ROD – Southern District Court

Indentures, Property Transactions and Wills Registered with the Southern District Court

In 2011 and again in 2014 and 2016 I spent several days each year reviewing the seven Volumes of registers of the Southern District Court that are in the collection of the Registry of Deeds in St. John’s. These seven Volumes cover a period from approximately 1824 to 1900 or thereabouts. After that time all land transactions were recorded directly at the Registry of Deeds rather than the Southern District Court and Wills were recorded at the Supreme Court Probate Office. Prior to that time it is pretty well anyone’s guess where they were recorded, if they were officially recorded at all.

It should be noted that there are also records from the Southern District in the collection held at The Rooms. This apparent duplication by the two organisations has to do with two distinctions: the first a matter of timing, the second a matter of content. The records at The Rooms are those of the “Surrogate Court, Southern District”. Surrogate Courts, presided over by local appointees with no training in law, predated the existence of the more formal court system for the regions of the colony which was adopted in 1818 as subsidiaries of the Supreme Court in St. John’s. The Stipendiary Magistrates who presided over the latter were also seldom trained in law at the outset, though that changed over time. Secondly, the Surrogate Court Records held at The Rooms covered many more legal issues than the wills, indentures and land transactions that form the focus of the collections at the Registry of Deeds.

In the course of my visits to the Registry of Deeds, I noted down from the indexes of these volumes any entries that might be of interest to my paternal lineage (Morry and Carter primarily, though also Windsors and others to a lesser extent). I at first made copies of these documents using the self-serve photocopy machine but found that, because of the way the Volumes were bound, in many instances the inner side of the pages was being left out entirely or was blurred. I therefore violated Registry rules and made photographs and scans with a handheld scanner of some documents before I was told to cease and desist. Some of those scanned copies were much better than the photocopies but unfortunately this process is deemed more harmful to the original documents apparently, though it is hard to see how that could be possible. Clearly this is not so. These seven old volumes are in deplorable condition with the spines broken and pages at risk of falling out and being misplaced due to attempts by users to make useful photocopies.

Apparently there is a plan afoot to have all of these older documents scanned professionally so that they can be accessed by computer, as is the case for modern land registers already. I have obtained one such copy from Steve Barnable at the Lands Directorate and it is head and shoulders better than a photocopy or even my own non-professional scans, so the day when all of these have been rendered in this fashion cannot come too soon for researchers and those concerned about the preservation of these historical documents.

In total, I have made copies of 59 documents from Volumes one through six. Volume seven does not contain any documents directly pertinent to my family, focussing more on the business families associated with my own ancestors, which were more in the forefront at the end of the 19th century (Tessier, Clift, LeMessurier etc.). Upon closer examination, several of the documents proved to be irrelevant to my family but, having gone to the trouble and expense of making a copy, I have retained that copy in hopes that it will be more useful to other researchers who do not have the opportunity to visit the Registry personally.

Documents photocopied or scanned at the Registry of Deeds in St. John’s in 2011, 2014 and 2016

The list that follows is a short form index of all documents at the Registry of Deeds in Volumes 1-6 of the Southern District Court (SDC) that I have copied and that are available in PDF form. I have now transcribed all of these and made them into MS Word files, though some I did not need to transcribe as Kevin Reddigan had already done so.

The entries indicate the source (SDC Volume), the pages (referred to as Folios) on which those documents appear in the Volume, the names of the principals involved, and the date in the form dd-mm-yyyy. In many cases there are several dates on each document as it passed through various stages of being prepared, registered and approved by the court. The date given is therefore approximate. The names shown are as they appear in the document in question, though I have abbreviated some longer names by using initials and though in many cases the spelling in the document is incorrect as we know it.

Note that I have ordered the documents by Volume and Folio except, where it existed in Volume 2 only, that I have reordered them by document number (No). The documents in that Volume were given a sequential number but often appeared out of chronological order in the Volume so that Document No and Fol are not necessarily in synchrony with one another. Almost all documents occupied more than one page (Fol) but in a very few instances they took up only a single page and, in those cases, FOL will be followed by a single page number.

Finally, I can only apologise for the poor quality of some of these copies. I did the best that I could considering the primitive copying conditions and rules that presently exist at the Registry of Deeds. The transcripts reflect the poor quality of the photocopies in some instances, with gaps or question marks where words were either cut off or undecipherable.

