Monday, January 1, 2018

Aaron Lake: Starting a New Year of 52 Ancestors

Amy Johnson Crow has started a new challenge in 2018 for researchers to share 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This year she's giving prompts, the first of which is simply one word: Start.

Aaron Lake (ca 1770 - ca 1828) seems like a good candidate to start off 2018. I've written about his presumed descendants throughout 2017, but starting on Aaron himself is a challenge. Rather than writing one long post with everything I know about him, I'll share smaller pieces.

We know little about Aaron Lake. He appears on the 1820 census of Breckinridge County, Kentucky. He seems to also be listed on the 1820 census of Perry County, Indiana, right across the Ohio River. We do know his daughter married in Breckinridge County in 1813. I spent several hours digging in the Breckinridge and Perry County courthouses in 2016 and 2017 with limited results.

Aaron did not own land in these two counties, but he did sign a mortgage in Breckinridge County in 1825. It raises more questions than it answers. It does help locate Aaron within the county, as he must have lived near Micajah Dowell. An image of this mortgage is at the end of this post.

Breckinridge County, Kentucky, Deed Book G Page 235
Know all men by these presents that I Aaron Lake of the County of Breckenridge and State of Kentucky for and in consideration of the sum of $51.66 do hereby sell transfer and make over to Micajah Dowell the following described property to wit about six acres of corn now growing on the place I cultivated this year, one pided [pied] cow two heifers, one a pided and the other a Dun heifer, one bed and furniture. Two pots and a Dutch oven, two water buckets a flax hackle, an axe two Iron wedges and a pair of Hairus [harrows?] -- to be the sole and exclusive property of the said Micajah Dowel, But with this express condition. That whereas some time since said Dowel became my security for the payment of several Debts to wit one to Ben Pate, one to Pullan and another to Churchill, which he was compelled to pay in all amounting to the sum of $51.66. Now it is understood that if I should at any time within six months repay to the said Dowel the said sum of $51.66 with interest thereon from this date then the above sale and transfer to be entirely void and of no effect. and  the property hereby transfered to return to and revest in me. This being intended only to secure the said Dowel in the payment of said money and to have the operation of a Mortgage only. and it is the express understanding that the said property is to remain in my possession until the time herein limited for the payment of the money expires. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of July 1825.
Aaron Lake [seal]
Kentucky Breckenridge County Sct?
Clerks office July 25th 1825
The within Deed of Mortgage from Aaron Lake to Micajah Dowel was this day before me in my office duly acknowledged by the said Aaron Lake to be his act and deed for the purposes therein. and thereupon the same is admitted to record
Att Samuel C Jenings Deputy Clk
Breckenridge County Court

The county archivist was able to show me where Micajah Dowell had lived. In 1825, he had been taxed on some 400 acres of land in the Dorridge (Dorretts) Creek watershed. The area she identified is northeast of Hardinsburg, where Meadows Creek flows into Dorridge Creek.

Some questions come to my mind. What was the relationship between Aaron Lake and Micajah Dowell? Was Aaron perhaps a tenant farmer or sharecropper on Micajah's land? Was there a family relationship? Who were the men to whom Aaron owed money and what were his business dealings with them? There are new opportunities for researching these men who were part of Aaron's FAN club: his family, associates and neighbors.

For my cousins' files, here is the mortgage image.

No comments:

Post a Comment