Anatomy of a Move Using a Deed of Sale

BACKGROUND: Ervin and Lavina (PILGRIM) DRAKE are my fourth-great grandparents. Ervin is Poppy Lonzo DRAKE’s grandfather. Ervin was born in Kentucky in 1820 and Lavina was born in Indiana in 1822. Ervin and Lavina were married in 1839 in Indiana. Together they had nine children- Martha, Silas, Mary Ann (“Polly”), George Washington, Margaret, William(my ancestor), Nancy, Henry Arthur, and Jefferson.

In the fall of 1868 they owned eighty acres in Orange County, Indiana, which they sold to John J. CONDRA who was, at that time, still a bachelor (see the Deed Record transcription below). I have not found a relationship between the CONDRA and DRAKE or PILGRIM families beyond the sale of this property.

FAMILY LOCATION: The DRAKE family was enumerated in Orange County, Indiana, in the 1850 (in Jackson Township) and 1860 (in French Lick) federal censuses. Ervin’s Civil War draft registration shows that the family resided in French Lick in July, 1863. Ervin’s and Lavina’s son, George, was married in Orange County, Indiana, in March, 1866. Their daughter, Mary, was married there in January, 1867. By 1870, the family was in Johnson County, Missouri, and included on the federal census there.

The Deed Record helps me place the family as being still in Orange County, Indiana, as of 19 September 1868 when they signed the deed. They sold the land just prior to moving to Missouri.

RECORD TRANSCRIPTION (NOTE:The deed is transcribed as closely as possible to the original. Capitalization and punctuation are exactly as shown in the document. Items that are underlined in this transcription mean that on the original document, that is where the information was put in by hand.) :


THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH That Ervin Drake and Viney Drake his wife of Orange COUNTY in the STATE of Indiana Convey and Warrant to John J. Condra of Orange COUNTY in the STATE of Indiana for the sum of Six hundred Dollars, the following REAL ESTATE in Orange COUNTY in the STATE of INDIANA, TO-WIT: The North half of the North East quarter of section nineteen in Township One North of Range One West in the District of Land Subject to Sell at Vincennes Indiana containing Eighty-acres.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, The said Ervin Drake and Viney Drake his wife have hereunto set their hand and seal this 19 day of September 1868.

Attest: T.B. Cogswell
Ervin Drake his X mark
Viney Drake her X mark

Orange COUNTY. SS:

Before me T. B. Cogswell a Auditor in and for said County this 19th day of September 1868 personally appeared Ervin Drake and Viney Drake acknowledged the execution of the annexed Deed.

Witness my hand and Court seal this ____ day of ________ AD 18__. T. B. Cogswell Auditor OC.
Received the 5th day of October 1868 at 9 o’clock A.M.

I CERTIFY, That the Deed of which the above and foregoing is a true copy, was duly stamped, as provided by the Act of Congress, and Recorded on the 5 day of October, 1868, at 10 o’clock, A.M.

J. F. Pittman
Recorder of Orange County, Ind.


FURTHER RESEARCH: The DRAKE’s sold the land just prior to moving to Missouri which would mean that a search of Johnson County, Missouri, records between the dates of 19 September 1868 (the date the couple signed the deed of sale) and 16 June 1870 (the date the family was enumerated on the census) may help me come closer to a specific date of their arrival in Missouri.

ON YOUR OWN: If you would like a better idea of approximately where this 80 acres was located, you can look at an atlas map of Indiana. Find French Lick, Indiana. The property is somewhere between the town of French Lick and Patoka Lake. I have come to this conclusion based on the fact that Moores Ridge Cemetery is located in the same Section, Township, and Range as was the 80-acre property owned by the DRAKE’s and it is located South of the town of French Lick, just East of Highway 145 and North of Lake Patoka. (Based on the various maps and atlases I’ve looked at, I think if you turn off Highway 145 and go directly East toward Youngs Creek you would be headed right for the property “as the crow flies”.)

I was able to locate a 1920’s era Township/Range map of Orange County located at When you arrive at this link, scroll down until you find “Page 147” on the right side of the screen. Click “Page 147” and it will take you to the French Lick map. This map includes Ranges 1 and 2 West so you will have two Section 19’s. The one you are looking for is in the lower right corner of the map- the property marked as belonging to Ada Stultz at the time this map was created. This is the property that was owned by Ervin and Lavina DRAKE. I also used the map at this next link to help locate more precisely where the property was:

In about 2008, I was fortunate enough to travel to this area in Indiana. It’s very beautiful. It’s located within Hoosier National Forest. The French Lick – West Baden areas are now considered resort locations. If you’d like to learn more about the history of Orange County, Indiana, here is a good place to start:,_Indiana. Here is a link that tells about the railroad that ran through Orange County, Indiana: Here is a link to the website of the French Lick Resort/West Baden Springs Hotel: One additional source of information for the history of Orange County, Indiana, is here:

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