A Deed of all Deeds

When I began doing genealogical research a number of years ago, I never imagined the surprises I would find along the way, both for myself and my wife.  The discoveries I made across the world, from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Wales and England were nothing short of miraculous and mind changing.  Some discoveries confirmed family histories and others changed those histories.  One of the most amazing discoveries I made was in 2018, when I uncovered the lineage of my mother’s side of the family that went back to my 6 times great-grandfather, Johannes Mueller (1733-1796).  You can read the post regarding the discovery here

Early in my research of my Miller family, I had come across a post by Carol Eddleman on the site called PA-Roots, dated Jan. 15, 2007 about a deed record that had been transcribed.  Below is the transcribed document: 

To all people unto whom there presents shall come that we George Sonder (Souder?) and Catherine my wife, John Adam Fenicle and Justina, my wife, John Gamphor (or Gamber/Gambor?) and Susannah my wife, George Behshore (Beshore / Bashore / Belshore?) and Magdelena my wife, Andreas Gilbert and Christina my wife, Henry Miller, Mathias Miller, Jacob Miller, Jonathan Miller, George Miller, Cibble Miller, and Elizabeth Miller, pend greeting Wheras John Miller Late of Tulpehoccon Township in the County of Berks and State of Pennsylvania having? made is last will and testament in writing bearing date this Twenty Ninth Day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety six and in and among other gifts bequests and legacies did desire unto his son John Miller the plantation and tract of lands situate in the township of Tulpehoccon in the county and state aforesaid adjoining lands of “Paul Gray? Casher??? (can’t decipher) and others for the sum herein mentioned as in and by the sums in part received last will and testament remaining in the Registrars office at Reading in the County of Berks aforesaid reference being thereunto had more fully and at large appears. Now Know Ye the said George Souder and Catherine, my John Adam Fenicle and Justina my wife, John Gamphor (or Gamber/Gambor?) and Susannah my wife, George (Beshore/Bashore/Belshore?) and Magdelena my wife, Andreas Gilbert and Christina my wife, Henry Miller, Mathias Miller, Jacob Miller, Jonathan Miller, George Miller, Cibble Miller and Elizabeth Miller all of us daughters and sons and heirs at large of the said John Miller late of Tulpehoccen Township aforesaid deceased, do hereby acknowledge that we have and had this day received of and from John Miller and Justina Miller executors of the last will and testament of the said John Miller deceased the sum of twelve hundred pounds in lawful money in full satisfaction and payment of all such sum or sums of money, ?., legacies and bequests as are givin on behalf of the said Plantation tract of land to us by the will and testament aforesaid . We therefore do and every one of us dost grant bargain sell alien and off release and ?, and by this presents have and each every of us hath granted bargained sold aliened released and confirmed unto the said John Miller, his heirs and aligns the at large, appears together with all and singular the edifices, buildings and improvements, barns, stables, gardains, orchards, ways, woods, waters, water courses, rights, liberties, privileges, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever hereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining and the reversions remainders rents, ?, and proffits thereof and alto all the estate right ? interest use property ? claim and demand whatsoever of them the said George Sonder (Souder?) and Catherine my wife, John Adam Fenicle and Justina ,my wife, John Gamphor (or Gamber/Gambor?) and Susannah my wife, George Behshore (Beshore/Bashore/Belshore?) and Magdelena my wife, Andreas Gilbert and Christina my wife, Henry Miller, Mathias Miller, Jacob Miller, Jonathan Miller, George Miller, Cibble Miller, and Elizabeth Miller, in law or equity or otherwise of in and to or out of the same. To have and to hold the said tract of land heritaments and premises hereby granted bargained and sold mentioned or intended so to be in the appertanances unto the said John Miller his heirs and assigns to the only proper use and behalf of him the said John Miller his heirs and assigns forever. ? the said George Sonder (Souder?) and Catherine my wife, John Adam Fenicle and Justina, my wife, John Gamphor (or Gamber/Gambor?) and Susannah my wife, George Behshore (Beshore/Bashore/Belshore?) and Magdelena my wife, Andreas Gilbert and Christina my wife, Henry Miller, Mathias Miller, Jacob Miller, Jonathan Miller, George Miller, Cibble Miller, and Elizabeth Miller do covenant severally the premisis of respectively that we and every of us our heirs, executors and administrators and ever of them shall and will from time to time and at all times forever hereafter well and sufficiently warrant and defend the above mentioned premises and from all person and persons whomsoever lawfully claiming to claim the premises by for or ? him or them or any of either of them, but for no greator of ? estate then the said John Miller deceased held and enjoyed the premisis before and at the time of his death. In witness whereat the said George Sonder (Souder?) and Catherine my wife, John Adam Fenicle and Justina ,my wife, John Gamphor (or Gamber/Gambor?) and Susannah my wife, George Behshore (Beshore/Bashore/Belshore?) and Magdelena my wife, Andreas Gilbert and Christina my wife, Henry Miller, Mathias Miller, Jacob Miller, Jonathan Miller, George Miller, Cibble Miller, and Elizabeth Miller, to these presents have hereinto set our hands and seals. Dates the day and year ? above written nineteenth of May 1798. 
 
