John Newmark of the TransylvanianDutch blog started his own Monday blog theme several months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition: "A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another." This theme was picked up by Randy Seaver at Geneamusings and then Heather Rojo at NutfieldGenealogy. I really like the idea. I really don't like the name. Every time I see amanuensis I think and see amniocentesis. I even pronounce it that way. So, I'll play along anyway. Randy Seaver seems to descended from an inordinate amount of people who left wills. Because of my large New Hampshire ancestry, the people who left wills there before 1771 are already published in the New Hampshire State Papers, so there's no real need to transcribe them (again). I'll dig around my files for some other types of records and see what I can find. Here's the first: a deed, Strafford County (N.H.) 59:147-149. The boldface is added for emphasis:
Know all men by these presents that I Jonathan Heard of Rochester in the County of Strafford & State of New Hampshire, husbandman for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand Dollars to me in hand before the delivery hereof, well and truly paid by my well beloved son Frederic Heard of Rochester aforesaid, husbandman, the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge have given, granted, bargained, sold, and by these presents do give, grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff, convey and confirm unto him the said Frederic Heard his heirs & assigns forever, the following parcels & tracts of land, that is to say, a certain tract or parcel of Land situated in said Rochester, containing twenty acres more or less being one third part of the lot numbered eighty seven in the first division of lots in said Rochester drawn to the original share of Jonathan Woodman and bounded as follows, to wit, on the northeast end on the four rod road and on the southeast on land formerly owned by John Bickford southwesterly on land formerly owned by Moses Varney of Dover deceased and northwesterly said Varney's land to the said highway, the above premises conveyed to me by James Tebbets & Mary his wife by their deed of warranttee dated the nineteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & two also another tract or parcel of Land being two thirds of a first division lot of land in said Rochester which was formerly owned by Lt. John Bickford of said Rochester, lot numbered eight six drawn to the right of Capt. John Knight conveyed to me by John Bickford & Polly Bickford as by their Deed of quitclaim dated the twelfth day of October Anno Domini 1804 may appear--Also one other several tract or parcel of Land situated in said Rochester containing forty acres more or less in the lot numbered eighty eight in the first division drawn to the original right of John Sias & others it being the same my Hond. Father Reuben Heard lived on the seventh day of April Anno Domini 1804, the aforesaid last mentioned tract or parcel of land conveyed to me by the said Reuben Heard by his deed of warrantee dated the seventh day of April Anno Domini 1804--Also a certain tract of Land lying in Rochester aforesaid containing one thir part of the first division of lot of land which formerly owned by Lieut. John Bickford late of said Rochester deceased and is the same premises which Valentine Pickering purchased of Nathan Bickford of Newington by his deed dated eighth day of March Anno Domini 1804 reserving to the widow of said John Bickford her dower at Law which premises were conveyed to me by the said Valentine by his deed of quitclaim dated the seventeenth day of April Anno Domini 1805--Also another tract or parcel of land situate in said Rochester, containing six acres in the lot numbered eighty-eight in the first division drawn to the original right of John Sias & others this last mentioned tracat or parcel of land conveyed to me by Edward Rollings as by his deed of warranttee dated the twenty-eighth day of October Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & ninety six. Also my Pew at the southwesterly end of the meeting house--To have and to hold the said granted premises, with all the privileges and appurtenances to the same belonging to him the said Frederic his heirs & assigns to his & their only proper use & benefits forever; and I the said Jona Heard my heirs executors and administrators do hereby covenant grant and agree to with the said Frederic his heirs and assigns that until the delivery hereof I am the lawful owner of the said premises seized and possessed thereof in my own right in fee simple, and have full power and lawful authority to grant and convey the same in manner aforesaid, that the said premises are free & clear of all & every incumbrance whatsoever; and that I my heirs executors and administrators shall & will covenant the same to him the said Frederic his heirs and assigns against the lawful claims & demands of any person or persons whomsoever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this eighteenth day of November in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and eight.
Signed sealed & delivd. in the presence of --
Rec: 21 November 1808
On the side of the second page: Know all men by these presents that I Sarah Hurd wife of the within named Jonathan Heard for the within consideration and twelve dollars paid me by J.H. Woodman, the receipt whereof I hereby acknowledge have released and hereby do release my right of dower & power of thirds in and unto so much of the within described premises as is now owned by said Woodman being thirty acres by estimation and is the tract on which the said Jonathan formerly dwelt, and lies partly on the southerly side of the road from the brick school house to Dover and partly on the southerly side of the road leading from said School house to Gonic. In witness where I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirtieth day of April Anno Domni 1823. Sarah Heard (her mark) signed sealed and delivered in presence of N. Tebbets George Hurd
rec. 23 May 1823.
Image of page two of the deed (some of which is cut off because it is too long) after the jump: