The population of Riverhead was reported as 2,373 in 1845. In 1847 and today Baiting Hollow is part of Riverhead Town and about 5-6 miles away from Main Street. According to Seeking the Past, Writings from 1832-1905 Relating to the History of the Town of Riverhead edited by Tom Twomey with a chapter about Riverhead written by R. M. Bayles in 1882 the main occupations for Baiting Hollow were farming and furnishing firewood. Abundant crops of grain, hay and potatoes were grown in the area. The Supervisor of Riverhead was Sylvester Miller and Justice of the Peace was Nathan Corwin.
Daniel and Jemima Benjamin Warner are my paternal 3x great grandparents. They were born, raised 6 children, died and are buried in Baiting Hollow, New York. (I believe Daniel’s father James Warner was the first Warner to live in Baiting Hollow.)
So, I located the following document that my 3x great grandparents were mentioned in. There is also a Nathan Benjamin who I believe was related to Jemima. I thought at first it may have been her father Nathan Benjamin (several generations were named Nathan Benjamin) but he had died in 1838. As I reread and transcribed the document I thought, OK, it’s another piece of evidence about the lives of my ancestors but pretty ‘typical’… that is… until I read the last line. I thought that was very different and very interesting!
click on image to enlarge
Transcription: (I added in [ ] a definition to aide in understanding terminology)
This Indenturemade the third day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty seven. Between Joanna Hulse, Nathan Benjamin, Daniel Warner and Jamima his wife, Elkanah David and Sally his wife of the town of Riverhead and John Fanning and Polly his wife of the town of Southampton County of Suffolk and State of New York of the first part and Daniel Benjamin of the town of Riverhead County and State aforesaid of the second part witnesseth that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of fifty dollars to them in hand paid by the said party of the second part the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have bargain sold remised and quit claimed [relinquish claim] unto the party of the second part and his heirs and assigns [someone with legal claim] forever ALL of that certain tract of land situate in the town of Riverhead being the west part of the north lot of the Woodhull place so called bounded southerly by the hedge which divides it from the land of Joanna Hulls westerly by the land of Daniel Warner, northerly by the land of Jacob Benjamin and easterly by a certain walnut tree and running a Course equal with the road and Warner’s line containing by estimation two and a half acres be the same more or less also on other trace of Wood land of the Woodhull place so called in Riverhead town lying between Daniel Warner’s land and John Fanning’s wood land bounded westerly by said Daniel Benjamin’s land and eathly by Elkannah Davis’ land containing by estimation one and a half acres be the same more or less together with all and singular the hereditaments [property] and appurtenances [accessories] thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining and the reversion and reversions remainder and remainders rents issues and profits thereof and also all the estate right title intres claim or demand whatsoever of them the said party of the first part either in law or equity of in and to the above bargained premises and every part and parcel thereof to the said party of the second his heirs and assigns to the sole and only proper use benefit and behoof [benefit] of the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever. In witness and whereof the said party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals on the day and year first above written.
Sealed, Signed and Delivered
In the presents of
Nathan Benjamin L. S. [Legal Signature]
Daniel Warner L.S.
Jamima Warner L.S.
Elkanah Davis L.S.
Sally Davis L.S.
John Fanning L.S.
Polly Fanning L.S.
Suffolk County SS: On the ninth day of March one thousand eight hundred and forty seven personally came before me Joanna Hulse, Nathan Benjamin, Daniel Warner and Jemima his wife, Elkanah David & Sally his wife and John Fanning and Polly his wife known to me to be the Individuals described in and severally acknowledged that they had executed the within conveyance and the said Jemima, Sally and Polly on a private examination apart from their husbands acknowledged that they executed the said conveyance freely and with out fear or compulsion of their respective husbands.
Nathan Corwin, Justice of the Peace
Wow! Nathan Corwin actually talked to the wives, separate of their husbands to be sure they were in agreement with the sale of the property. I wonder if this was something that was specific to Mr. Corwin? I have not come across this statement before and have looked at a lot of land transfers. So often women were even left out of such matters. I was pleased to see that their husbands included them and that Mr. Corwin made sure that their consent was given freely and so noted.
There were 2 markings I am not sure about in the original and . I am hoping someone will be able to help me with these. I am thinking is was a shorthand the transcriber used? Perhaps something like ‘bounded by’ and ‘free’?
Once again I am very thankful for Mr. Ackerly’s foresight in transcribing these documents and for their preservation. They definitely add to an understanding of my ancestors’ lives and the times they lived in.
Enjoy the journey,