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February 18, 2015

Deed of Sale for William W. Swain Sr.

I found this deed transcript as I was doing some research at the Family History Library over the weekend:
McNairy County Deed Book A pp 242 & 243.

State of Tennessee
McNairy County:
Know all men by these presents that I John Williams for the sum of $40.45 to me in hand paid by William Swain of Henderson county the receipt is hereby acknowledged have sold (p.243) unto said William Swain the here named to wit 1 horse & saddle 1 sow & calf 5 head of hogs 1 plow and farming gearr 1 chopping axe & 3 weeding hoes 1 cotton wheel 2 feather beds and furniture one pot oven and skillet 1 iron shovell 1 looking glass 1 dining table 1 dish & 2 pitchers 1 check reel waving loom five head of ___ in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this January 31st 1834.                                                                             John Williams (Seal)
Test Francis Beard 
A. Brown

State of Tennessee
McNairy County: 
Personally appeared before me Maelis Cross clerk of the circuit court Francis Beard a subscribing witness to the within bill of sale from John Williams to William Swain and said witness after being duly sworn saith that he saw the assignor sign the same as heard him acknowledge the same to be his set and deed given under my hand at office this March 25th 1834. 
                                                                                       Maelis Cross clerk


A few things strike me as interesting regarding this deed. I'd really like to find the original record. The first thing I find interesting is how much stuff he is buying! I'd imagine this would be normal if he was moving counties or changing residences, but in 1834, when this deed is dated, he had been living in Henderson already for 6 years and would not be relocating to McNairy for another 6. All of his children were also already born, the youngest being around 8. Of course it is possible that William could have built a new residence and needed more furniture and wanted to increase the number of his livestock, but it just seems like there must have been some other catalyst to purchase this many items. 

This deed also makes me wonder who this John Williams is. Obviously, where William is a resident of Henderson and John is a resident of McNairy there would have to be some previous relationship between the two of them - either family or an old neighbor or childhood friend. 

The only other notable event that was happening around this time [that I know of] was the marriages of some of William's children. Several of his children had been married between 1828-1834 and I believe Edwin, his first born son, was actually married in 1834. I suppose parents of that age could have been like parents of today, helping their children get the start they need as they begin their own family life.

Anyway, this document is interesting both for what he is buying and when he is buying it. It gives us some clues to continue our search and increase our information about William Swain of Lincoln and Henderson and McNairy counties of Tennessee.

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