|Polly Drummond's 1838 purchase of her tavern property|
Some of the distraction part is sort of baked into the cake -- deeds can be thought of as individual links in a longer chain. Each one gives you not only information about the next one (this one's buyer is the next one's seller) but, as I've found, very often loads of information about the previous ones. In order to prove that the seller (or, grantor. buyer is the grantee) has legal claim to the land in question, the deed often gives background information on the property. Usually it's along the lines of "being the same tract or parcel granted by so and so by indenture dated such and such a date." Once in a while the chain of ownership is complicated enough that it may go back several steps or include other information. Needless to say, this can be enormously helpful.
With all this data, it's natural (to me, at least) to want to tug at all these different strings. I started a few weeks ago on a certain investigation which, due to the families involved, quickly sidetracked me back to the Moses Montgomery property which I wrote about recently. Now, I've gotten back to where I started and found most of what I was looking for, and that post will be along soon. In the meantime, I veered off again to a neighboring property where I think I've pieced together part of its history that has never been coherently and definitively written about before. That too will be coming soon. Until then, I thought I'd share a few other deeds that I thought might be interesting for one reason or another, to give you an idea of what they can tell us.
The first deed, or indenture, (which I've already shared on Facebook) falls into the category of Historically Significant. It's the record of the 1838 sale by Robert Graham of one acre to Mary Drummond and her sisters Rachel and Ann Evans (shown at the top of the page. Remember, you can click on the image for a larger version). Of course most of you will remember that Mary Evans Drummond was better known as Polly, and this sale of a lot with what would be her tavern is the reason that any of us know the name Polly Drummond. And if you wanted to trace ownership back, note that it tells us Graham bought the lot from Samuel Macklem just three years before.
|1798 sale from Samuel Stroud to Andrew Reynolds|
This deed clearly states (about 3/4 of the way down on page 244 in the bottom image) that Reynolds was buying a property that included a merchant mill built by Samuel Stroud. Reynolds does seem to be purchasing land on which to build a large mill race, so it looks like he was either enlarging or replacing Stroud's older mill. I haven't completely followed this trail yet to see how long Stroud was there and when he might have built his mill, but you get the idea.
|The 1861 purchase of the lot where beer would be made|
Another one that I would consider significant (and not at all because this sort of thing is on my mind for the coming weekend) is the above deed from 1861. It records the sale of six acres from Edward Mendinhall to F. Herman Biedermann of Kennett Township, Chester County. This is the tract on which, just a few years later, Herr Biedermann would build the Spring Hill Brewery. Mmmm, history.
|You want to be paid in what???|
I hope in the future to find other interesting and significant records, and to go back and fill in some holes in other stories -- places were I was stuck saying things like, "At some point he bought/sold the tract,", and actually fill in some real data. Stay tuned...