Marriages may not always get recorded as officiants do make mistakes. But if spouses are required to be on a land deed relinquishing their interest in the real estate being transferred, that reference usually is not overlooked. The reason is that a purchaser may have issues with their title if the wife of the grantor (seller) does not relinquish their dower interest in the property.

Such was the case with Gustaf Herbert of Hancock County, Illinois. A marriage record for him could not be located in the county where he lived or in the nearby counties. Assuming he was not married would have been a mistake.

There on a deed from 1880 when he sold forty acres was the name of his wife at the time of the sale, relinquishing her interest in his property. I still do not know where he married or when (other than before the date of the property sale). Her name is not on his deed of purchase for the property, but that’s not unusual for the place and time period.

Land records can contain clues about things other than property ownership–marital status is one of those things.



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the Genealogy Tip of the Day Book