Sunday, February 24, 2013

Addison County, Connecticut; Personal Financial Note 1837

Addison County, Connecticut, 28 March 1837. A personal financial note between Robert Finch and Ransom Rathborn, witnessed by Hezekiah Church. Source: eBay seller genstore.

Interesting to note in this document that the basic legal language has already been printed, with just the specific details of the agreement filled in by hand into this preprinted legal form. 

The unusual typeface has been chosen to resemble handwritten script; it's early enough, however, that some of the "s" characters are shown in the old-fashioned "large s" form.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Family Letter, Hopewell, New Jersey, 1802

Letter from William Cornell and Elizabeth (Lanning) Cornell to uncle and aunt Elijah Allen and wife, of Alexandra, Hunterdon, New Jersey. Mentions recent death of old Christopher Howell, brother Noah Lanning's wife, recent burial of John Smith's wife, legatees' meeting at John Rudd's, and brother Daniel Cook.

Source: eBay seller genstore.You can make it slightly larger by clicking through.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Weymouth, Massachusetts Dower Reversion 1820

From August 14, 1820, this announcement of an auction sale for the reversion of the dower of Sarah Shaw, widow of the late Jeremiah Shaw. Signed by Sarah, and by Jacob Richards, as Administrators.

Location: Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Date: 1820-08-14. Source: eBay seller genstore.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Original Documents Are ... What?

Sitting in attics and file cabinets and barns all over the world are the original documents that people wrote and marked up and signed as they went through life. We've got our own to worry about, but ours aren't two hundred years old. The actions mentioned in these documents may be ordinary, the participants unknown, the paper hard to read, and the legal importance non-existent today; but the original documents that followed us around (and sometimes tied us up in knots) are a window onto the pasts of our great-great-grandparents.

OK, so where do you find these? People have them, and they sell them or give them away or let them go out in their estates. Perspicacious paper dealers find them and offer them for sale. Most of the documents you will find on this blog are part of the stock advertised by dealers. May it happen that some dealer has the document in which your Aunt Minnie sold the family homestead, but kept some back! More likely, you'll find her promissory note, or her wedding announcement.

Here's one, and it isn't Aunt Minnie's:

In Lexington, Scott County, Indiana, 1831-09-08: Thomas McCament and Jane McCament of Scott County, Indiana, sell land in Lexington to Joseph Robins, also of Scott County. Source: eBay seller genstore.

Sorry, I don't have an image of the other side of the sheet, but you can always write to the dealer and ask what's on it.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, and hoping that I can make it relatively simple to add interesting documents, and, without tearing hair, add enough tags so that people on a generic search pattern can find them.

Tell me what you think:  magscanner at-sign hidden hyphen knowledge dot com