Indentures, Property Transactions and Wills Registered with the Northern District Court
Just as there were documents filed with the Southern District and Central District Courts of the Supreme Court pertaining to land transactions which wound up in volumes at the Registry of Deeds, so too were there documents pertaining to land transactions recorded in the Northern District Court. The Northern District was essentially any area outside of the St. John’s metropolitan area to the north, including Conception Bay, Trinity Bay and all of the Northeast Coast, as well as a very few transactions pertaining to the west of there and in Labrador.
For the purposes of my research, there were not expected to be many cases in this geographic area because my immediate family, at least my paternal line, did not generally spread into this area. And whilst my maternal line, or a part of it (mainly the Bishops and Chisletts of Trinity Bay South), did live in this area originally, they were very poor fisher-folk and it was not anticipated that their names would appear on any land transfers or similar documents before 1880 or thereabouts when all such transactions began to be recorded directly at the Registry of Deeds in St. John’s. Hence, during my screening of the documents in the District Court Volumes in 2016, I did not spend any time searching the volumes of the Northern District.
But when I obtained access to an electronic set of the documents that were to be found in these volumes in 2018, I eventually did get around to searching the available indexes to see if there might be any interesting documents found within this collection. As expected, only a very few of relevance to my immediate family were found and they are included below. Many more were found that pertained to more distant, non-blood relations, but for now, I am not bothering to copy them over with a very few exceptions where the cases were interesting.
This is the record of a gift of land by Patrick Fowlow to the Anglican Dioceses in Trinity for the building of a church. As Magistrate for the area, Benjamin Sweetland was acting in this matter.
This pertains to a sale by Peter Worthman of Heart’s Content for £20 a small piece of land and 1/3 share of fishing stage in Heart’s Delight which Joseph Bishop Senior had been using previously, presumably on a rental basis.
Thomas John Simms of Baltimore designated George Le Messurier of St. John’s to act as his Power of Attorney regarding primarily the disposal of his share of the massive and complex Pynn estate that had been studied in detail in his papers at The Rooms by Nimshi Crewe. The principal reason for the PA was to allow Le Messurier to arrange for a transfer of these rights to Thomas John Simm’s brother, Dr. William Cauley Simms, who still resided in Newfoundland.
I have no reason to believe that George Le Messurier himself had any claim on this estate. He was merely acting in this capacity as a Barrister at Law.
Weston Gladstone Tessier and Charles W. Morris, possibly business partners, purchased a couple of parcels of land from the Newfoundland Railway Company in a location well described but impossible to locate without a copy of the Railway Company’s land ownership maps. All that can be said from the indenture is that it is somewhere in the Northern District.
Charles Neil Clift and Shannon Morry Clift were partners in the firm of Clift Wood & Company, which had advanced a substantial amount of money speculatively in mining operations run by a Thomas Foley in Bay de Verde and White Bay and were about to sink some more funds into these explorations. These two partners were Charles Neil Clift and his nephew Shannon Morry Clift. The middle name of the latter partner is interesting. He was the son of Hon. James Shannon Clift and his wife Jane Sydney Shanks Le Messurier. Neither of these was in turn the child of a Morry, but all of these families were closely intertwined through business and family relationships.