Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Calvin Caston Where's the Proof ? Part 2

Part 2

Calvin Caston filed a homestead application August 15, 1870.  He built housing, planted crops and paid taxes on the property. In May 28, 1880 his homestead was cancelled.  

Homestead Application number 4260 at top of form

Calvin  failed to provide final proof of his homestead. Several events occurred which prevented submission of final proof.  On February 24, 1885 , Calvin Caston made a sworn affidavit  to the clerk of the circuit court of Pike county, Mississippi to reinstate his homestead. I have attempted to try to transcribe a portion of the affidavit:

Calvin Caston Request for Homestead Reinstatement

" ... at the time he should have made final proof on the said homestead he had a death in his family (can't decipher) a grown daughter and that he was confined to bed with a long spell of (can't decipher). That soon after he learned that his Htd was cancelled he came before the clerk of the court and petitioned the United states Land Department to reinstate him in (can't decipher) Homestead. That said petition was lost or miscarried on its way to Jackson.   That being uneducated and ignorant of the law he did not know what else to do.  That he has paid the taxes on the land several years and he thought in doing so he was doing his duty as a law abiding citizen and that in doing so

 Calvin Caston Request for Homestead Reinstatement and signature

it would give him the right to hold the same.  That he has lived on said land thirteen years and has made crops that many seasons.  He raised cotton, corn peas, potatoes in the land contracted in said Homestead that has erected on said land the following improvements  to with dwelling house, corn crib, stables (can't decipher) has sixty acres of the said in cultivation.  That his improvements that he has erected in said land is worth about three hundred dollars.  That he has completed with the same in the settlement and cultivation of said Homestead as faithfully as his extremely limited knowledge of the same enabled to do.  The premises considered he prays the United States department to reinstate him in said Homestead and permit him to make final proof on same as it is his only chance for a home for himself now in old age and his three children dependant upon him for a home in which to live."

"Sworn to and subscribed this                   his
24th day of Febry AD 1885"             Calvin X Caston

Calvin Caston homestead was reinstated April 4, 1885.

----- The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Calvin Caston Where's The Proof ? Part 1


In obtaining a deed for homestead property it was necessary to establish residency and improvement of the land. Calvin Caston and family have been identified in the 1870 and 1880 population federal census living in Pike County, Mississippi.  In the 1870 federal census, Calvin Caston occupation is listed as a farm hand who can't read or write. The value of his personal property is $100.00. One hundred dollars in 1870 is the equivalent of $1,769.55 in 2015. There is no value listed for real estate. Let's keep in mind that the 1870 census information was taken days before he filed his homestead application. The 1880 federal census does not list real estate or personal property value.

The census of agriculture is collected the same year as the decennial population census. I have located Calvin Caston in the non-population 1880 agricultural census for Pike County, Mississippi. This census identifies the inventory of the farm assets land improvements.

A portion of the 1880 Federal Agriculture Census for Pike County, Mississippi
 Calvin Caston is first name listed

This is a small chart of some of the information for Calvin Caston property on the 1880 Agricultural census. The 2015 monetary values have been included on the chart.

Rents for Fixed Money
Acres of Land Tiled
Value of Farming Implements and Machinery
Value of Live Stock

Estimated Value of All Farm Productions for 1879
Calvin Caston
     $15 (1880)
 165 (1880)
  400 (1880)


Calvin Caston was also  taxpayer for his property in Pike County.  I was able to locate a copy of the 1881 tax. On the tax form, a column to identify the individual's  residence for previous year is printed but not recorded for any of the individuals listed. 

"Mississippi, State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-21942-40530-1?cc=1919687&wc=9B48-3TY:211910201,212012101 : accessed 9 July 2015), Pike > County tax rolls 1881-1886, Box 3752 > image 4 of 400; Mississippi Department of Archvies and History, Jackson.

Enlarged image of 1881 tax record Calvin Caston listed 5th from the bottom

Summary of 1881 Taxes with 2015 valuation

Name      Number of   Value of    Number of     Value of    Number of      Value of         Total of        Aggregate State
Calvin      Cattle           Cattle        Horses           Horses      Carriages         Carriages      Valuation           Tax
Caston        2                30                 1                   35                 1                  10                    75                    22.5

  2015                          $670.00                          $782.33                               $223.52         $1676.41           $491.75

These documents establish Calvin Caston as a resident, taxpayer, and landowner who improved his property.

-----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Calvin Caston Homestead Part 1

A Place To Live

Calvin Caston is enumerated in the Pike County Federal August 12, 1870 census.  In the 1870 census, familial relationships are not identified but the individuals listed with him all have the same surname.  I have listed the family members  in a previous blogs. It is interesting that post Civil War most black people with the Caston surname lived in  nearby Amite County.  I have not been able to connect Calvin Caston to that county. The Bureau of Land Management is a source for information concerning land patents and homesteads in the United States.   Calvin a farmer applied for a homestead in Pike County, Mississippi in August 15, 1870.  His application was for 80 acres. 

The homestead process to obtain land consisted of filing an application, improving the land and filing a deed of title.  The homesteader had to live on the land for 5 years, improve the land by planting crops and build a dwelling 12 by 14 size. Proof of residency had to be established before the deed was issued. Calvin's homestead records gives an insight to his life and family.  He had life circumstances that cause a long delay in receiving title to the land. He did not receive deed of title for 21 years until  August 19, 1891. More to be discussed.

------ The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Irvin Brumfield son of Liddie

It has been my attempt in research to try to find evidence that identifies the Brumfield children of Liddie Brumfield Caston.  Prior to November, 1912 in Mississippi, there were no death or birth certificates registered with the state.  Many of the ancestors also could not read or write.  I have not been able to locate a family bible which may have vital records.  I suspect that a bible of this type may not exist.  Some of Liddie's children had the good fortune of long lives such as Tom and Richard Brumfield and death certificates have been located. 
I have been unable to establish a  maternal relationship between Liddie and Ervin (Irvin) Brumfield.  I however been able authenticate that Ervin (Irvin) Brumfield definitely knew Calvin Caston. In my blog post "Ervin, Irvine, Irving, Irvin Part Two" published in November 21, 2012, I mentioned that Calvin Caston signed the homestead affidavit for Irvine Brumfield

Affidavit  of residence for the homestead of Ervin Brumfield 

Henry Conerly and Calvin Caston stated that they knew Ervin Brumfield for 7 years past which would have been 1870. His settlement was established September 1, 1870. Ervin had a wife and four children in 1877. Ervin is thought to have been born in 1846 according to the 1900 Federal Census. In 1870, Ervin would have been 24 years old.

------The Tree Gardner