Monday, November 18, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Post 195: Deed by John Phillips to Daniel Bixby in 1758 for Land in Shrewsbury, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme many 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."

The subject today is a land deed in Worcester County, Massachusetts dated 20 December 1758, recorded on 23 March 1762, transferring one tract of land in Shrewsbury, Worcester County from John Phillips to Daniel Bixby for 3 pounds, 6 shillings and 8 pence (left-hand page on the image below):

A transcription of the deed recorded in the Worcester County Deed Books by the Deed Registrar is (handwritten portions in italics, transcribed line by line):

1 Phillips to Bixby

2 To all People to whom these presents shall come, Greeting,
3 Know Ye, That I, John Phillip of Shrewsbury in the County of
4 orcester and Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New En-
5 gland Yeoman

6 For and in Consideration of the Sum of three pound Six shillings & Eight pence
7 to me in Hand before the Ensealing hereof, well and truly paid by, Daniell bixby of said
8 Shrewsbury in the County of Worcester & province afores^d Yeoman

9 the Receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, and my self, therewith fully satisfied
10 and contented; and thereof, and of every Part and Parcel thereof, do exonerate, acquit and discharge
11 him the said Daniell Garfield his
12 Heirs, Executors and Administrators, forever by these Presents: HAVE given, granted, bargained, sold,
13 aliened, conveyed and confirmed; and by these Presents, Do freely, fully and absolutely give, grant,
14 bargain, sell, aliene, convey, and confirm, unto the said Daniell Bixby his
15 Heirs and Assigns forever, ta Certain tract
16 or parcell of Land Situate in said Shrewsbury and Containing by Estimation four
17 acres one quarter and Thirteen Rod be the same more or less and is bounded as fol-
18 loweth viz beginning at a heap of Stone on the Northerly Line of s^d Bixby Land
19 Easterly and bounds Southerly on s^d Bixbys Land Untill it comes to the Northwesterly cor-
20 ner of said Bixby's land and thence it Runs N:12 W Twenty one Rods to a heap of
21 Stones on the Southerly Line of Lott N^o. 41 and thence Runs Westerly by said Lott
22 & the Southwesterly Corner of it and thence Westerly Straight to the first mentioned
23 bound.

24 To have and to hold the said granted and bargained Premises, with all the Appur-
25 tenances, Privileges and Commodities to the same belonging, or in any wise appertaining to him
26 the said Daniell Bixby his
27 Heirs and Assigns forever. To him and their only proper Use, Benefit and Behoof forever.
28 And I the said John Phillips
29 for me my Heirs, Executors and Administrators, do covenant, promise and grant to and with
30 him the said Daniel Bixby his
31 Heirs and Assigns, that before the Ensealing hereof, I am the true, sole and lawful Owner of the
32 above bargained Premises, and am lawfully seized and possessed of the same in my own proper
33 Right, as a good, perfect and absolute Estate of Inheritance in Fee Simple : And have in myself
34 good Right, full Power and lawful Authority, to grant, bargain, sell, convey, and confirm said bargained
35 Premises in Manner as aforesaid : And that the said Daniell Bixby his
36 Heirs and Assigns, shall and may from Time to Time, and at all Times
37 forever hereafter, by Force and Virtue of these Presents, lawfully, peaceably and quietly Have, Hold, 38 Use, Occupy, Possess and Enjoy 38 the said demised and bargained Premises, with the Appurtenances, free
39 and clear, and freely and clearly acquitted, exonerated and discharged of, from all and all Manner of 40 former or other Gifts, Grants, Bargains, Sales, Leases, Mortgages, Wills, Entails, Jointures, Dowries,
41 Judgments, Executions, or Incumbrances of what Name or Nature foever, that might in any
42 Measure or Degree obstruct or make Void this present Deed.

43 Furthermore, I the said John Phillips for myself my Heirs,
44 Executors and Administrators, do Covenant and Engage the above-demised Premises to him the said
45 Daniell Bixby his Heirs and Assigns
46 against the lawful Claims or Demands of any Person or Persons whatsoever, forever hereafter to
47 Warrant, Secure and Defend by these Presents. In witness whereof I have hereunto set
48 my hand and seal this 20^th day of December and in the 32^nd year of his Maj^ties
49 Reign anno Dom^i 1758 John Phillips {seal}

50 Signed Sealed and Deliv^d in presence of
51 in presence of } Hannah Phillip wife of the abovesaid John Phillips in testimony of her Re-
52 Nathan Woodburn } linquishing all her Right of dower in the premises above mentioned have also
53 Zach Harvey } hereunto set her hand & seal the day & year above mentioned Hanah x ^her mark Phillips {seal}
54 Worcester SS March ye 6^th 1758 & now the within named John Phillips personally
55 appeared and acknowledged the within written Instrument to be his free act & deed Co-
56 ram Artemas Ward Jus^ce pac^m. Entered from the originall Deed . Cor. March 23

57 1762 and Examined John Chandler Reg^r

The source citation for this deed record is:

"Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 July 2013) , Worcester County, "Deeds 1761-63, Vol. 45-46," image 274 of 612, in Volume 45, Page 500, John Phillips to Daniel Bixby, deed for one tract of land in Shrewsbury, Mass., dated 20 December 1758.

This is a fairly straightforward land transaction between the parties for a small tract of land in Shrewsbury, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  The metes and bounds are generally stones and the property of the grantor Daniel Bixby at the time of the writing.

John Phillips wife at the time, Hannah Phillips [probably the Hannah Brown that he married in 1749 in Southborough], signed the deed with a mark indicating she was relinquishing her dower right to the land.  

Unfortunately, I have not found a deed where John Phillips bought this land.  I think that he bought this land after he sold his land in Southborough in 1752.  John Phillips, or his wife Hannah, may have inherited this piece of land from their parents or a sibling; alternatively, the deed may never have been recorded.  

There is one clue to the location of this land - it was bounded by Lot 41 of the original lots laid out in Shrewsbury.  

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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