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et al Deed

Do you seek out land records in your genealogy research? Since FamilySearch has digitized most of their microfilm collection, finding these land records has become much easier. While these records discuss the transfer of a piece of land from one person, that is not why I love these records. I love these records because of the other information that is found in a deed. At times, these records will indicate that the person I’m researching lived in a different location, helping me broaden my research of that person.

But the ‘et al’ deeds are my favorites. These deed often identify some or all of a person’s descendants. While an 1849 Middlesex County Massachusetts deed identifies many of the heirs of Phillip A. Mentzer, it is an 1850 deed that not only identifies all of the children but identifies some of the spouses and includes their residences.

Mentzer et al
F R R Coy

Know all men by these presents that we Orin
da Mentzer & Wm A Mentzer both of Stow in the County of Middlesex Com
monwealth of Massachusetts, Charles Mentzer and Cyrus Mentzer both of North
[Borough] County of Worcester in the Commonwealth aforesaid John Mentzer of
Brighton in said County of Middlesex Charles L Pierce of Brighton in said
County of Middlesex Charles L Pierce and Orinda Pierce wife of Charles L in
her right of Worcester in said county of Worcester James Stratton and Han
nah Stratton wife of said James in her right of Westerly Rhode Island, Rufus
Mentzer of Greenwich Rhode Island and Sarah and George Mentzer minors by
their guardian Cyrus Mentzer, in consideration of one hundred and sixty
dollars paid by the Fitchburg Rail Road company the receipt whereof is here
by acknowledged, do hereby give grant bargain sell and convey unto the said
Fitchburg Rail Road their successors and assigns a certain tract
of land situated in said Stow containing ninety seven rods more or less boun
ded as follows. Beginning at land of William A. Mentzer and running
southwesterly as the Lancaster and Sterling Branch Rail Road is now loca
ted three hundred twenty three [21/10] feet by the center stakes of said location
to the road said tract is five rods in width being forty six feet three in
ches wide on the southerly side of said Centre stakes and thirty six feet three
inches on the northerly side of said center stakes Reserving a large stone
which lies partly on said granted premises and partly on land of the Gran
tors and the said Fitchburg Rail Road Company agree by the acceptance of
this deed to fence said tract of land with a stone wall on the upper and south
erly side the lower or northerly side may be wooden fence the fence to be
built on or before the 15th of May next the above consideration being in
full for land taken and all damages caused by the construction of said
Branch Rail Road and the maintenance of the same. To Have and
To Hold the above granted premises with the privileges and appurtenances
thereto belonging to the said Fitchburg Rail Road Company their suc
cesors and assigns to their use and behoof forever. And we the said Orinda
William A Cyrus Charles John Charles L Orinda James Hannah Rufus
and Sarah & George minors by Cyrus Guardian for ourselves and our heirs
executors and administrators do warrant with the said Fitchburg Rail Road
Company their sucessors and assigns that we are lawfully seized in fee of the a
fore granted premises that they are free from all incumbrances that we have

page 137
a good right to sell and convey the same to the said Fitchburg Rail Road
Company as aforesaid and that we will and our heirs executors and admin
istrators shall warrant and defend the same to the said Fitchburg Rail
Road Company their successors and assigns forever against the lawful claims
and demands of all persons. In witness whereof we the said Orinda
Mentzer Wm A Mentzer Cyrus Mentzer Charles Mentzer John Mentzer Charles
L Pierce Orinda Pierce James Stratton Hannah A Stratton Rufus Ment
zer and Sarah and George Mentzer minors by Cyrus Mentzer Guardian
with Caroline Mary & Olive wifes of said William A Cyrus & John in to
ken of their release of dower in the premises have hereunto set our
hands and seals this eighth day of January in the year of our Lord eigh
teen hundred and fifty. Orinda Mentzer (seal) William A Ment
zer (seal) Caroline Mentzer (seal) Cyrus Mentzer (seal) Mary S
Mentzer (Seal) Sarah A Mentzer (Seal) George Mentzer (seal) Cyrus
Mentzer Guardian for Sarah, George, Charles L Pierce (seal) Orinda
M Pierce (seal) Charles L Mentzer (seal) Rufus Mentzer (seal) Jas Stratton (seal) H Augus
tus Stratton (seal) John Mentzer (seal) Olive Mentzer (seal) Executed
and delivered in presence of use Samuel Clark to E S Mentzer the words
the fence to be built on or before the 15th of May next were interlined
before signing. Worcester SS Jany 10 1850 Personally appeared the
above named Charles L Mentzer and acknowledged the abbove instrument
to be his free act and deed before me Samuel Clark Justice of Peace
Middlesex ss Feb. 6 1850 Recd & Recorded by
Caleb Hayden Rec
Rufus Mentzer seal “ interlined

Massachusetts, Middlesex County. Deeds, Vol. 578-580. Film #439024 DGS 7441717. Phillip Mentzer heirs, 8 Jan 1850 Vol 578: Page 136; digitized images, FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 5 June 2022.

The wealth of information in this deed illustrates why I continue to seek out land records for my ancestor.

One thought on “et al Deed

  1. Alas, for my ancestors, owning land wasn’t an option in most cases – and land records in England don’t appear to be as plentiful…I’m envious of US researchers who have such a rich resource!!

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