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02 April 2013

Straw Man

My ancestor in Ohio had not completed paying for his federal land sale when he died in the early 1820s. The administrator of the estate was his son-in-law. The son-in-law wanted to buy the property from the estate (for a value agreed to by the court). However, it looked "strange" for the son-in-law, as administrator, to deed the property to himself as a private person. So he sold the balance of the claim to a neighbor who then sold the claim to the son-in-law. The neighbor only served as an intermediary and never really wanted the property. His role in the sale is what is sometimes is referred to as a "straw man."

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