See part 1 here and part 2 here.
The third page (chronologically) of the land records I received from NARA is the Pre-emption notice of intent. My great great grandfather's signature is actually on this document! Is it weird that I get excited about that? Surely I'm not the only one.
No. 2 - PRE-EMPTION
Land Office at Yankton, DT
I, Zenophile Lanctot, of Darlington Charles Mix Co DT who made Pre-emption Declaratory Statement No. 7583 for the Northwest qr. of Sec 13, Twp. 99, Rge 67 do hereby give notice of my intent to make final proof to establish my claim to the land above described, and that I expect to prove my residence and cultivation before Adam Grimes, Judge Probate Court Charles Mix Co., DT at Wheeler th Co. Seat, on Monday, August 17, 1885, [g.a.w.] by two of the following witnesses:
Caleb Hebert, all of Darlington Dak
Eph Gregoire, of Bloomington DT
[Zenophile Lanctot] (signature of claimant)
Land Office at Yankton, Dak
June 30, 1885
Notice of the above application will be published in the Charles Mix Co. News, printed at Darlington DT which I hereby designate as the newspaper published nearest the land described in said application.
[G.A. Witter] Register.
Ok, let me just say for the record ... ol' Probate Judge Adam Grimes had terrible handwriting. I know this because he was also the census enumerator for Charles Mix County, Dakota in 1885. Specifically, page 40 of District 128, where I found Zenophile listed with his wife Eliza and son Arthur (daughter Josephine would be born in August of this same year). I mention his handwriting because the census records are so only partially indexed, and the ones that are indexed are done so poorly (Zenaphine Lavator) that I had to go through them page by page to find my family. I don't blame the indexer for annihilating his name ... but when you can't make out "Farmer" (Fanner) and "Brown" (Boonn) and "Truesdell" (Wendell), perhaps you should try another page. You be the judge:
Incidentally, the I found Amos Truesdell on this page, and Moses Paradise, Caleb Hebert, and Ephraim Gregoire on the previous page. I wonder if Zenophile acted as a witness for any of those gentlemen ... anyway, I thought it was interesting that Eliza is shown as being born in Illinois. Now I have 3 pieces of conflicting information for her from 3 different documents. Guess she just created another blog topic for me!