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Sample Deeds

Sharpsburg Deeds

Deeds are one of the most important primary sources of town history. In addition to a small bit of information on the property, they usually have the name of the seller’s wife, and sometimes names of heirs.

Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century deeds were all handwritten, and hand-copied into the Land Records. The script was often very clear and fine, though not for every clerk, and they contain a lot of particular expressions which are difficult to read until you are familiar with them. Sample deeds, transcribed here, give a feel for the usual expressions.


Original Chapline Deed for Lot 12 in Sharpsburg

These photos show a rare original deed, actually signed by Joseph Chapline [Sr.] and the Justices of the Peace who witnessed it. All of the other Town deeds that are available to us are actually clerk’s copies of the originals, re-written on sheets in the Libers (books) to record them in the Land Records Office.

This deed is for Lot 12, on East Antietam Street, and it was bought by William Good (who was himself a Justice of the Peace) in 1768. He paid 12 pounds Pennsylvania currency, rather than the standard price of 1 shilling sterling. We don’t know why. The deed doesn’t mention any improvements, saying only that the lot is sold “with all profits and advantages and appurtenances,” a standard expression. There may have been some modest improvements to the lot, and possibly even a house, though that isn’t likely.


The First Sharpsburg Deed That Was Recorded

This deed for Lot 31, bought by Catherine Rodeman, was the first Sharpsburg deed to be recorded in the Frederick County Land Records, Liber J, folio 109-10. She paid the standard price of 1 shilling for the lot, and agreed to pay 3s 6p annual rent to Joseph Chapline on the 9th of July, from the 9th of July 1763.

It was not the first deed to be made by Chapline, however. He made his first twenty-four deeds on January 20, and this one was among the seventeen he made on the next day.

link to : “Transcript of First Deed Recorded”


Marrow Family Deed

This deed lists names of several descendents in the Marrow family, with their spouses, who sold a lot on East Main St. to a relative in 1868. The family relations are not clearly given, but such a reliable list, at a known date, is valuable for genealogical research.

The property is on East Main where it climbs Cemetery Hill. The lot should have been numbered by Chapline as Lot 90, but they refer to it instead as the Betsy Walker Property, and mention some adjoining landowners. This helps locate the lot precisely, and helps in other deed searches.

link to : “Transcript of Marrow Family Deed”



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