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John Hilyard Family ca. 1909

Monday, September 26, 2016

Writing a Research Report; or the Story of How We Didn't Really Find Out Anything, Part Two

We only spent a short while at the Allen County Museum as time was running short. I wish we had more time to really look it over. One exhibit we did stop to look at was this:

An original Conestoga wagon; perhaps the Hilyards used a similar one on their trip from Pennsylvania to Ohio

Informational placard

Once we were home, I recorded all the information in my research report as follows:

  1. LAND RECORDS--Abstract Records: if you have the physical description of property, you can follow all the transactions for it on one page. Jeremiah Sr.'s land is found under
           NE Quarter, Section 22, Township 3 South, Range 5 East
a. The deed I had without a source was from the State of Ohio to Jeremiah Hillyard. This is found in Book 60, p. 195. The deed is dated 30 Mar 1850, but was not recorded until 12 Feb 1890. WHY THEN?
b. The next transaction for the land was from the Adminstrator of Jeremiah Hilyard (Jr., though it doesn't specify this) to John Hilyard dated 28 Feb 1878, recorded 11 Mar 1878.
Detail: Joseph Brenneman was the administrator of Jeremiah Hilyard Jr. Joseph was married to Jeremiah Jr.'s sister Nancy. Jeremiah Jr. was entitled to 1/7 of the land, which seems to have never been probated. Jeremiah Jr.'s administrator sold the estate's undivided share to John Hilyard so he could proceed with Jr.'s probate.
c. Noah Hilyard and wife Lorena granted a quit claim deed to John Hilyard for his 1/7 part of the land. Deed dated 2 Jan 1878, recorded 4 Mar 1878.
d. Next, the Auditor of Allen County granted the land to John Hilyard, deed dated 5 Aug 1879, recorded 6 Aug 1879.
Detail: the property had delinquent taxes, interest, and penalties for 1874, simple taxes for 1875, and is listed for taxation under the name Jerry Hillyard (38 acres). The land was advertised for sale. Peter Remlinger bid $15.87 (the amount due on the property), and paid this to the treasurer. More than two years elapsed and the land was not redeemed by Remlinger. John Hilyard produced the certificate of sale duly assigned to him along with a survey of the land. The auditor of Allen County granted the land to John Hilyard on 5 Aug 1879.
e. Sidney Hilyard (widow of John) deeded a quit claim to John's children Phoebe Baumgardner, Laura Bowers, Ira Hilyard, John M. Hilyard, and Clarence C. Hilyard. Deed dated 14 Feb 1914, recorded 28 Apr 1914.
  1. PROBATE RECORDS--We felt a double check of Jeremiah Jr. probate packet was needed. It ordered Jeremiah Sr.'s land to be sold to get Jr.'s 1/7 interest in it subject to the dower of Mary Neeley (Sr.'s widow). Dates on outside of packet note where all items are recorded.
**We found as we worked that a timeline would be useful. I outlined the bare bones of what we knew and we added to it over the day.
  • 1850--Jeremiah Sr. purchased land
  • 1850--Jeremiah Jr. born
  • 1855--Jeremiah Sr. died
  • 1856--Mary Ann married Samuel Neeley
  • 1878--Jeremiah Jr. died before Feb. 28th, 1878
  • 1888--Mary Ann died
The original scribbled timeline

Tidied-up timeline written on the drive home

Now, what did all this mean:
ANALYSIS:  When Jeremiah Hilyard Sr. died, his estate was inherited in 7 equal parts. His heirs would be: son Thomas, daughter Nancy Brenneman, son David, son John, son Jeremiah Jr., son Noah, and son Ephraim. Widow Mary Ann had her dower right. There has been NO RECORD of the estate found so far other than what is shown in the these land transactions. We have examined the General Index of Estates, Administrators Bonds, and Guardianships, and have found nothing for Jeremiah Sr.
Now, with my original goal in mind, what did we learn?
CONCLUSION: There is still insufficient evidence to prove Jeremiah Hilyard Sr. is the father of Thomas Hilyard.
Insert sad trumpet sound: wah wah.  But that isn't the end of the project. We had to look over what we had found, pulling out names and dates, facts, figures, and brainstorm what else we could check into. The last section of my report is this list:
  1. Delinquent tax sale should be advertised in newspaper: FOUND! But property was advertised in 1865??
  2. Research the tax records
  3. Find original land records from State of Ohio
  4. Research all the references on Jeremiah Jr.'s estate packet
  5. Are there any records of Mary Ann and her sons' time in Michigan?
  6. Make a new timeline with as much information as possible: STARTED
  7. Are there divorce records for Samuel and Mary Ann?
  8. Scour probate records. Possibly not indexed??
  9. Find info on Samuel Neeley; who are his parents, what happened to him?  FOUND: Parents Thomas and Mary Neeley. Thomas died in 1847; Mary died in 1874. She left Samuel $1 in her will dated 1866.
  10. Find John Hilyard's survey of land from 1879 land transaction
  11. Who is Peter Remlinger? FOUND: He lived in Milan, Ohio (near Lake Erie) but had a sister, Mrs. William Hedrick, in Delphos (Allen County). Born 1840 in France, died 1897 in Milan, Ohio. Living in Wyandot County, Ohio in 1860. Maybe Huron County, Ohio in 1880.

As you can see from the final section, we have already started working on the further steps, and that they have led to even more questions.

I hope you can see the value in writing out something like this report to help solidify and clarity what you have, what you find, and what your next steps should be.

Blog reader Laura Mattingly submitted her thoughts on the poem on Jeremiah and Mary Ann Hilyard's gravestone from the previous post:

"Forever Father and Mother dear
  you are not dead but sleeping here."

Looking at this along with the photo, I propose the first word might be "Farewell" instead of "Forever".

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