Monday, January 16, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - 1853 Deed - H. B. Martindale to John Chandler

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.

This week I have transcribed a deed in which my 2nd great-grandparents, Howell B.  and Mary Elizabeth Martindale, sold approximately one hundred acres of land in Washington County, Missouri, to John L. J. Chandler of St. Genevieve County, Missouri. I believe they sold the property in preparation for a move to Texas where their son James Austin Martindale was born in 1856. The witness to the deed, John Robinson, is likely the father of Zilla Melissa Robinson, the first wife of my great-grandfather A. B. Martindale. A. R. Eaton, the justice of the peace who “examined” Mary E. “Separate and apart from her Husband” to assure her free will in the sale was likely her brother. The clerk’s penmanship and the poor quality of the microfilm copy made the transcription difficult.

“This Indenture made this twelfth Day of August in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and fifty Three between Hewel B. Martindale and Mary Elizabeth his wife of Washington County Missouri of the first part and John L. J. Chandler of St. Genivieve County Missouri of the Second Part, Witnesseth That the Said part of the first part for and in Consideration of the Sum of Six Hundred Dollars, to him paid by the party of the Second part, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged hereby Give grant Bargain Sell transfer and Make Over unto the Said John L. J. Chandler, his heirs and assigns forever the following Described tracts, lots or parcel of Land Lying in the North West Corner of a tract of Six Hundred and forty acres of land confirmed to Lemuel Makeley situated in Township [?] North [?] Thence East in a the County of Washington aforesaid Said tract is bounded and Described at follows, beginning at the North West Corner of the Lemuel Makeley Survey numbered 2181, Thence East One Hundred and Twenty four Poles with the Old line of Confirmation Thence North Seventeen Degrees west One Hundred and Thirty Seven Poles, to a Chinkapin Oake ten inches, in Diameter, Thence North four Degrees East to the line of James Harrison Survey Thence West with Said Harrison's line to the interaction of the Western line of the Confirmation Thence South with the Old line of Confirmation to the beginning Containing one Hundred and four Acres of Land more less to have and to hold the aforementioned tract or parcel of Land being a part of the Said Lemuel Makely Survey No. 2181 and him the Said John L. J. Chandler his heirs, and assigns, forever and the Said Howel B. Martindale and Mary Elizabeth, his wife do for themselves, their heirs, Executors, and Administrators, Covenant, [?] Warrant and Defend the aforegranted premises, unto the Said John L. J. Chandler his, heirs, and assigns, forever Against the Lawful Claim or Claims, of all and every person or persons, whatsoever. In testimony whereof, we have hereunto Set our hands, and affixed Our Seals, the Day and Year first above written.
John Robinson )                                H. B. Martindale {seal}
                                                            Mary E. Martindale {seal}

[next page]

State of Missouri                  )
County of Washington         )

Be it Remembered that on this Thirteenth Day of August in the Year of Our Lord Eighteen Hundred and fifty three personally came Howel B. Martindale and Mary E his, wife being both known to me to be the persons whose names are Subscribed to the foregoing instrument of writing as having Executed the Same and Severally acknowledged the Same to be their act and Deed for the purposes, therein mentioned. She the Said Mary E being by me first made acquainted with the Contents thereof and Examined Separate and apart from her Husband as to whether She Executed the Said Deed and relinquished her Dower to the Land, and tenements therein Mentioned acknowledged and Declared that She Executed the Said Deed and relinquishes her Dower to the Lands, and tenements therein mentioned Voluntarily freely and without Compulsion or undue influence of her Said Husband.

                                                            A R. Eaton
                                                            Justice of the Peace

Filed September 13th 1853.
                                                W. A. Matthews, Recorder”

[Source: Washington County, Missouri, Deed Records, 1813-1920, H: 407, indenture from Howell B. and Mary E. Martindale to John L. J. Chandler, 13 September 1853; FHL microfilm 915,372.]

© 2012 Denise Spurlock


  1. I think I've solved one of your words -- it's a Chinkapin oak.

    1. Thanks, Wendy! I've never heard of a Chinkapin oak. I updated my transcription on the blog and in my files.