40th Parallel

We often see the words “In the beginning” when reading a book, fairy tale or the Bible. However, have you ever thought of a place as a beginning? When we think of place in our genealogy research, there is always someplace ‘before’. It may be one of our brick walls and we don’t know where it is, but we do know there is a ‘before’.

Thus, to say that my husband and I took a road trip to the “Place of Beginning” seems really strange. Most of the land found in the states of Kansas and Nebraska was part of the Louisiana Purchase. However, it was the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act that set this area on the road to statehood. This act also established the 40th parallel as the boundary line between Kansas and Nebraska.

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act prompted surveying to define the beginning points for establishing the ranges, townships and sections. Since we had recently visited the Point of Beginning – or the 6th Prime Merdian marker to our West, we decided to visit the monument marking the 40th parallel on the Missouri River Bluffs. This marker was established in 1855 to mark the Kansas Nebraska border.

Additional Information

Scavenger Hunt

Do you ever find in your own research that leads you on a scavenger hunt? That’s how I felt this morning when I was trying to figure out some of my ‘bad’ citations attached to James Crawford on my Ancestry tree.

Fortunately, when I clicked on the top Entry citation, it opened up a window that provided enough information about this erroneous citation to help me locate my original research.

Since the document number, Crawford.KY.099, managed to stay with the citation in the move from The Master Genealogist to Roots Magic, I had enough information to find a copy of my paper notes.

Again, fortunately, there was enough information in these notes to locate the original source – which had fortunately been digitized. The genealogy journal, Kentucky Ancestors, has been digitized and is available on the Kentucky Historical Society website. From this site, I was able to open a PDF copy of the October 1979 issue and find my James Crawford information on page 71.

Since this information was continued from the July 1979 issue, I had to go to that issue to find out more about these records.

This information will tie James Crawford of Jefferson County, Indiana to the James Crawford of Garrard County, Kentucky. It also provides a possible date for the move from Kentucky to Indiana.

Since I would like an original copy of this record versus the transcription, I turned to the Bureau of Land Managements to see if I could access these certificates thru their site.

Unfortunately, my searches, by both surname and the certificate numbers, did not locate these certificates on the BLM site.

However the information at the start of the article provides a clue as to where these certificates might be found: The Archives at the Indiana State Library. So far, I haven’t found where these records have been digitized. However, I did find information about the collection of land records in the Indiana State Archives.

I need to continue my trek on this ‘scavenger hunt’ and locate these certificates. Then, I will likely need to add the Indiana State Archives to my travel destination list.