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Ancestry Daily News
  Michael John Neill – 5/14/2003

100 Acres, a Mortgage, and Three Sisters

In the article, "Turn the Page," one deed for the ancestor Archibald Kile led to two additional deeds, which transferred the same property to the same purchasers. It was speculated that there was some relationship between Archibald and Lucinda Kile and the other sellers of the same tract of land in Delaware County, Ohio.

To recap, the same tracts of land were sold on separate deeds by the Kiles, a group of individuals with the surname Green, and Sarah Calvert to William Wickiser over a period of several years. The property included parts of two separate one-hundred-acre lots in Delaware County, Ohio. While it appeared the Kiles, the Greens, and Sarah Calvert were likely related, analyzing those three deeds was only a starting point. A more complete review of additional records was in order to determine the relationships among the individuals, or at least to determine who owned the property before they sold it. While explicit answers are not always in the records, those who spend time analyzing the information may notice implicit clues.

Local Society to the Rescue
The secretary of the Delaware County Genealogical Society graciously sent me copies of land references for the property in question--lots nine and ten in Harlem Township.

Two quick points to make here:
1) Never overlook the local genealogical or historical society for the area you are researching.
2) Remember that many materials helpful to our research are not available online in any format. None of the land materials analyzed this week are available online.

This week we take a look at one of those properties and try to determine who owned it before the Kiles, the Greens, and Sarah Calvert sold it. Worth noting is that the Kiles, the Greens, and Sarah Calvert never purchased the property, nor are there any deeds specifically transferring ownership to them. This would lead one to initially conclude they likely inherited the property they sold to William Wickiser in the late 1850s.

The properties sold by the three groups were located in two lots of Harlem Township, Delaware County, Ohio--the aforementioned lots nine and ten. The analysis for lot nine is more complex and will not be included here. (However, an analysis of lot nine brought us to the same conclusion that we will reach for lot ten.)

The relevant sales are summarized and commented on below. All deed volumes referenced are in Delaware County Ohio. We start in the beginning when an Abraham Wickiser purchases the entire acreage of lot ten.

Deed Volume 6, page 140
On 10 August 1822, James and Keturah Taylor sell Abraham Wickiser the entire 100 acres of lot ten in Harlem Township for $400.20.

What Abraham Has: Abraham now owns the entire one hundred acres of lot ten.

Deed Volume 20, page 184
On 3 April 1839, Abraham and Katharine Wickiser sell to Abel Mullen 37.5 acres of land on the west end of lot ten of Harlem Township. The consideration was $1200 (the 37.5 acres was only part of the real estate involved in this transaction).

Deed Volume 19, page 136
On 3 April 1839, William and Ann Mullin mortgage property to Abraham Wickiser for $800, including the 37.5 acres in lot ten of Harlem Township.

What Abraham Has: Abraham now owns the east 62.5 acres of lot ten (subject to Mullen paying off his mortgage).

Deed Volume 32, page 739
On 6 June 1839, Abraham and Katherine Wickiser sell to George Wickiser the "part of lot ten not heretofore deeded to Abel Mullin." The consideration was $137. Based upon the size of the lot, this would mean the George's purchase was the east 62.5 acres of lot ten.

What Abraham Has: Abraham now technically owns no land in lot ten, although it is possible the Mullin mortgage has not been entirely paid. Since there is no mortgage recorded when George purchases his property from Abraham, it appears George's title is clear.

Deed Volume 30, page 362
On 10 March 1846, Abraham and Catharine Wickiser sell to William Wickiser for $400 twenty-five acres that has as its corner the southwest corner of lot ten.

What Abraham Has: Here is where it gets a little confusing. Based upon the Mullin mortgage and the Wickiser deed, Abraham should have no property in lot ten after 6 June 1839. And yet he and Catharine sell twenty-five acres of property in lot ten in 1846. This parcel is too large to be left over from some kind of surveying error. The property Abraham is selling is the western corner of lot ten. The Mullin property (which was mortgaged to Wickiser by Mullin) was the western 37.5 acres of lot ten. Based upon this deed (and several others in lot nine where Mullin also mortgaged property from Wickiser), it appears that Mullin defaulted on the mortgage and that the property has reverted to William Wickiser.

Deed Volume 32, page 293
On 11 March 1846, Abraham and Catharine Wickiser sell to William H. Smith one-quarter acre of land in lot ten for six dollars.

What Abraham Has: Based upon the likely Mullin default and Abraham's other sales (and the descriptions of the properties), it appears that Abraham still owns twelve and one-quarter acres in the northwestern portion of lot ten.

Before we look again at the Kile, Green, and Calvert deeds, it is worth noting that when I did this analysis I put aside the theories I formed in my previous articles. I chose to do this so that my interpretation of this situation would not be clouded. For instance, I did not look at the three deeds from last week's article while I was researching for this week's article.

Fortunately though, the Kile, Green, and Calvert deeds from 1859 to 1862 fit nicely into the previous analysis. They all reference eleven and three-quarters acres in lot ten of Harlem Township. There is a 0.5-acre discrepancy. However, given the terrain and the time span involved, the 0.5-acre difference does not appear significant.

What Does This Mean?
It seems fairly clear that the Kiles, Greens, and Calverts are selling the property in Harlem Township because they are heirs of Abraham Wickiser. Abraham's 1830 census entry in Harlem Township, Delaware County, Ohio, indicates the presence of three females in the household (besides the likely entry for Catherine). It appears likely that these three females are Lucinda Kile, the apparent mother of the Green heirs, and Sarah Calvert.

There is one question remaining. If Abraham and Catherine had other heirs, why did they not sign deeds as well? William would not have had to sign a deed as he was purchasing the property, but what about other male children of Abraham (or their heirs)? This is a question worth looking into.

What Does This Have To Do With Abraham in 1840?
In last week's column,
Where oh Where is Abraham?, we mentioned that land records were a possible reason for Abraham's not being listed in the 1840 census. Based upon the dates of the deeds, Abraham might not have actually had possession of any property in 1840 (depending upon exactly when Mullin likely defaulted on the mortgage). By March of 1846, Abraham is selling property in lot ten again, hinting that Mullin has defaulted and potentially hinting that Abraham has taken up residence again on his own property. This is speculation, but it does explain the re-emergence of Abraham in his own household in 1850.

Not Done (Are We Ever?)
The research does not end here. Our analysis needs to include information on the probate of Abraham Wickiser as well as a search for potential court records related to the likely Mullin default on the mortgage.

Michael John Neill, is the Course I Coordinator at the Genealogical Institute of Mid America (GIMA) held annually in Springfield, Illinois, and is also on the faculty of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois. Michael is the Web columnist for the FGS FORUM and is on the editorial board of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly. He conducts seminars and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical and computer topics and contributes to several genealogical publications, including Ancestry and Genealogical Computing. You can email him at: or visit his website at: He regrets that he is unable to assist with personal research.

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Used by the author on his website with permission

Abraham Wickiser articles

 Other Articles by Michael John Neill