Monday, December 30, 2019

Amanuensis Monday -- 1794 Deed of Simon Gates from Lucas Dunn in Worcester County, Massachusetts

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is a 1794 deed of  Simon Gates buying land in Gardner, Massachusetts from Lucas Dunn of Gardner in the Worcester County, Massachusetts Land Records: 

[Volume 122, page 506]

The transcription of this deed is:

[page 506 on left-hand page of image]
[in left margin]

Dunn Lucas to Simon Gates

[body of text, handwritten text in italics]

Know all Men by these Presents that I Lucas Dunn of Gardner in

the County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Yeoman
in consideration of four hundred pounds paid me by Simon Gates of said
Gardner yeoman the receipt whereof I do hereby Acknowledge do hereby give
grant sell and convey unto the said Simon Gates his heirs and assigns
a Certain lot of land lying in the Northeasterly part of the Town of Gard-
ner with the Buildings thereon, being lot N^o. 121 in the third Division
Containing seventy six Acres with an Allowance of two Acres for high-
ways at bounds Easterly on lot N^o. 119 South on lots N^o. 122 & 26 part 27
West on land of Edward Jackson North on lots N^o. 95 & 96 and part on
lots N^o.  94 & 97 second Division as may more fully appear by the Pro-
prietors Records of the Town of Westminster reference thereunto being
had.  To Have an to Hold the same to the said Simon Gates his
Heirs and Assigns to his and their use and behoof forever And I do covenant
with the said Simon Gates his Heirs and Assigns that I am lawfully seized
in fee of the premises that they are free of all incumbrances and that
I will warrant and defend the same to the said Simon Gates his Heirs
and Assigns forever against the lawful claims and demands of all Persons.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal together
with Hannah my Wife who doth relinquish her right of Dower in the
premises this thirty first Day of March in the year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and ninety four.  The conditions of the
above Deed is such that if the said Lucas Dunn his Heirs and Assigns
shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid to the said Simon Gates his
Heirs or Assigns the sum of four hundred pounds in two years after Date
with annual interest for which I have given him my Note of hand
for that sum of even Date with this Deed then the above Deed shall
be null and void otherways of force.                 Lucas Dunn  (LS}
Signed sealed & delivered  }                             Hannah Dunn {LS}
in presence of us                 }      Worcester ss  March 31^st 1794  Lucas Dunn
Samuel Wilder                   }      above named Acknowledged this instrument
Nath^l Wheeler                 }      to be his free Act and Deed
                                                   Before me Samuel Wilder Jus. Peace.
Rec^d Sept 18^th 1794  Entered & Examined pr Dan^l Clap Regr.

The source citation for this recorded deed is:

"Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 January 2015), Worcester County, "Deeds, 1794-1795, Vol. 122-123," Volume 122, Page 506, image 267 of 692, Deed of Lucas Dunn to Simon Gates, executed 31 March 1794, recorded 18 September 1794; citing records in land offices and county courthouses, statewide in Massachusetts.

This deed is for a tract of 76 acres of land in Gardner, Massachusetts being Lot 121 of the Third Division of Westminster. Simon Gates paid 400 pounds for this lot.  This is a mortgage deed with the condition that Lucas Dunn pay the 400 pounds with interest within two years of the date of the deed.

It is curious that in 1794, 18 years after the start, 11 years after the end of the Revolutionary War, this County is still using the English money system (pounds-shillings-pence) for land transactions.  I wonder when they changed over?  Did all Massachusetts counties use this system in 1794?  Did all states?

Simon Gates (1739-1803), son of Amos and Mary (Hubbard) Gates, who married Susanna Reed (1745-1833) in 1766, is my 5th great-grandfather.  I am descended from their son, Nathan Gates (1767-1830) who married Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855) in 1790.


NOTE:  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."

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