Monday, November 10, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Post 243: 1874 Deed of Land in Taylor County, Iowa from Devier and Abbie Smith to M.W. Wood

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is an 1874 deed in the Taylor County, Iowa deed books for D.J. Smith and Abbie Smith selling land to M.W. Wood:

The transcription of this deed is (handwritten text in italics, form fields underlined):

Deed Record, Taylor County, Iowa.
D. J. Smith             }       Filed for record:  28th  day of    September    A..D. 
                              }         18 74   at     5    o'clock,    P.  M.
To:   M.W. Wood  }                                   E.G. Medford, Recorder
Know all Men by these Presents, That   We     
       D. J. Smith and Abbie A. Smith    
of the County of   Taylor   and State of    Iowa   in consideration of the sum of
                          Six Hundred                                              Dollars,
in hand paid by         M. W. Wood                                the following          
described premises, situated in the County of   Taylor    and State of     Iowa    to wit:

   Lot No. Three (3) of being the North East Quarter of the South East Quarter of   
   Section Number Eighteen (18) Township Sixty Seven (67) Range Thirty Three (33)
   West.  Containing 60 & 79/100 Acres     

and   We   hereby covenant with the said     M.W. Wood                         
                          that   We   hold said premises by good and perfect title, 
that   We   have good right and lawful authority to sell and convey the same; that they are 
free and clear of all liens and incumbrances whatsoever; And   We  covenant   to Warrant and 
Defend the said premises, against the lawful claims of all persons whomsoever.  And the said 
   Abbie A. Smith                   hereby relinquishes her right of dower in and to 
the above described premises.
Signed this    28th      day of     Sept.     A.D.  18  74  
IN PRESENCE OF                                               Devier J. Smith     
                                                                               Abbie A. Smith       

STATE OF IOWA,      Taylor       County,    SS
 On this   28th   day of    September    A.D. 18 74  , before me
                  J.P. Fleck                         a    Notary Public      within and for said County, 
                                    personally came   D. J. Smith & Abbie A. Smith      
     {  seal  }               personally to me  known to be the identical person s whose name s are  
                                    affixed to the above instrument as Grantor s , and acknowledged the
                                    same to be   Their   voluntary act and deed, for the 
                                    purposes therein expressed.
                                     In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed
                                  my official seal at     Bedford  Iowa    on the date last
                                  above written.
                                                                                           J.P. Fleck            
                                                                                            Notary Public        
      I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the original deed, as filed for record
 on the     28th      day of      Sept.         18 74  
                                                           E.G. Medford          Recorder.

The source citation for this Deed is:

Taylor County, Iowa, Taylor County, Iowa, deed records, 1855-1953; index, 1855-1902, "Deed Records (Land) v. O (cont'd), 1873-1874, v. P 1871-1873, v. Q (to p.391),"  Volume Q, page 453 (stamped), Deed of D. J. and Abbie A. Smith to M.W. Wood, 1874; accessed 4 February 2014 on FHL US/CAN microfilm 1,535,634.

Devier J. Smith bought the 60.79 acres in Section 18 in Township 67 North Range 33 West from Tobias and Lydia Denny on 10 December 1867, along with 160 acres in the southwest quarter of Section 23 in Township 68 North of Range 34 West, for $1400.  He sold the Section 18 lot in the present transaction for $600.  It's not possible to tell explicitly what his profit on the sale of this property is.  

However, he sold this same parcel to A.H. Owens in 1871, see Amanuensis Monday - Post 238: 1871 Deed of Land in Taylor County, Iowa from Devier and Abbie Smith to A.H. Owens (posted 6 October 2014).  I found no deed with Devier Smith buying this parcel back.  I wonder how he got it back to sell again?

Devier J. and Abby A. Smith are my second great-grandparents.  By 1875, they were residing in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas.  Subsequently, they moved to McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska in 1885, and then bought land in Cheyenne County, Kansas before Devier died in 1894 in McCook.  Abby came to San Diego to live with her daughter's family in the early 1890s.

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Marian said...

Randy, this looks as if you took a photo of the projected image from microfilm. That is, it looks like you took a photo of an operating microfilm reader. Is that correct? what is your technique for taking a photo like this? I'd really like to be able to do something similar!


Randy Seaver said...


My "technique" is pretty primitive:

* Try to get the whole image in the viewer with some margin.
* Avoid casting a shadow on the image.
* Try not to shake too much when tapping to take the picture on the iPhone.
* Check the image to make sure its readable and complete, especially the white spot in the middle of the image.

Fortunately, my iPhone 5s has decent camera quality so I rarely have to take a second shot.

Using the iPhone avoids having to unhook the microfilm reel, go to the microfilm reader/scanner area at the FHL, perhaps wait for a scanner, find the right image again, save the image to the USB drive, and remember to recover the USB drive. Timewise, this is 10-15 minutes (depending on wait time for a scanner and operator clumsiness) versus one minute for the iPhone shot. I had 28 deeds on about 5 different films to search in just this one county.

I judged the images were "good enough" - I wanted the information, and don't need a perfect image.