Sunday, February 12, 2012

Amanuensis Monday and 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 7 Historical Documents

This is Week 7 in Amy Coffin's Abundant Genealogy series.

Historical Documents:  Which historical document in your possession are you happy to have?  How did you acquire this item?  What does it reveal about your ancestors?

My 3 G grandmother Nancy Frazier Shiflett’s brother Leland Frazier, the same colorful character I wrote about HERE, has long been a man of mystery and the subject of debate.  Because he sometimes went by Leland Shiflett and sometimes by Frazier, Shiflett researchers and Frazier descendants alike wonder who his father was. 
Lucy Shiflett (about 1778 – before 1860) and John Frazier (about 1770 – before 1850) were married January 20, 1811 in Albemarle County, Virginia.  She was his second wife.  Lucy’s son Leland Hardin was born in 1804.  So that explains the Shiflett connection.  John Frazier helped raise him, but did he actually father him? 
A possible answer lies in a deed that I found several years ago while trolling through the various collections on microfilm at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. 

8 November 1844
Greene Co. Deed Book 2, p. 403

This indenture made and entered into this 9th day of November in the year 1844 between John Frazier of the County of Greene and State of Virginia of the one part and Leland Frazier, Lively Morris, Burton Shifflett, John H. Frazier, Michael Frazier, William Frazier, Shadrick Frazier, Susan Frazier and Mery W. Frazier of the other part. Witnesseth: That the said John Frazier has well for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which he has and bears for the above named Leland Frazier, Lively Morris, Burton Shifflet, John H. Frazier, Michael Frazier, William Frazier, Shadrick Frazier, Susan Frazier and Mery W. Frazier and of one dollar of lawful money of this commonwealth by the said parties to the said John Frazier in hand paid at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hast given, granted, sold and confirmed and by these presents doth give grant sell and confirm unto the said parties their heirs and assigns forever a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Greene adjoining the lands of James H---s (Harris or Hearin?), William Morris, David Morris and others supposed to contain 200 acres more or less To have and to hold the said land and appurtenances to them the said parties of the 2nd part and their heirs and assigns, to the only proper use and behoof of them their heirs etc., forever, and the said John Frazier for himself, his heirs etc. doth covenant . . . of the second part, and he the said John Frazier and his heirs the said land and its appurtenances to them the said party of the second part, and their heirs and against all other persons ---------- , shall and will by these presents forever warrant and defend. In witness whereof the said John Frazier has hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year last above written.
John (his X mark) Frazier   {Seal}

This day John Frazier gave to Elijah K. Davis a Note in demand for Fifty Five Dollars to which note Burton Shiflett and Shadrack Frazier became security, with the understanding that if any of the above named heirs will agree to pay their equal portion of the aforesaid debt to EK Davis they are entitled to an equal share in the land, if they do not, and the said Burton Shiflett and Shadrick Frazier have the amount to pay, then the land belongs to them.
John (his X mark) Frazier
The expression “natural love and affection” is extended equally to all his children (including the daughters through their husbands’ names).  In these words John Frazier claims Leland as his son.  Of course, that’s not a birth certificate, but it is an indication of the feelings John Frazier had towards Leland who seemed never to know what name to use. 

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