From: R. Sheldon <rpshel(a)frontiernet.net>
Subject: Re: [IABENTON-L] Re: great research tip
Date: Thursday, June 25, 1998 4:50 PM
This is in regard to the great research tip about the signature of
witnesses on old
deeds. This tip would have helped me crashed so many of
my brick walls I had to follow up on it and am sharing my conclusions.
I have checked with a couple experienced researchers and a retired
Virginia lawyer and law book editor and am sorry to report they have never
heard of a convention of the witnesses being related to the grantors of a
deed, nor is it mentioned in the "Source" guide to researchers. My
experience as notary and legal secretary was that witnesses were needed
to verify the person who signed the document was the person he/she claimed
to be and nothing more.
We also agree that if such a practice existed it was regional custom and
law. It could be something the recorders of my adopted home state
might do and it could be the writer hit a group of deeds in which that was
the case. The key word in the item that sent up red flags was "always".
P.S. And by the way another fallacy to dash, the state laws of Minnesota
written by transplanted New Englanders, Germans and Irish long before
the Scandinavians arrived and the first group still outnumber the last
group. They (Scandinavians) receive entirely too much credit (blame?) in
the media for MN customs.