Joe Turner Land Transaction – August 11, 1868

On my first trip to the local Family Search Center several weeks ago, the microfilm machine broke as the second roll of film was being loaded. I was afraid the ancient machine would never be fixed so that I could continue my research. Earlier this week the volunteer at the center called to let me know that the machine had been repaired.  I made an appointment to look at more film of my 2X great grandfather, Joe Turner’s land transactions.

It was hot and there was no air conditioning, although I heard what sounded like an air conditioner. Watching the microfilm scroll by made me feel queasy again. Deed book “I”, the first roll I looked through, yielded no information about Joe Turner.

Index Click to enlarge

I had been at the Center almost two and a half hours and decided to go through one more roll before I left. Chewing a new piece of gum to combat the nausea, I began to go through roll “F”, which contained the earliest dated land deal for Joe Turner. It covered from 1860 to 1871.  I was not very hopeful, but scrolled slowly through the index and found that Joe Turner’s transaction was on pages 438 and 439. Slowly scrolling through the microfilm, I learned that a complete rotation of the scrolling handle, took me through 30 pages.

Finally, I arrived at the pages I wanted. As I began to read, the volunteer came in and asked if I realized how long I had been there.  I did, about two and a half hours. She had an appointment elsewhere and I had to stop. I quickly took multiple photos of the two pages, hoping they would come out to be readable. It is difficult for me to take good photographs because of the setup of the microfilm machine.

When I got home, I uploaded the photos to see if there was anything readable. Page 439 was pretty good, but the several shots of page 438, the most important page, were blurred, or my hand with the phone blocked half of the words.  Looking carefully, I was able to transcribe the page, although the bottom left corner was indecipherable.

This morning I got up and opened a couple of the photos in Photoshop to see if I could fill in some blanks in my transcription. I did not see it but, a very readable image of page 438 came up. The Ancestors at work?  Below are those pages and the transcriptions.

State of Alabama}

Lowndes County }

Know all men by these presence in pursuance of the  direction after and of the Probate Court of said County to me this day granted and in consideration of the sum of ninety dollars paid by Joe Turner to Sarah S Givens formerly administrator of the Estate of George Givens deceased – proof which payment has been made I Thomas S Herbert administrator de bonis mon of the estate of said George Givens deceased – have bargained sold and conveyed and do by these presents bargain sell and convey to the said Joe Turner the following described lot or parcel of land to wit: All that portion of land lying west of the lot formerly owned by D C Whipley now owned by me Thomas S Herbert, – and street running North and South by John P Streety’s residence and all of the portion of land lying South of said lot (formerly Whipley now mine) and South of Mrs. Hunters lot – in the town of Hayneville County and State aforesaid, to have and to hold the aforesaid granted premises above (Can’t read) the said Joe Turner and his heirs and assigns forever. Witness my hand and seal this 11th day of August 1868 Thomas S Herbert {seal}

The State of Alabama}

Lowndes County}

  I J.V. McDuffie Probate Judge of said County  certify that Thomas S. Herbert whose name signed to the foregoing conveyance and who is known to me acknowledged before me on this day that being informed of the contents of the conveyance he executed the same voluntary on the day the same bears date. Given under my hand this 11 day of August 1868 J V McDuffie J.P.L.C. The foregoing is a true copy of the original Instrument recorded for record and recorded this 13th day of August 1868.               JV McDuffie

Judge of Probate

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Unfortunately there was no drawing of this property, but from the description, I wonder if this is the same piece of land that he sold in 1872 described here Joe Turner & Wife Emma Turner Convey Land 1872.

Next week I go back and hope to successfully view the last two rolls of film.  Maybe I will have time to look at Deed Book “I” again.

2 thoughts on “Joe Turner Land Transaction – August 11, 1868”

  1. Microfilms can be very frustrating but some interesting results for your labours.
    Here in Victoria, Australia, we have rate books and also street directories which can help locate urban properties. Rate books record what amount the council assessed was payable each year to the city and usually include the owner, occupier, may include details of their occupations, the owner’s address if different, brief description, eg 5 room weatherboard. Because it is a list it places the property with its neighbours along a street and cross streets are indicated.
    Best wishes Anne

    1. I wish we had that. You can find those kinds of descriptions in the Sanborn fire maps that were used in the larger urban areas. Unfortunately Joe Turner farmed in mostly rural Lowndes County, although both of these land transactions seem to take place in Hayneville, the county capital.

      I am trying to figure out how he was able to buy this land in 1868 when he had been enslaved until about 1865. I thought that looking at who he bought the land from would help, but so far it hasn’t, even though the original owner, Givhans, of the land in the case above was quite a character, I can’t connect him to Joe aside from the land deal.

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