About six years ago, I drove just south of the border to pay a visit to the Franklin County Courthouse in Malone, New York, hoping to find out if Charles Tourville Sr. (father of our Charles featured here and married to Sophie Arpajou) once owned a land in Chateaugay. Unfortunately, my search in the Grantee Index (e.g. Buyer Index) was fruitless.
Then, I looked for Charles Tourville Jr. and his brother-in-law Joseph Gier (who was married to his sister Sophia Tourville) and I actually did catch a land bought in 1864 from Charles Jr. as well as one bought by his uncle Antoine LaCount and his aunt Catherine Tourville in 1856, but nothing regarding Joseph Gier. It always puzzled me as the 1860 US Census for Chateaugay provides the following information:
As you can see from the images above, the two brothers-in-law were neighbors in 1860 (those are sequential pages). They both declared owning a land; the value for Charles’ land being $1,000 and Joseph’s, $500. This remained a mystery until about a year ago. I was lucky enough to hit upon these newspaper clips from The Malone Paladium, on the Chronicling America Website from the Library of Congress.
In light of the contents of these newspaper clips, there is no doubt that each of Charles Tourville Jr. and Joseph Gier did own a land well before 1864. It is even indicated that Charles’ land is bounded by the “former land of Charles E. De Tourville Sr.”. So why didn’t I come across any land record back then?
Last August, I decided to return to Malone (as unfortunately the Franklin County Land Records are not on Family Search yet). That’s when I realized the mistake I made years ago.
Of course, I still couldn’t spot anything in the Grantee Index. Then, I said to myself, why don’t I try the Grantor Index (e.g. Seller Index)? Boom! There they were: the lands owned by Charles and Joseph were sold by them in 1864 through the Sheriff. Furthermore, each act referred to a deed in the “Mortgage Book No. 12”. That’s how I learned that Charles and Joseph bought their land on the same day from the same man, Manly B. Boardman.
Here are the acts for each of them:
Charles Tourville Jr.
Treasure Department Archives
Mortgage Book 12
Charles E. De Tourville & wife
Manly B. Boardman
This Indenture made the twelfth day of July one thousand eight hundred and fifty nine between Charles Ebon De Tourville and Julia his wife of the town of Chateaugay County of Franklin and State of New York of the first part, and Manly B. Boardman of Brooklyn, County of Kings and state aforesaid of the second part, Witnesseth that the said parties of the first part, in consideration of the sum of three hundred thirty two dollars and twenty six cents to them duly paid, have granted bargained sold and conveyed, and by these presents do grant bargain sell, and convey to the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever. All that certain piece or parcel of land being part of lot number twenty two 22, Township No 7 of the old Military Tract in the County of Franklin aforesaid and bounded as follows ~~~
on the North by the North line of said lot No 22, on the East by the west line of a piece of land on said lot No 22 formerly contracted to Charles Ebo DeTourville Sr, on the South by the North line of a piece of land on the same lot heretofore conveyed to one Benjamin Signor, and on the west by land of Julius Sancomb & Samuel Gage in the same lot 22 supposed to contain about fifty acres of land, with the appurtenances and all the estate title and interest of the said party of the first part therein to have and to hold the sum to the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever. Provided always and these presents are upon this express condition that if the said parties of the first part, their heirs executors or administrators shall will and truly pay or cause to be paid to the party of the second part or his certain attorney heirs executors, administrators or assigned, the sum of three hundred thirty two dollars and twenty six cents, in Three equal annual instalments with annual interest on the whole sum unpaid, according to the condition of a certain bond or writing obligatory bearing even date herewith, executed by the said Charles Ebon, De Tourville to the said party of the second part, which said sums, the said Charles Ebon, De Tourville hereby covenants to pay, then these presents shall cease and be void, and if default shall be made in the payment of the principal or interest above mentioned then the said party of the second part his executors administrators or assigned are hereby authorized pursuant to statute to sell the premises above granted or so much thereof as will be necessary to satisfy the amount then due with the costs and expenses allowed by law rendering the overplus if any there may be to the said Charles Ebon DeTourville his heirs, executors, administrators or assigned on. In witness whereof the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written
Sealed and delivered in the
Presence of Putnam B. Frisk
Charles Ebon DeTourville (his mark)
Julia De Tourville (her mark)
State of New York
On the thirteenth day of July 1859 before me the subscriber appeared Charles Ebon DeTourville and Julia DeTourville his wife and acknowledged that they had severally executed the within instrument for the uses and purposes therein mentioned, and the said Julia De Tourville on a private examination apart from her husband acknowledged that she executed the within instrument freely and without any fear or compulsion of her husband. And I further certify that I know the persons who made the said acknowledgement to be the individuals described in and who executed the within instrument.
