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Assembly of Larger Land Holdings for Agriculture


These deeds and the larger land record reveals that farmers sought to undo the fragmented nature of their land holdings in an effort to produce larger consolidated holdings where effort and outcomes could be concentrated more efficiently. This process of land consolidation could only be achieved within the conventions of the legal system, and this meant that lands had to be bought and sold, a cumbersome and expensive process, though no doubt a boon to lawyers. In the sequence of documents that follows, Yorkshire immigrant Thomas Anderson, acquires land from various parties both resident and absentee. This process spans some two decades and extended to the next generation as in the case of image 6. In some instances Anderson is joined in the process by his relative John Paterson, as in image 2, whence they acquire a parcel of land “containing twenty one acres laying in the Ramspasture Marsh...” from Robert Foster, who was described as being from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In another document a few years later, Charles Dixon conveys to Anderson “for the sum of one hundred and eighty pounds currency... certain Tracts of land in the Lower Mill Creek, as follows, sixty eight acres of Marsh land more or less along said creek, and also four lotts [sic] of Wood Land in the first tier of Lotts known by number one, number two, number six and number seven, containing four hundred acres more or less, and bounded on the Division line between A and B in Sackville.”

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Deed to Thomas Anderson.

Deed to Thomas Anderson.

Deed to Thomas Anderson. Deed to Thomas Anderson. Deed to Thomas Anderson.

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