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.
For the past three weeks I have transcribed deeds conveying various parcels of land located in Madison County, Ohio, to Abijah Gandy, my 3rd great-granduncle. This week I have transcribed the Plan of the Town of New Canaan, which was surveyed for Abijah by David Chapman. The plan for the town shows the location of the home of Luther Cary (my 4th great-grandfather) slightly below and to the left of the town lots.
Source: Madison County, Ohio, Deed Books 1810-1922, 7: 195,
town plat, Town of New Canaan, 11 April 1831;
FHL microfilm 522,905.
"Plan of the Town of New Canaan.
Recorders Office April 11th 1831.
March 26.th 1831. Surveyed for Abijah Cary the Town of New Canaan in Canaan Township Madison County Ohio. Beginning at letter B The South west corner of Lot No. 1. which is N 10 E 8 poles and 11 links from the North East corner of the house that Luther Cary now lives in. the Town is laid out one teir[tier] of Lots on each side of a County Road, Known by the name of the Chillicothe road. and the road is the Main Street through the Town and is four poles wide all the lots except No 32 and 33 are Six poles square. Bounded as follows. beginning at the south Corner Thence N 5 ½ West 6 poles. S 84 ½ W. 6 poles S. 5 ½ E 6 poles, containing 36. square rods. of land. each lot No 32 being at its South west Corner N 16 West 6 poles and 3 links N 84 ½ E 5 poles and 22 links S 5 ½ E 6 poles S 34 ½ W 4 poles and 15 links. S 5 ½ E 6 poles S 84 ½ W 3 poles and 8 links Containing 23 3/7 Square rods of land. the Alley on the west side of the west side of the street and 40 links wide and between lots No.s 4 and 5 one between lots No 8 and Nine and one between 12 and 13 the ally on the south side of the street are 30 links wide. one between lots No 20 and 21. one between lots No. 31 and 32 the course of Main Street from Letter B. No[r]therly is N. 30 W. and from B. southerly S. 16 E.
© 2012 Denise Spurlock