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U.S. Supreme Court

McKeen v. Delancy's Lessee, 9 U.S. 5 Cranch 22 22 (1809)

McKeen v. Delancy's Lessee

9 U.S. (5 Cranch) 22


Under the act of Pennsylvania of 1715, which requires a deed to be acknowledged before a justice of the peace of the county where the lands lie, it had been long the established practice before the year 1775 to acknowledge deeds before a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Province of Pennsylvania. And although the act of 1715 does not authorize such a practice, yet, as it has prevailed, it is to be considered as a correct exposition of the statute.

Under the same statute, if a deed conveyed lands in several counties and was recorded in one of those counties, an exemplification of it was good evidence as to the lands in the other counties.

The only question was whether the exemplification of a deed from Allen to Delancy could be lawfully read in evidence at the trial.

This question arose upon the following case:

William Allen on 27 December, 1771, being seized in fee of the land in controversy, lying in Northampton County, by deed of bargain and sale of that date, conveyed the same to James Delancy and Margaret his wife in fee. The deed also conveyed real estate in the Counties of Philadelphia and Bucks, and was acknowledged by the bargainor in the City of Philadelphia on 7 December, 1772, before John Lawrence, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the Province of Pennsylvania, and recorded on 11 May, 1773, in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for the City and County of Philadelphia, but not recorded in the County of Northampton nor in the County of Bucks, nor in any other county in Pennsylvania, offices for recording deeds being established in the said Counties of Northampton and Bucks, according to law, from the date of the said deed to the present time.

The circuit court admitted the exemplification to be read in evidence, and the verdict and judgment were for the plaintiff below.

Page 9 U. S. 31

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