Looking over the family tree…

This morning I was looking over my family tree chart to get a feel for how it was looking these days,  (and I must say, my efforts have filled it out pretty well in the last few years), when I realized that my great great grandparents Elza Shepard and Jane Buchanan were second cousins. Susan Smith, who married Hartley Shepard, was the daughter of Catharine Atkinson, William A. Buchanan was the son of Rebecca Atkinson, sister of Catharine. Susan’s son Elza married William’s daughter Jane.

That also means we descend from James Atkinson and Margaret Brown twice. Not an unusual occurrence at all, but one I just realized.

Elza Shepard and Jane Buchanan, 2nd cousins, my great great grandparents on my maternal size. They are sitting on chairs that are on an incline. Hilly country in West Virginia.

A mystery possibly solved…

I don’t know if I can say enough times how important land records are in genealogical research.

Case in point.
I have been slowly transcribing the digital images I took of land records from my last trip to SLC. I am currently working on land deeds from Monroe County, Ohio. The surnames I am interested in are SMITH, MOBLY, MILLISON, BUCHANAN, and ATKINSON.
Monroe County, Ohio map 
Joseph Smith and his wife Catherine were the parents of Susannah who married Hartley Shepard. Rebecca Atkinson married William Buchanan.
I have never known the name of Catherine’s parents, it has never been stated in any of my research. However, it is possible that I have found it out.
One of the land records I transcribed for Joseph and his wife, spelled Katherine in this particular deed, indicated a tract or parcel in Section 7 of Township 4, Range 4, I believe it was the SW 1/4. Okay. Cool. I marked the position on my hard copy. Then, a while later, I am transcribing a land record for William Buchanan and Rebecca his wife, remember she is an Atkinson by birth. The tract or parcel described is the exact same one described in Joseph and Katherine’s deed, the Buchanan’s had acquired the property through the decease of Rebecca’s father James Atkinson. Both couples were selling the land to the same person, John Adams.
The property was described as some type of inheritance in Joseph’s deed, but James’ name wasn’t mentioned.
The only reason I could see for the property description to be the same, was if Katherine was a daughter of James and had inherited her portion of the estate. And if that isn’t interesting enough, there is a Jeremiah Smith who married an Atkinson girl living in the same area, and involved in land transactions related to the same Atkinson family.
My belief is that Jeremiah and Joseph are SMITH brothers, who married ATKINSON sisters. Of course, it is possible that I am wrong and Joseph is somehow related to James Atkinson, but I have my doubts, because he would have to be a pretty close relative to be inheriting part of the estate, when there are children and a wife getting their portions also.
Well, that’s my theory so far.