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Establishing Death

As I’m working on a narrative report for Angelina Jane Burke Currey, one of my 2nd great grandmothers, I’ve discovered several data clean-up issues. I’ve already tackled the shared fact issue by converting the shared land and court facts to individual facts. Today, I was working on improving the citations for some of those land and court facts.

One of those facts is the court case that originated on 5 May 1876 in Platte County, Missouri. This case is recorded in the Register of Deeds office in Deed Record Vol. 6 on page 598.

Weston Mo. May 5th 1876

We have this day instituted suit in the Weston Court of Common Pleas for Platte County Mo in the name of Guilford Hornbuckle and Sarah E. Hornbuckle, his wife & Hiram Currey & Angelina Currey, his wife, plaintiffs against John M. Burke & Milton E. Burke, Defendants for the July term 1876, thereof, for the purpose of compelling the execution of a trust & fees partion of the east half of the south west quarter of section thirty four (34) township fifty four (54) range thirty six (36) in Platte Co., Mo.
Guilford Hornbuckle
Sarah E. Hornbuckle
Hiram Currey
Angelina Currey
By Doniphan & [Cohem] Attys
Filed for record, at 6 P.M. May 5, 1876
R L Wallen
Recorder of deeds

Because the sisters, Angelina Currey and Sarah Hornbuckle, are suing their brothers, John Burke and Milton Burke, I’ve always assumed this suit was over their mother’s property. Thus, I’ve also assumed that this was an indication that their mother, Elizabeth Burke, had died prior to May 1876.

Curious as to where this portion of section 34, township 54 of range 36 was on a map, I used the First Land Owner’s Project ($) to locate the section on a map.

When I scrolled in to view section 34, I discovered that the first land owner of this section was Alfred Kirkpatrick. Alfred Kirkpatrick was the husband of Mahala Bland. Mahala was the sister to Elizabeth Bland Burke, mother of Angelina, Sarah, John and Milton. Thus, Alfred Kirkpatrick was their uncle.

If I scroll out just a bit, I find that Elizabeth’s husband, Henry Burke, was a first land owner in section 27.

These maps along with the original deed record raise some questions:

  • What happened to the land Henry Burke owned in section 27?
  • Why are Henry and Elizabeth’s children fighting over a portion of the land originally owned by Alfred Kirkpatrick?
  • What is the ‘trust’ mentioned in the deed record?

Perhaps finding the answers to these questions will help fill in Elizabeth’s life after 1860 and help establish a death date.