Monday, February 27, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - 1829 Deed - Roberts to Cary


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.


On Christmas Day 1829, my maternal 3rd great-grandfather Ephraim Cary purchased 100 acres of land for $150 from Wm. J. Roberts (and others) of Virginia. The land was situated along Bokes Creek in Union County, Ohio, and adjoined land purchased by his father-in-law Henry H. Gandy.

Several aspects of this deed were particularly interesting to me. It is the first deed that I have encountered where the transaction was handled by an attorney-in-fact for the seller; in this case, that individual was Laurence Ashton acting on behalf of Wm. J. Roberts and others who are named in the deed.

It also was the first time that I remember encountering so many individuals involved in the sale. Besides Ephraim as purchaser and Laurence Ashton as attorney-in-fact,  these are the people that Ashton represented:

  • Wm. J. Roberts
  • Martha Roberts
  • Thomas Lunsford Lenox (or Lomax)
  • Edmund (or Edward) Penn
  • Jane Penn, and
  • Elizabeth Smith.


Spelling was clearly a challenge! In addition to numerous spelling variations of words such as "attorney," names were spelled differently throughout the document. Roberts is also Robberts, Lenox is Lomax, Edmund became Edmond and Edward, Ephaim is also Ephriam. At least Martha, Jane and Elizabeth were spelled the same way throughout!

And a name I have never encountered: Falvory! This is the given name of the Mr. Frazier who held the original land patent.

My transcription of the document appears below the images:




“Laurence Ashton
Attorney in fact for
Wm J. Roberts & Others
Deed to
Ephraim Cary

This Indenture made this twenty fifth day of December, eighteen hundred and twenty nine, between Laurence Ashton agent and Atorney in fact for William J. Roberts, and Martha Roberts his wife, Thomas Lunsford Lenox, Edmund Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith all of the State of Virginia as will appear by a Power of Atorney now on Record in the County of Union and State of Ohio of the one part and Ephraim Cary of the County of Union and State of Ohio of the other part. Witnesseth, That the said L. Ashton agent and attorney, as afforesaid for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty Dollars to him in hand paid by the said Ephraim Cary, before the signing and ensealing of these presents, the receipt, whereof is hereby acknowledged hath granted bargained and sold, and doth by these presents, grant bargain, sell [--?--] and convey unto the said Ephraim Cary all the right title interest, and estate of the said William J. Roberts and Martha his wife Thomas Lunsford Lenox Edmond Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith in a to a certain tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the County of Union and State of Ohio, containing one hundred acres being a part of a tract of one thousand acres entered in the name of Falvory Frazier No 3692 and pattented to Robert Campbell and bounded as follows To wit. Beginning at a stake in the center of Bokes creek near a cluster of Lymns and Two sugar trees standing on the sound side of said creek thence running down said creek with the meanders thereof S70E 32 poles. N 80 E 23 poles South 22 poles S 50 ED 7 poles to a stake inm the center of the creek, near a sugar tree and bur Oak standing on the south side of the creek North westerly corner to Henry H. Gandys' land. thence with said Gandies line S 7 W 273 poles to a stake in the south line of the Original survey, near two ash saplins, thence N 83 W 34 poles to a stake near a large berch, thence N & E 200 poles to the beginning. Together will all and singular the rights, issues benefits hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining. To Have and to Hold the said tract or parcel of land with the premises aforesaid until the said Ephraim Cary his heirs and assigns forever and the said L. Ashton agent and Atorney, as afforesaid by virtue of the power vested in him by the Letter of Atorney before alluded to and according to the true meaning and intent thereof does hereby bind the said William J Robberts and Martha his wife Thomas Lunsford Lomax to Warrant and defend the said tract of Land with its apertenances unto the said Ephriam Cary his heirs and assigns free from the Claims of them the said William J Roberts and Martha his wife Thomas Lunsford Lomax and all persons, claiming by through and under them, and the said Edmond Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith are hereby bound to warrant and defend the said Tract of Lane with its appurtenances unto the said Ephraim Cary free from all the claim or claims of them the said Edmund Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth and all persons whatsoever.
In Testimony whereof the said L. Ashton agent and attorney as afforesaid has hereunto set his hand and seal and the names and seals of the ssaid William J. Roberts and Martha his wife, Thomas Lunsford Lomax, Edward Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith the date of this Indenture first written.
                                                                        William J. Roberts       {seal}
                                                                        Martha Roberts           {seal}
                                                            Thomas Lunsford Lomax        {seal}
                                                                        Elizabeth Smith            {seal}
                                                By their agent and attorney in fact
                                                                        Laurence Ashton         {seal}

Signed and acknowledged in the presence of
Levi Phelps
N Adamson

State of Ohio  )
Union County ) ss
Personally appeared before the subscriber, a Justice of the Peace for said County, Laurence Ashton signer to the Within deed of conveyance and acknowledged the signing and sealing thereof to be his act and deed for the purposes therein Expressed as Atorney in fact for the persons therein mentioned. Given under my hand officially this 25th day of Dec. A.D. 1829
                                                            Ira Wood. Justice of the Peace
                                                                        for Union County

The above deed was filed for Record May 17th and Recorded June 26th 1930
                                                            Silas G. Strong. Recorder.” 



[Source: Union County, Ohio, Deed Books, 1819-1877, 2: 422, deed, Roberts-Cary, dated 25 Dec 1929, 26 Jun 1930; FHL microfilm 571,795.]



© 2012 Denise Spurlock

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