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1876 Deed - Beardsley - Gorham
Sumbitted by David Kester
Photo 1881 Gorham Home in LeRaysville
Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008 
Do You Know that you can search just the Legal Documents on the site by using the Legal Documents button in the Partitioned search engine on the Current What's New Page? This section of the site includes wills, deeds, pension applications, township records and minutes and other related subjects.
1876 Deed Burritt H. & Mary GORHAM Beardsley to James J. Gorham

This Indenture, Made the sixth Day of October A. D. Eighteen hundred and seventy six

Between B. H. Beardsley and Mary Beardsley, his wife of Le Raysville Borough, County of Bradford and State of Pennsylvania, grantors and James J. Gorham of the Borough of Le Raysville, County of Bradford and State aforesaid, grantee.

Witnesseth, That the said grantor for and in consideration of the sum of twelve hundred dollars to them paid by the said grantee at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hath granted, bargained, and sold, and doth by these presents grant, bargain, and sell unto the said grantee, his heirs and assigns all the following described lot being and lying in the Borough of Le Raysville, County of Bradford and state aforesaid and bounded as follows viz.,

On the North by lands formerly the Estate of Josiah Benham, deceased now owned and occupied by James M. Benham, on the East by the said James M. Benham, on the South by Trumble Benham and B. H. Beardsley, the grantor herein named and on the West by Main Street in said Borough of Le Raysville, it being the house and lot owned and occupied by the late Andrew B. Beardsley at the time of his decease. The grantor excepts from the provisions of this warranty the shop and lot known as the carriage shop, now owned and occupied by the within named grantor.

Together with all the rights and privileges thereunto appertaining; rents, issues and profits thereof, To have and to hold unto the said Grantee, his heirs and assigns, to the only proper use, benefit, and behoof of him the said grantee, his heirs and assigns forever. And the said grantors and their heirs, executors and administrators, doth by these presents, covenant and agree to and with the said grantee and his heirs and assigns, that against them the said grantor and their heirs, and against all and every person lawfully claiming or to claim the same will warrant and forever defend.

In testimony whereof, the said grantors hath hereunto set their hands and seal the day and year above written.
Mary Beardsley [L.S.]


Bradford County, SS.

On this sixth day of October A. D. 1876, personally appeared before the subscriber, a Justice of the Peace in and for said county, personally appeared B. H. Beardsley and Mary Beardsley, his wife who in due form of law acknowledged the preceding instrument to be their free act and deed, and desired it to be recorded as such. And the said Mary Beardsley being of full age and by me examined separate and apart from her said husband, and the contents of this deed made known to her, declared that she had executed the same of her own free will and accord, and with no coercion or compulsion on the part of her said husband.
  Justice of the Peace [L.S.]


  Recorded ….Jan 4....18.79 in the office for
  recording deeds & c., in and for said County
  InDeed..Book No.. 137. page. 460&c.
  …....Witness my hand and Official Seal
  ………………L. E. Andrus….Recorder


Hi Joyce,

What makes this deed interesting is that nearly every person named in it is related to everyone else either by blood, by marriage and/or by profession including the Justice of the Peace Stephen Gorham who witnessed its signing. Coincidently, the Justice’s Office adjoined the property of Trumble (Trumball) Benham to the south. Andrew and his son Burritt Beardsley’s wagon shop was also situated among this group of homes/businesses and Stephen Gorham’s wagon shop was across Main Street from the Josiah Benham home on the north end of this grouping. Alas my great grandfather James J. Gorham was not a wagon maker, but a tinsmith by trade and later the co-owner of a hardware store believed to have been around the corner just off East Street. In reality he was a poet, orator, part time politician and staunch abolitionist.

Also of particular interest is the special statement of Justice Stephen Gorham’s attesting to the fact that Mary Gorham Beardsley (his daughter) was signing this instrument of her own free will. This is indeed noteworthy in light of the fact that in most places women weren’t even allowed to own real property a half century earlier.

And last, but not least, I recently learned that this house is still standing and occupied. I’ve been told that it remains relatively unchanged with the exception of new doors and windows. The persons in the attached 1881 photo are (l-r) Fay Burns Gorham age 6, Mary Angeline (Burns) Gorham age 36, my maternal grandmother Floretta Grace Gorham age 3mos., and Viola Idell Gorham age 15. I’m looking forward to seeing the house myself when I visit Bradford county in mid August of this year.

Descendancy Chart (Le Raysville residents in boldface)
Trumbull Benham Josiah Benham   Russell Beardsley Joseph Gorham  
  James M. Benham Caroline m. Benham  Andrew B. Beardsley Stephen Gorham John B. Gorham
      Burritt H. m. Beardsley  Mary S. Gorham James J. Gorham

Map of Le Raysville Borough "civic center "- circa 1870s






S. Gorham Wagon Shop [_] [_] Josiah Benham residence
  [_] Beardsley residence (deeded property)
  [_] A.B. & B. H. Beardsley Wagon Shop
  [_] Trumbull Benham
  [_] Justice office

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