Monday, February 4, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - A Second Deed from Richard Cook to Thomas Cook

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.

Last week I published the first of two deeds from Richard Cook to his father Thomas Cook (one of my maternal 4th great-grandfathers). This second deed for 40 acres, also on Brushey Mountain in North Carolina and the land on which Richard was living, was dated 31 March 1818, just two days after the first deed. This deed also was not recorded until 15 July 1819, after Thomas Cook's death.

“Richard Cook to Thos Cook Deed 40 Acres land

This Indenture made the thirty first day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen between Richard Cook of the county of Wilkes and State of North Carolina of the one part and Thomas Cook of the County and State aforesaid of the other part. Witnesseth that for an in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars to me in hand paid by the said Thomas Cook the receipt whereof is hereby fully acknowledged that the said Richard Cook hath given, granted, bargained, sold and by these presents do give, grant, and sell unto the said Thomas Cook his heirs or assigns to a certain tract or parcel of land containing forty acres be the same more or less it being part of the land whereon the said Richard Cook now lives. Beginning on a White oak, thence nearly West to my North line it being a conditional line made between Richard Cook and Thomas Cook Including all the lands North of said line concluding forty Acres be the same more or less with the appurtenances and all rights titles and priviledges and improvements the same anny ways belonging to him the said Ritchard Cook his heirs or assigns forever and the said Cook himself his heirs do hereby coventent [covenant] and agree to and with the said Thomas Cook that said Cook his heirs or assigns shall and may forever hereafter peaceably and quietly injoy oqupy [occupy] and precess [possess] the aforesaid grant and land without Molistation and the said Ritchard Cook himself his heirs Executors, Administrators or assigns do by these presents warrant and forever defend the right and title of the aforesaid granted lands and primises to him the said Thomas Cook his heirs and assigns forever against the right title or claim or Intrest of anny person or persons whatsoever, In witness whereof I Ritchard Cook hath hereunto set my hand and fixt my seal the day and date first above written.
Signed, sealed and delivered  }
I[n] prsents of                        }                                              Richard Cook {seal}
James Clanton
Enos Anderson
W. W. Martin

                        (wrote on the back.)

North Carolina            }
Wilkes County            }          May Term 1819

The within Deed was duly proven in open court by the oath Williams W. Martin in order to be Registered.
                                                                        Test R. Martin, Clk.

Registered       }
15th July 1819  }”

[Source: Wilkes County, North Carolina, Deeds, 1768-1964, 24: 432, indenture, Richard Cook to Thomas Cook, dated 31 March 1818, recorded 15 July 1819; FHL microfilm 392,960.]

© 2013 Denise Spurlock


  1. Denise, It is exciting to find deeds and wills on our ancestors. I have a collection as well. Somebody once said "Where there's a Will there's a way." I say: "Where there's a Will there's a genealogist." I've been with Geneabloggers for about four months. I've been blogging about "An Early Christmas Gift" I found through through google books.

    Regards, Grant

    1. Hi, Grant, Thanks for visiting my blog. I love finding deeds and wills because they can contain fascinating bits of genealogical information that can help up know our ancestors better. Good luck with your blogging!