I was immediately drawn to the 1880 plat map of Akan Township because 1880 is the year I was able to find proof that Hans J. Hanson and his family were living in America. I knew from the 1900 U.S. and 1905 Wisconsin State Census' that my Hans J. Hanson was a farmer and owned land in Akan. The map isn't indexed so I sorted through each square looking for Hanson's. I knew it might be difficult to find my specific Hans Hanson as I knew their was at least one other Hans Hanson listed as a neighbor of my Hans Hanson in several of the late-1800 U.S. Census Records. Even with this against me, I was still able to locate two Hans Hanson's, one in Section 27 and one in 35. The one in Section 27 even said "H.J.Hanson"!
I wanted to make sure I could confirm or eliminate one either the Section 27 or 35 Hans Hanson. I don't have any land records or wills, but I have several Census records and started with them. I sorted through the neighbors of my Hans J Hanson and noticed the same names coming up over and over again, but none in a particular order or location. (I've always wondered what path the census workers took.) Finally, I logged onto Ancestry.com and pulled up the 1880 U.S. Census (and others) and started going through additional pages until I found the other Hans Hanson. It turns out that the other Hans Hanson (who's wife was Mary) who had the same neighbors as the Hans Hanson in Section 35, which most likely means mine is really is the Hans J. Hanson in Section 27!
I can't wait to share this information with my family. Especially those who have taken the time to drive out to visit the graves of Hans and Antonette! I wish I had a trip planned to Wisconsin soon so I could see the land in person. I love adding chapters to this story.