Sealed and delivered in the presence of Jacob ? and William Hiester. Also has “And then came before me the subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Berks…” and signed/sealed by William Heister & Peter Orwig.

Then has signatures & seals of the mentioned parties.” Reverse side has

“DEED – The heirs of John Miller deceased to John Miller for a tract of land in Tulpehoccen Township Berks County… Certification by Justice of the Peace William Heister. 

This type of document is one of those that truly excites any researcher as it encapsulates much of what a researcher may be looking for.  For me, first, it confirms the earliest connection to my ancestor, Johannes Mueller (John Miller) through his son Jonathan.  Secondly, it names the rest of the sons and daughters of John Miller, specifically giving the married names of the daughters.  It also confirms connections to cousins that are descended from John Miller through his different children.  This also adds confirmation to my mother’s lineage being connected to my Miller family.  It also adds credence to my relation to James M. Beidler, noted author and researcher as a 6th cousin. 

I knew at that time that it was an important document, but being inexperienced as I was about family history at that time, I did not realize just how important it really was. 

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than what I had already discovered, I found this image of the actual document when I was confirming my mother’s Fenical family connection back in 2018: 

Sold on eBay-Found on Worthpoint 

What a find…not only to be able to have the transcribed version of this document, but to be able to see the actual document that the transcription was taken from, and I found this just by doing a Google search using just the phrase Adam and Justina Fenical. 

So, never take for granted the power of a simple internet search. You never know what you may find, especially something so valuable to your family’s history. 

Featured Image: Map of Upper Tulpehocken, Berks County, PA – courtesy of the Library Congress

Acknowledgments: 

James M. Beidler 

Cheryl, my wife who continues to love and support me 

4 thoughts on “A Deed of all Deeds

  1. Wow!!!!
    I love this story, it is so true, that if we do the seemingly small and simple things great things can come to pass.
    I learn a lot but the information you share .
    Your knowledge and experience is a help to me . I appreciate your time and effort you put into your research and your willingness to share.
    Thank you so much,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda,
      Thank you so much…I love paying it forward, as they say. Even when I shared this with my cousin, Jim Beidler, he said “This deed is wild”! Now that says quite a bit coming from an experienced genealogist and author who has been doing this type of research even before the internet, and I have learned even more from my interaction with others as well like you, which tells me I’m doing something right. I greatly appreciate your comments and enthusiasm for my work. Thanks again! Brian

      Like

  2. I have found many transcriptions on Rootsweb and other sites (forums, mailing lists, etc.) that genealogists have shared. Only in recent years have images of these records been added to the FamilySearch site. Now that I know how to use their awesome catalog, I have begun to track down the original recordings. Nothing as awesome as the record you found was sold on eBay. I wish you had known about it and been able to acquire it, Brian. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy, Thanks so much! Even if I can’t actually see the document in person, to be able to see it in an image is awe inspiring. I still love Jim’s comment of “This deed is wild”! That pretty much says it all. Also, thank you for your inspiration of using FamilySearch more. The tools and know how of getting around the site have it that much better for finding documents! Brian

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s