Putnam B. Frisk
Justice of the Peace
Recorded July 29, 1859 at 2 h PM
N. D. Martin, Deputy Clerk
New York State
Treasure Department Archives
Mortgage Book 12
Manly B. Boardman
This Indenture Made the twelfth day of July one thousand Eight hundred and fifty nine, Between Joseph Gier of the town of Chateaugay County of Franklin and state of New York of the first part and Manly B. Boardman of the City of Brooklyn County of Kings and State aforesaid of the second part, Witnesseth that the said party of the first part, in consideration of the sum of Four Hundred Eight Dollars and fifty seven cents as & for the purchase price of the premises hereinafter described, has sold and by these presents does grant and convey to the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever. ~ All that certain piece or parcel of land being part of Lot No 22, of township No 7, of the old Military tract in the County of Franklin aforesaid, bounded as follows. On the North by the North line of the lot, On the East by the East line of the same on the South by the North line of a piece of land on said lot 22, heretofore conveyed to one Benjamin Signor, and on the west by a line running north and south from the North line of the lot to said Signor’s north line parallel with the East line of the lot, and at a sufficient distance from said East line to include within the bounds specified above Fifty acres of land with the appurtenances and all the Estate, title and interest of the said parties of the first part therein. ~ This Grant is intended as a security for the payment of Four hundred eight dollars and fifty seven cents in three equal annual instalments with annual interests on the
whole sum unpaid according to the condition of a certain bond [or] writing obligatory, bearing even date herewith, executed by the sa[me] Joseph Gier to the said party of the second part, as a collateral securit[y] which payments if duly made, will render this conveyance void and if default shall be made in the payment of the principal [as] above mentioned, then the said party of the second part and his [heirs] are hereby authorized pursuant to statute, to sell the premises granted or so much thing as will be necessary to satisfy the amou[nt] then due with the costs and expenses allowed by law.
In Witness whereof the said party of the first part has hereunto [set] his hand and seal the day and year first above written.
Sealed and delivered in the Presence of Joseph Gier (his mark)
The words “as & for the purchase price of the premises hereinafter described” written upon an exam intentional before signed.
State of New York & County} I certify that on the 2 day of August 18 before me appeared Joseph Gier to me kno[wn] to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing Mortgage and acknowledged the execution thereof.
Putnam B. Fisk, Justice of the Peace
Recorded August 28 (?) 1859 at 9 h am
N. D. Martin Deputy Clerk
Once I got these, I turned to the County Clerk to ask her why I couldn’t find a deed for the original land purchases. Was it because there was a mortgage deed? “No, they should be in the deed book as well.” she replied. According to her, in those days, they didn’t always have the transactions recorded. “Even if this was mandatory since 1823 in New York State?” I said. “Unfortunately, yes”, she concluded.
At first, I thought that Charles Jr. and Joseph could have bought the land from their inheritance after the death of Charles Sr., but that doesn’t make any sense since the amount of the sale equals the amount of the two mortgages. Moreover, they didn’t seem to have bought back Charles Tourville Sr.’s former land as it is mentioned that his land is a neighboring land of Charles Jr.’s land and that Manly B. Boardman was the seller anyway.
What is clear to me is that Joseph and Charles Jr. couldn’t repay their respective mortgage and each of them was forced to sell his land. If Charles was able to buy another land in 1864, Joseph lost his for good.
Finally, as far as I know from the search I conducted on the New York State Archives Website, the Supreme Court judgments might be available in Albany.
What about a little trip down there next summer?