The recent survey and creation of a trust for the family cemetery on the Ulrich Huffstutter farm in Nicholas County, Kentucky prompted me to think about the chain of title for those acres. There are several easy to use online software programs to chart land surveys so I entered the co-ordinates from the original deed and was pleased with the resulting survey outline included with this post.
The rest of the property description and chain of title is as follows:
1) 1796–The original deed for Ulrich’s farm.
Bourbon Co KY Deed Book C:632-633 UNDATED, proven in April Court 1796 John Townsley and wife Ester to Ulirick Hufstuter—55 acres on waters of Hinkston, boundaries mentioned are a buckeye and ash on Owings line; sugar tree and elm standing in Tabbs line; buckeye and box elder in Tabbs line.
2) 19 Aug 1794 Sale of sub-divided portion of the Tabb & May grants
Bourbon Co., KY Deed Book C:60-61 19 Aug 1794 Proven in August Court 1794 Philamon Thomas and wife Mary of Mason Co to John Townsley—55 acres on the lines of Parish and Tabb…
(There were several sale deeds from Philamon Thomas to various individuals on the same date, 19 Aug 1794. One of them was to Nimrod Parish mentioned above who shared a boundary line with Townsley.)
3) 8 Mar 1794 Sale of Tabb & May grants as the result of a lawsuit
Bourbon Co KY Book C:172-174 8 Mar 1794 Proven in Bourbon Co Court of Quarter Session June 15, 1795 John Tabb and wife Frances of Amelia Co VA to Philamon Thomas of Mason Co.
Philamon Thomas was a lawyer and land speculator. Backed by a consortium of wealthy investors Thomas bought up large tracts of land with questionable titles and then subdivided and sold it quickly. Often the tracts of land became entangled in lawsuits that lasted for years making it difficult to sell the property.
The sale and recording of the Thomas deed was the result of a 1794 court decision May v Frazee involving ownership of thousands of acres of land which was appealed and went through various courts. Final decision was handed down in Dec 1823 [4 Littell 391] with the court declaring legal title belonged to Tabb and May.
4) Land Grant signed by Patrick Henry dated 15 Nov 1787
5) Survey for Tabb & May, 10,000 acres, dated 25 Oct 1784
Having established the trail of land transactions from the original patent given to John Tabb and John May to Ulrich I’ll continue the story forward through time. Ulrich in his will dated 1801 left his 55 acre farm to his son George Huffstetter.
About 1816 there was a change in the county line between Bourbon and Nicholas Counties and a section of Hinkston Creek became the boundary. Several farms on the north side of Hinkston Creek that had previously been in Bourbon Co became part of Nicholas County among them Ulrich Huffstutters.
Thus, when George Huffstetter sold Ulrich’s farm in 1818 it was recorded in Nicholas Co KY Deed Book E, p 296.The deed states, George Huffstetter and Catherine his wife of County of Harrison and State of Indiana to William Sparks of the County of Nicholas and State of Kentucky sell for $600, 55 acres on Hinkston Creek.
The ongoing lawsuit over title to the numerous land grants of Tabb & May, including the 10,000 acre claim of which the 55 acre Huffstutter farm was a part, resulted in this statement being included in the George Huffstetter deed: “all that tract or parcel of land situate in the County of Nicholas on the waters of Hinkston being part of two claims one in the name of Abraham Shepherd of 1000 acres and the other entered and surveyed for John Tabb and conveyed by Philoman Thomas to said Huffstetter “
Also included in the deed was this disclaimer: “…but it is understood that in case the said tract of land should hereafter be lost or taken by any other claim whatever, then in that case the said George Huffstetter and his heirs are not to be liable to refund the purchase money, nor no part thereof, as the true intent of this conveyance is to sell the chance of the land without recourse either in law or equity.”
The sale of Ulrich’s farm to William Sparks explains why several Sparks tombstones are found in the cemetery. The property would come full circle when William Sparks daughter Elvira Sparks married James Huffstetter. We are still researching the deeds and it is not clear if Elvira inherited the farm from her father and that is how the acreage returned to the family or whether James Huffstetter purchased the farm from William Sparks. As soon as those details are established I will post it in my blog. To be continued…..