1. The maiden name of married women can sometimes be found in deeds. In a Caldwell County, Kentucky deed (Book E, page 77), we learn the maiden name of Logan Armstrong's wife, Polly, when the heirs of Job Dean conveyed land in 1826. Or was Polly the widow of Job Dean, as Nanakat suggests? We know that Logan Armstrong married Mary Dean 21 June 1804 Livingston County, but it doesn't say if she was a widow or not. Nanakat builds a strong case for her being the widow. Thanks, Nanakat!
2. Deeds sometimes tell the current location of former residents. In a Caldwell County deed (Book E, page 211), we learn the maiden names of Andrew Dunn's wife, Betsey, and Vincent Anderson's wife, Sarah, when the heirs of John Jenkins dec'd sold land on Eddy Creek in 1826. This deed is doubly valuable as the heirs were no longer Kentucky residents, having moved to Alabama. In a 1914 Crittenden County deed (Book 33, page 296), the children and grandchildren, heirs of Martin Gahagan dec'd, are listed. Several of the heirs were from Crittenden County, but another one lived in Eldorado, Illinois, another in Denver, Colorado and the guardian of two others lived in Oak Hill, Kansas.
3. Property divisions often name the heirs of an estate. This is especially important if the parent died intestate. The heirs of George Towry are named in an 1838 Caldwell County deed (Book I, page 71). Another example is the Crittenden County deed (Book C, page 614) of 1854 whereby Margaret Stallions conveyed land to her children, the heirs of Josiah Stallions deceased. Josiah left no will so the names of his heirs is important. Sometimes all of the names of heirs are not listed, but we can determine how many heirs there were by the wording in the deed. For example, an 1857 Caldwell County deed (Book S, page 332) mentions Nancy Cooksey, formerly Nancy Young, daughter and heir of James Young, but does not name the other heirs. However, the deed states she has "an undivided interest of one ninth as one of the heirs of James Young dec'd." From this we know there were, indeed, other heirs of James Young.
4. The relationship between a parent and children is often shown in deeds. Again, this is especially important if the parent left no will. In 1819, Zachariah Chandler of Caldwell County, in consideration of his son Josiah Chandler Jr's bond to the father and $1000, conveyed 200 acres of land on Lick Creek. Also, the son promised to care for the father the remainder of his life.
In order to be a thorough researcher, you should include deeds in your research plan.
Published 28 Feb 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/