Monday, September 2, 2013

Did Clement Gardiner Need Title Insurance in 1797?

     On July 3, 1797 Clement Gardiner agreed to purchase 380 acres of land in the waters of Coxs Creek in Nelson County, Kentucky1. The agreed upon price was 342 pounds Kentucky Currency.  The seller was Nicholas Paul alias Powell.  The deed was recorded by the County Clerk on July 9, 1797.

A small portion of the recorded deed
Nelson County, Kentucky Deeds Vol 7 1796-1813 page 191

Now if I was purchasing property from someone and they had an alias, I would think twice before finishing the deal.  In 1797 not everyone could read and write so names were often spelled numerous ways.  (I have seen situations where the same name was spelled several different ways in the same document.)  So this was not uncommon.  But there was a problem because less than two months later a notice appeared in the Stewart Kentucky Herald.

Notice of Bond2

     Nicholas Powell had received a Warrant for one thousand acres from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1780.  That thousand acres was surveyed and the deed was recorded in Nelson County in 1791.  He may have mortgaged his land in 1792 and then cleared that mortgage about the time of the sale. This may have been at the root of the dispute.  In any case Clement Gardiner lived in Fairfield for the rest of his life.

1.  Nelson County, Kentucky Deeds Vol 7 1796-1813 page 191

2. "Notice", Stewart Kentucky Herald, Sep 12, 1797

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