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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thomas Young : Finding His History Among Land Warrants

I have found, with much success on  Internet sources, the histories of most of my husband's ancestry.  However, my research came to a halt when it came to focusing on Thomas Young.  Most of the census information that I had collected showed that he was born in Tennessee about the year 1797, plus or minus 5 years.  However, I have not been able to find the confirmation of his wife's maiden name, place of marriage, or his whereabouts prior to 1830, when he was listed as a resident of Illinois.

Noting that he may have been in the age brackets of those who served in the War of 1812, I decided to browse the roles of records on the www.Fold3.com website. As you can imagine, the name of Thomas Young was quite common.  How was I to find the correct Thomas, if indeed he served in the  War of 1812?

Shifting my thought process a bit, I decided to look into the Federal Land Warrants that were issued to veterans as payment for their service during the conflict.  Once again, I found the name Thomas Young to be very common.  But, I knew that he lived in Illinois in the late 1820s, as his oldest son was mentioned as having been born in the state.  So, let's check the land warrants that were issued to Thomas Young in Illinois. The Bureau of Land Management websites have this information.  There is a link to this information from  the Secretary of State of Illinois website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com

Bingo!  I found Thomas Young as having land warrant papers in Adams County, Illinois.  On the warrants, it lists what type of service he had completed, including the company that he served.

www.cyberdriveillinois,com,  Land Patents, Vol 150 page 213

This land warrant tells that Thomas Young served as a private in Reed's Company in the Corp of Artillery.  It is dated at the bottom of the page as October 1817.

There was yet another land warrant patent under his name, also in Adams County, Illinois, dated 1819.  So, now we know where he was hanging out at that time.  

Later on, I found several land patents that told Thomas Young had land from the Federal Government in  Schuyler County, during the 1840s.  This is the location where the bulk of information has centered on Thomas Young and his family.  

The National Archives has a few search features which allow you to search for the various units in the Tennessee Volunteer Militia for the War of 1812.  Finding Capt. James Reed, 2nd Regiment, West Tennessee Volunteers, Artillery Unit......Now I know even more.

Taking the information from the land warrant, and the unit information from the National Archives, and knowing that Thomas Young served in the artillery, Reed's Company, we go back to www.Fold3.com.  We have more information about him so that we can narrow which Thomas Young he was.

Fold3.com  image from the War of 1812 Record Index
We know a little more about Thomas Young with this research of his service during the War of 1812 and his land ownership in Illinois.  This give us many more clues to follow to find out more about him.  His pension files are at the National Archives.  Since his surname begins with Y, it may be a while before they digitize his paperwork and post it online.  Meanwhile, I know that he was around western Illinois during his young adult life after his military service.  I can go back to the census of Illinois and the Federal Government to find him as a land owner before 1830.

And that's a lot more than I knew before today.  Progress!



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