Friday, August 1, 2014

Newspaper Article Lists 32 Family Members! (Learning about Lena, Part 1)

In my GRIP Intermediate Genealogy course last week, Debbie Mieszala discussed Chronicling America in her class about newspaper research. I decided to do a search for one of my more unusual surnames, Coppenbarger, and I got an interesting hit. I found an article that listed not only my Coppenbarger's, but also some Randolph's and other names I recognized. I still haven't tracked down all of the names, but I have done enough to realize that they are children and grandchildren of my fourth great grandparents, William Randolph (1792 in VA - 1867 in IL) & Matilda Kearns/Keeran (1796 in NC - 1863 in IL).

Weekly Graphic, 14 Dec 1888
The article was a "Sheriff's Sale in Partition" as a result of an Adair County, Missouri court case. It described the land that was to be sold and then stated the proceeds would be divided among the parties. But, whose land was this? The parents/grandparents, William & Matilda Randolph, had died over 20 years before this. And, why are four of their children plaintiffs against the rest of the family?

Weekly Graphic, 09 Mar 1888
I was able to answer these questions when I looked at a second article I found on Chronicling America. This article was an "Order of Publication" and it states that it is being published to notify the defendants, a long list of whom live out of state, that the "Plaintiffs have commenced a suit against them and others in this court, the object and general nature of which is to obtain a decree to partition in the following described real estate situated in the city of St. Louis, state of Missouri, and the county of Adair, state of Missouri to wit..." So, some of the family members wanted to sale the land and divide the profits.

As to the question of whose land was being sold, the property had belonged to Lena R. Tremlett. There are four pieces of land which were "the same land conveyed to said Lena R. Tremlett (alias Line R. Tremlett) by Agnes P. Queen and Benj. F. Queen July 28th 1879." And, there's a fifth piece of land which was "the same land conveyed to Lena R. Tremlett, alias Lina R. Tremlett, by Benjamin Hammett and wife, June 14th, 1879..."

I've never heard of Lena R. Tremlett; Benj. F & Agnes P. Queen; and Benjamin Hammett & his wife. Who are these people? And, why are the proceeds of this land going to my family members? I begin to find some answers in "Lena, Part 2."

  • "Sheriff's Sale in Partition," Weekly Graphic, Kirksville, Missouri, 14 December 1888, page 2, column 5. Chronicling America. <>, accessed 30 July 2014.
  • "Order of Publication," Weekly Graphic, Kirksville, Missouri, 09 March 1888, page 1, column 6. Chronicling America. <>, accessed 30 July 2014.
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