Friday, March 31, 2017

Ignatius Grantham again

I told you a little bit about Ignatius Grantham in "Hide and seek with records from burned counties." Since Ignatius was a cad I of course want to know more about him. On 08 January 1820 he claimed 401.72 acres in Jackson County, Mississippi. The Pascagoula River runs right through the middle so this was prime real estate. Ignatius didn’t hang on to it though.  He assigned it to John Williams on 18 February 1820 and then Williams turned around and assigned it to Robert Carr Lane on 20 February 1820. Here the original survey:

ss2Screenshot taken from the Bureau of Land Management’s online Plat Image files
Section 2, Township 4S, Range 7W, St. Stephens

I received the land entry file today and it is 47 pages long.1 Over the years this piece of land had some title issues. Apparently after it was assigned the patent was never filed so it looked like Ignatius still owned it.  What was interesting was a “motion for decree pro confesso” filed 11 Aug 1902 in the case of R. Roberts vs. Ignatius Grantham et als. [sic]. I had to look that up (thank you Black’s Law Dictionary). It means the defendant (Ignatius Grantham) had not answered the complaint so the court treated it as though he confessed to the charges. In that motion it states,

“That said Ignatus [sic] Grantham cannot be found in the State of Mississippi after diligent inquiry and complainant does not know and cannot ascertain or diligent inquiry of Ignatus Grantham is alive or dead, and if he left any heirs.”

This is kind of funny because in 1902 Ignatius would have been about 113 years old. I guess it was a legal thing that they had to do and they did mention possible heirs. 

This little tidbit was in the file too.  Talk about a seriously burned county! I knew about the fire in 1875 but I didn’t know it had burned two times prior to that.


The moral of the story is, if you find a patent or warrant on the Bureau of Land Management’s website you need to order the land entry file to get the “rest of the story.”
I will tell you that it is A LOT cheaper and faster if you have someone pull the records for you at the National Archives than it is to order the records from NARA.

1 Survey of 23 October 1827, Ignatius Grantham claim, Mississippi no, 135; Private Land Claim Files, 1789-1908; Record Group 49; Records of the Bureau of Land Management; National Archives, Washington, D.C.


  1. I've used the BLM site a good bit, also using the original survey maps, but I've not ordered any of the files. Could you post an article on how to go about ordering and the records you are likely to get? Interesting about Jackson Co., MS. That may come in handy while helping patrons at the MS Archives.

    1. You can order them from NARA here HOWEVER, I don't recommend doing this because it is a lot cheaper and a lot faster to have a private research pull files for you. I have someone that I can recommend. Send me an email if you would like the info. I don't want to post his name and email address on the blog without his permission.

  2. Thanks for the info Michele. So specifically how much does it cost to order from the county and then how much from NARA? I would like to know the actual amounts. This gives me an idea if these are records I could actually afford to order.

  3. If you order from NARA it will cost you $50 per file. Your turn around time is about 6 weeks. I got Ignatius' file back in 3 days and it cost me $35.75 HOWEVER it is usually less than that. This was a pretty big file and the cost is per page plus and hourly rate. This time I only ordered one file but usually I order several at a time. He can pull several in an hour so that hourly fee is normally less too.

    If you would like the name and contact info of who I use just send me a private email. I don't want to plaster his name on the blog without his permission.