoughts on “Tennants in Common

  1. Could these two Jameses be half brothers? My husband actually has two ancestors who had two sons named John by a first and second wife. Both men left wills and identified them as by 2 different mothers. Your two guys seem to be closely related, i fnot brothers then maybe first cousins.

  2. Wow! I never thought of that situation! Yes, they seem to be closely related and we think they are cousins. When I did my DNA test, I was hoping that I would match a descendant of the other James. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

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