Have you ever started researching a new county to discover multiple families by the same surname that you were unaware of? That’s my case with my EVANS research in Warrick county, Indiana.
I admit it. I was lazy! Instead of researching the county to see what I could find on various EVANS families, I was using the hinting system to locate James Evans in the records. While I have an 1820 and an 1840 census record for James Evans in Warrick County, Indiana, I haven’t looked to see whether there were other EVANS in those records.
This all changed when I started working in the land records for Warrick County. Not only did I find entries in the deed indexes for James Evans, I also found entries for Robert M. Evans, Henry H. Evans and William Evans. At first, I thought these other entries might be for James’ sons. However, James’ sons would not have been old enough to own land when many of these other transactions occurred.
Knowing that James Evans had patents for land, I decided to check the Bureau of Land Management site to see if I could find other EVANS purchasing land in Warrick county. And I found, Robert, Henry and William!
I then turned to one of my favorite ($) sites: First Land Owners Project. Out of curiosity, I searched for EVANS land in Indiana and found that there were a lot of EVANS land purchases in that state.
Narrowing the search to Warrick county shows three ‘groups’ of land: Robert, James and Henry. The land William Evans patented is not labeled on the map. (highlighted in green)
Remembering that I’d seen a newspaper article about the EVANS family and the founding of Evansville, I went back to Newspapers.com ($) to find that article. The 17 September 1899 issue of the Evansville Courier and Press has an article about the founding of Evansville and the untimely death of a founder.
This article proved valuable since it identified Robert M. Evans as GENERAL Robert M. Evans. A quick Google search for General Robert M. Evans produced three valuable results:
- Wikipedia article: Robert Morgan Evans
- Find a Grave: Gen Robert Morgan Evans
- Vanderburgh County Biography: Gen. Robert M. Evans
These sites provided enough information to locate Robert M. Evans on the FamilySearch tree.
Turning to those Warrick county Indiana land records, I found that Henry H. Evans wife’s name was unique: Indiana Evans.
Thus, I was able to locate Henry Harrison Evans on the FamilySearch tree.
That leaves William L. Evans with a wife named Nancy. This may be William Evans.
While I may have identified the four EVANS men who were first land owners in Warrick County, Indiana, their trees don’t seem to intersect.
While a TON more research needs to be done on these EVANS families, I currently can’t find any connection between the four families. Thus, it may just be coincidence they all are first land owners in Warrick County, Indiana.