I am about halfway through with History 317: Americans and the Law. I bounce back & forth between being annoyed that so much material is about legal stuff and being perplexed by the legal complexities of the research. Over the past week I have transcribed a lot of court and land documents for the Buck family in Pickaway County, Ohio. I was very confused until I started writing events down in a timeline. [Note: I don't like to line item every detail in RootsMagic because I don't like the cluttered family group sheet at the end.] The time line helped make a little sense of John Buck's tumultuous young adult life.
- In 1811 John Buck agreed to be an apprentice to John Gill to learn how to be a house carpenter. Within six months, he broke his contract & went off to parts unknown. (War of 1812) He was ordered to pay John Gill $ .
- John Buck served in the War of 1812. He was present at the surrender of General Hull at Detroit in August 1812 & was out until at least 25 Oct 1812.
- John Buck was "firmly bound to Moses Donaldson" for $260 & certain other "estate administrators" in March 1813. He promised to pay it back by 1st July 1814 or to give up his share of the land in Walnut Township. The indenture was filed 5 July 1814, hinting that perhaps John Buck did not pay the money back on time.
- John Buck served with Captain McElwain's company from 28 April 1813 to 16 July 1813.
- In February 1814 the court case continued about the covenant breaking with John Gill.
- From 16 Feb 1814 to 16 June 1814, John Buck served with Captain Luther Shepherd's company. [I do not know if he loved the cause that the US was fighting for or if he was just trying to avoid all of his legal troubles.]
- On 4 Sep 1815, William Williamson, John Hedges/Hodges, and Moses Donaldson were held & firmly bound for $300. William Williamson was appointed the guardian of Jane Buck (age10) and Polly Buck (age 8). [Perhaps Anne Buck Sr died, leaving the girls in need of a guardian.]
- In early 1815, John Buck again served in the military.
- In July 1817 John Buck did "unlawfully make an assault [on] Rebecca Birchum then and there unlawfully shake beat wound and [?] hit to the great damage of her."
- In September 1817 a jury heard charges in the assault and battery charge. If I understand the documents correctly, John was in jail until at least February 1819.
- In 1817 Joseph Buck Jr and Anne his wife made an indenture with Moses Donaldson for $100. The land was originally purchased in 1805 by Joseph Buck Sr and Anne his wife. (Maybe I should call them Anne Buck Jr and Anne Buck Sr.) Anne Jr had to agree to the indenture.
- What on earth is an indenture?!
- On 9 Aug 1819 John Buck and Barbary his wife and Elizabeth Buck made an indenture with Moses Donaldson for $200. The deed noted that Joseph Buck was the father and father-in-law of the said parties. Was Elizabeth Buck Joseph's daughter or daughter-in-law? Would inheritance laws have passed portions of property to the wife or just to the direct descendant?
- On 12 June 1820 Joseph Buck (Jr) made an indenture with Moses Donaldson for $150.
- On 16 May 1826 Mary Buck signed an indenture with Rosannah Donaldson for $122.50.
- On 7 May 1836 Marian Donaldson and John Hughes were bound to Zachariah Pritchett for $700. Marian was a minor & sold her 1/6th undivided part of the land. She was one of the heirs of M.A. Donaldson.
- On 20 Dec 1839 Mary Ann Donaldson made a contract with Zachariah Prichet for $339.33.
I still have a lot more questions than answers, but sifting through court, land, and military records have painted a picture of John Buck.
And for a bonus here are a few links to family history sites:
Family Search Labs - changes that may be coming to FamilySearch - https://labs.familysearch.org/
ThinkGenealogy research process map - http://www.thinkgenealogy.com/map/ - includes a link to a slideshow with lots of examples.
FamilySearch - lots of videos and mini-lessons about where to go from here including basic search strategies - https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/United_States_Basic_Search_Strategies - I know a lot of this stuff but when I get bogged down in the middle of a project (NOW!!) it helps to build a road map.