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General Membership Meeting
October 21, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
BUCKS COUNTY DEED BOOK PRESERVATION
The October meeting of the Newtown Historic Association will be held on Monday, October 21st at 7:30 PM at the Half Moon Inn, 105 Court Street, Newtown. The topic for this General Meeting will be the deeds of Buck County. These deeds are an important piece of our recorded history. They tell the story of land ownership and provide perspective on the growth and changes in the County.
More specifically, the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds, Robin Robinson will be speaking about her efforts to restore the historic deed books belonging to the County. Some of these deed books date to 1684 and 700 of the oldest books are being treated and rebound to preserve them. This effort will add up to 250 years to the life of these documents and preserve the history of Bucks County for future generations. Come and hear Robin speak about this important preservation effort. She will also provide information on how to conduct research in the deed books.
Additionally, there will be a display of deeds from the NHA archives. There are more than 400 deeds in the NHA collection. These deeds span the 18th through the 20th centuries and tell the story of landownership in both Newtown Borough and Township. Some of these deeds are on vellum made from sheepskin. These indentures, or legal contracts, illustrate the practice of chirography. This is where two identical written copies of the agreement are made on the same sheet and the two copies are cut apart with a distinctive cutting pattern. This enabled the parties to the agreement to each have a copy and to also validate the document when pieced back together. Physically matching the two pieces helped to authenticate the document and prevent forgery.
The NHA is very fortunate to have such a rich collection of deeds and owes a debt of gratitude to the people who stepped up to rescue these documents during the fire at the former Doylestown Public School in 1973. Read more about how a human chain saves irreplaceable county records. Also, our thanks to those individuals from the Newtown Historic Association who worked to recover these and many other deeds from the aftermath of the fire. Their actions ensured the future of these deeds at the NHA and other historic associations across Bucks County.