On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.
I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.
In 1842, Andrew Yawman, my 2nd great-grandfather, became a citizen of the United States of America. He declared his intention to become a citizen in 1840; following is a transcription of his deposition from the Monroe County, New York, naturalization records, as well as a digital image of the document:
“Rochester Nov. 3. 1840.
Monroe County SS:
Andrew Yauman being duly sworn
deposes and says that he was born in the Kingdom of Fran[ce]
as he is informed and believes on or about the 22nd day of May
810, that he emigrated therefrom and arrived in the United S[tates]
of America on or about the 26 day of August that he has resi[ded]
here ever since_ that it is and has been bona fide his intention
and desire to become a Citizen of the United States as soon as the
Laws will admit and to renounce forever all Allegiance to any
foreign Prince Potentate or Sovereignty whatever an[d] particularly
to the King of France on on [?] he was a national born subject.
Sworn this 2 day of November 1840_ Andrew Yawman
before me J. Cutler, Dep. Clerk
Clerk's Office Ss. I have compared the above with
the original declaration on file in
this office, and do certify that it is
a correct transcript therefrom and
the whole of such original_
In testimony whereof I have here-
unto set my hand and affixed the seal of the
court of common pleas of said county this first
day of November 1842
Jeremiah Cutler, Dep. Clerk”
|Source: Monroe, New York, Naturalization Petitions, c.
File 5, Petition Number 1042, Andrew Yawman; FHL microfilm 980,257.