Category Archive: Estate Records

Aug 23

The call of Minnesota

It was not unusual for young men with property to write their will in preparation for marching off to war.

In the opening lines of his last will and testament Lewis Davis wrote:, “I Lewis M Davis of the town of Franklin in the County of Merrimack and State of Newhampshire beinn about to start for the ward do make a disposal of my property …”  Of that property he later wrote that he owsed 160 acres in Stearns County, Minnesota. Furthermore, he leaves any property in possession at the time of his death to Cora E. Judkins daughter of Horace and Elisabeth Judkins and that the property should be left in the care of John Perver  until Cora become 18 years old.[1]

This document provides us with clues for additional research:

  • Search for an enlistment of Lewis M. Davis (perhaps of Franklin, New Hampshire) in the Union forces.
  • Search the Government Land Office (GLO) Records in Minnesota to determine if Lewis M. Davis obtained land under a homestead act, or if he was assigned land from another individual.
  • Search of land records in Stearns County, Minnesota. Activity for Salt Lake
  • Search the 1860 census of Stearns County, Minnesota, for Lewis M. Davis, since he has not been located in New Hampshire census records.

A search was conducted in the National Park Service database Civil War Soldier and Sailors[2] for the enlistment of Lewis M. Davis serving with the Union provided the following results:

Soldier Name Function Regiment Microfilm
Davis, Lewis Infantry 10th Regiment, N.H. Infantry M549 roll 3
Davis, Lewis F. Infantry 16th Regiment, N.H. Infantry M549 roll 3
Davis, Lewis F. Infantry 18th Regiment, N.H. Infantry M549 roll 3
Davis, Louis M. Infantry 16th Regiment, N.H. Infantry M549 roll 3

A search was conducted in “U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles” at Ancestry       .com for Lewis M Davis indicates he enlisted at the age of 29 on 13 September 1862 as a private in Company E, New Hampshire 16th Infantry Regiment and was mustered out on 20 August 1863 at Concord, New Hampshire, and that Davis died 21 August 1863.[3]

When the opportunity presents itself I need to examine the microfilm (M549, roll 3) of the service record of Lewis M. Davis in the 16thRegiment, New Hampshire Infantry. Davis’ brother-in-law, Daniel R. Woodward, also serviced in the 16th Regiment.

A search for individuals with the surname Davis obtaining land in Stearns County, Minnesota, provided results for not only Lewis M. Davis, but also his siblings, George Davis, and Albe C. Davis obtaining land in Stearns County, Minnesota (5th Principal Meridian) Township 126 N-034W.[4]

Accession Names Date Doc Twp – Rng Aliquots Sec
MN1900_.141 Davis, Albe C [P] 9/1/1869 175 126N-034W

126N-034W

126N-034W

SE1/4SE1/4

N1/2NE1/4

NW1/4NW1/4

15

22

23

MW-0235-014 Davis, George E [P}

McLaughlin, William [W]

8/15/1866 76850 126N-034W

126N-034W

126N-034W

SW1/4SE1/4

S1/2SW1/4

NW1/4NW1/4

15

15

22

MW-0150-207 Davis, Lewis M [P]

Burns, Susan [P]

Burns, Thomas [W]

1/20/1862 96321 126-034W

126N-034W

S1/2NE1/4

S1/2NW1/4

15

15

Jeremiah Judkins (spouse of Lewis M Davis’ sister, Nancy Davis) also obtained land in Stearns County. [5]

Accession Names Date Doc Twp – Rng Aliquots Sec
MW-0183-049 Judkins Jeremiah K [P]

Knapp, Alexander A [W]

5/20/1863 101298 126N-034W

126N-034W

S1/2NW1/4

S1/2NE1/4

23

22

Although all of the land acquisitions are post 1860, these men and respect families were enumerated in Stearns County, Minnesota, on 27–28 June 1860.[6]

Page Details Family summary
64 Lines 2 4–27; dwelling 697, family 561 Jerimiah Judkins; 31; M; farmer; %00; $300; b. New Hampshire
Nancy  “  ; 29; F; b. New Hampshire
Antonet  “  ; 7; F; b. New Hampshire
Ida Ann  “  ; 2 F; b. Minnesota
George E. Davis; 21; M; farmer; $500; b. New Hampshire
64 Lines 39–40; dwelling 698, family 562 Albert [Albe] Davis; 25; M; farmer; $500; b. New Hampshire
Sarah C.   “  ‘ 19; F; b. Maine
65 Line 10, dwelling 701, family 565 Louis M. Davis; 27; M; farmer; $500, $200; b. New Hampshire [no other household members]

 

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved


[1] Will of Lewis M. Davis, file no. 6128, Merriamck County New Hampshire Probate Court, Concord, New Hampshire.

[3] Rodney Sawyer, Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire, 1861–1865; viewed 21 August 2011.

[4] Government Land Office, Bureau of Land Management, RG49; http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx

[5] Government Land Office, Bureau of Land Management, RG49; http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx

[6] 1860 U.S. Census, Free Population Schedule, Stearns County, Minnesota, pages 64-65; National Archives microfilm series M653, reel 574; viewed on HeritageQuest Online, 21 August 2011.

 

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