Merriam-Webster.com defines ad quod damnum as a writ issued to assess damages for land seized for public use. In the case below, the land was to be used for a grist and saw mill and involved constructing a dam across a creek. There is a bonus to this document, however, in that it names the heirs of the former owner. This document was located in loose county court papers in the Crittenden County Clerk's Office, Marion, Kentucky.
Uriah S. Burklow, Plaintiff, against Elizabeth Swansey, John Swansey, Wm. Flanary & Eliza Flanary, Saml. Ashley & Mary A. Ashley, John Ashley & Rebecca Ashley, Sephen Rutherford & Amanda Rutherford, Wm. C.L. Moore & Jane Moore, William Grigston, Mary E. Grigston, Wm. Swansey, Eli Swansey & Nancy Swansey, Defendants} Petition for Writ of Ad quod damnum.
Uriah S. Burklow states that he is the owner of a tract of land lying in Crittenden County Ky & on a water course known as Crooked Creek & the bed of which creek belongs to him or the Commonwealth & he desires to build on said land a grist & saw mill useful to the public & he needs a dam across said creek in order to do so; that the only land which will be affected by the building of such dam is land formerly owned by John Swansey now deceased. Said land descended to his heirs at law; that Elizabeth Swansey is his widow; John Swansey his son; Eliza Flanary, who is now the wife of Wm. Flanary, was his daughter; Mary Ashley, now the wife of Samuel Ashley was his daughter; Rebecca Ashley, now the wife of John Ashley, was his daughter; Amanda Rutherford, now the wife of Stephen Rutherford, was his daughter; Jane Moore, now the wife of W.C.L. Moore, was his daughter; that the mother of Mary E. Grigston now deceased who was the wife of Wm. Grigston, was also a daughter of John Swansey deceased; that William Swansey, Eli Swansey & Nancy Swansey are also children & heirs of John Swansey deceased; that Lucinda Swansey married to Henry Vaughn & was a daughter of John Swansey deceased, but Lucinda & her husband have conveyed their interest in said land to W.C.L. Moore; that the aforesaid persons are the only persons whose right will be affected by the proposed taking or overflow of land. All of said persons are of full age except Wm., Eli and Nancy Swansey and Mary E. Grigston and that Samuel Ashley is guardian for Wm. Swansey; John Swansey is the guardian for Nancy Swansey and D.W. Carter is guardian for Mary E. Grigston.
The petitioner Uriah S. Burklow prays for a Writ of ad quod damnum and that said mill site may be condemned for such purpose and that one acre of land belonging to the Swansey heirs be condemned for the use of such site and for all other purposes.
Uriah Burklow says that he believes the statements of the foregoing Petition are true. 2 October 1856.
Published 16 May 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/