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Question - 1804 Deed - Resident of Ga to Resident of Rowan County- Were Witnesses in GA or NC?

Replies: 4

Re: Question - 1804 Deed - Resident of Ga to Resident of Rowan County- Were Witnesses in GA or NC?

Posted: 1395335303000
Classification: Query
Good question to consider. The abstracts for Deed Book 19, p. 108, has the following:

2 Jan 1804. Jesse (I) Harris Sr. of Oglethorpe Co., GA, to George Harris of Rowan for $100, 50 A adj Harris. It being a State grant to this Grantor on 7 Jul 1794. Wit: Iasiah Johnson, Nancy Harris. Prvd by Johnson at Nov Ct 1804.

Spellings are as interpreted by the author of the abstracts (Kluttz). The (I) indicates the type of signature mark of the grantor, so he made a mark rather than signing his name. It was typical for this area in this time period that most people did not know how to read or write, and had court clerks or attorneys write out their legal documents for them.

This deed was made (signed) on 2 Jan 1804, but not recorded in Rowan until Nov Court 1804. This was not unusual; recording dates can vary widely. The person proving the deed in court was Johnson, so he was physically present at court that day to state that he had witnessed Jesse Harris sign the deed. No one else needed to be present, but, if Jesse were there, the court document probably would have had him acknowledge the deed himself, rather than depend on Johnson, so Jesse Harris probably was not in NC at the time.

As to where the deed was made and signed, you don't know that unless you can find something else to prove it. If Nancy was the wife of Jesse, then you need to know where she was at the time. If Nancy was the wife of George, chances are that it was done in Rowan, but you don't really have solid proof of that either. My guess would be that the deed was executed in Rowan before Jesse left for Georgia.

It was not unusual for a husband to go ahead and find land, and perhaps build a home before going back and retrieving family and farm animals, etc. Since Jesse is noted to be of Oglethorpe County GA, chances are good that he had already traveled to GA to purchase land, and in early 1804 was moving there permanently, already considering himself a resident of Oglethorpe.

The typical pattern was for someone to get in their harvest in the fall, sell it, sell the land, and then move to the new location before the worst of winter set in (often mid-January to mid-March in the South), and be prepared to plant spring crops when the ground warmed up enough. January would be somewhat late to move to the new location, but he was heading south and not to the Midwest. And perhaps he had gone to GA in November or December to find land before taking his household there. That is conjecture, of course, but it would be consistent with the typical migration patterns at the time.

Hope this helps.
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nafisher2 1395321887000 
KatherineDBen... 1395335303000 
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