SDC Vol 1 Fol 12-13 John Wheaton to Henry Holdsworth 13-11-1824                                          Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 26-29 Nicholas Stabb to William Valance 21-07-1827                                            Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 180-181 Ewen Stabb to Robert Carter 07-02-1831                                                Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 40-41 Henry Coryear to John Teage 10-11-1827                                                   Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 50-54 William Goff to William Kydd 04-12-1827                                                     Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 81-82 Walter Shelley to Benjamin Sweetland 05-12-1828                                    Transcript by Kevin Reddigan

SDC Vol 1 Fol 104-107 Thomas Benger to William Carter 13-10-1829                                        Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 175-176 Ewen Stabb to Elizabeth Finn 09-12-1830                                              Transcribed by Kevin Reddigan

SDC Vol 1 Fol 180-181 Ewen Stabb to Robert Carter 07-02-1831                                               Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 311-312 Ann Morry to Matthew Ryan 21-07-1832                                                Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 443 William Pendergast to William Sweetland 14-05-1836                                  Transcript

SDC Vol 1 Fol 445-446 John Maloley to Anna Winsor 23-05-1836                                             Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 160 Fol 97-100 Grant to Henry Coryear 18-11-1835                                            Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 301 Fol 196-199 – Grant to Henry Winser 24-05-1841                                         Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 431 Fol 252-255 – Grant to Jane Austin 3-10-1845                                              Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 439 Fol 9-12 Grant to Henry Winsor 03-05-1831                                                 Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 440 Fol 13-16 Grant to Peter Winsor 03-05-1831                                                Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 443 Fol 5-8 Grant to Benjamin Sweetland 22-05-32                                            Transcript by Kevin Reddigan

SDC Vol 2 No 602 Folio 279-282 Grant to William Goff 9-10-1847                                             Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 610 Folio 319-322 Grant to Patrick Kavanagh 27-12-1847                                  Transcribed by Kevin Reddigan

SDC Vol 2 No 659 Folio 315-318 Grant to Michael John & James Devereaux 27-12-1847       Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 723 Folio 371-374 Grant to Elizabeth Carter 19-06-1848                                    Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 724 Folio 375-378 Grant to Robert Carter 19-06-1848                                        Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 725 Folio 379-382 Grant to Robert Carter 19-06-1848                                       Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 726 Folio 355-358 Grant to Elizabeth Carter et al 19-06-1848                           Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 727 Folio 367-370 Grant to Elizabeth Carter et al 19-06-1848                           Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 728 Folio 363-366 Grant to Elizabeth Carter et al 19-06-1848                           Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 729 Folio 359-362 Grant to Elizabeth Carter et al 19-06-1848                           Transcript

SDC Vol 2 No 737 Folio 383-386 Grant to Nicholas Brand 20-01-1848                                    Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 3-5 Matthew Morey to Timothy Browne 01-09-1836                                          Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 7-8 William Coulman to Ann Winsor et. al. 10-11-1836                                     Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 10-13 William Sweetland to Margaret Prendergast 11-11-1836                        Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 62-63 Philip Tree to Robert Carter 15-05-1838                                                 Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 77-81 Nicholas Brand to James Howe Carter 09-07-1839                                Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 101-103 Matthew Morry to William Gregory 04-11-1839                                   Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 103-104 William Battcock to Michael Battcock Junior 01-10-1839                    Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 238-240 Matthew Morry to Patrick Cain 22-11-1843                                          Transcribed by Kevin Reddigan

SDC Vol 3 Fol 240-243 William Sweetland to Elizabeth Carter 22-11-1843                              Transcript

SDC Vol 3 Fol 250-258 A W O Holdsworth to J Morry & P P Le Messurier 03-05-1844            Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 120-121 Edward Healy to Robert Carter 15-11-1856                                         Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 135-136 James Howe Carter and Others to Patrick Dullanty 20-06-1857          Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 252-255 John Morry Peter Paint Le Messurier to Ann Winsor 28-10-1862        Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 319-320 Arthur W O Holdsworth to Thomas Norris 28-11-1864                         Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 327-329 John Morry to Ann Winsor 02-12-1864                                                 Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 331-335 Henry Winser to Ann Winser 25-03-1865                                             Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 336-340 James Carter to William Carter 27-04-1865                                         Transcript

SDC Vol 4 Fol 503 Ewen Stabb to Peter Tessier 16-11-1870                                                   Transcript

SDC Vol 5 Fol 67-68 Thomas Graham Morry to John Kough 05-12-1872                                Transcript

SDC Vol 5 Fol 85-86 Will of Dan Jennings 26-07-1873                                                            Transcript

SDC Vol 5 Fol 116-120 Indenture William T. S. Carter to Robert C. H. Lilley 12-02-1874        Transcript

SDC Vol 5 Fol 190-195 Indenture Henry Winser to Philip Hutchins 04-05-1875                      Transcript

SDC Vol 5 Fol 364-366 Indenture Henry Winser to John Sharp et al 06-12-1878                   Transcript

SDC Vol 5 Fol 423-425 Robert Carter Exec to James Carter 26-01-1880                               Transcript

SDC Vol 5 Fol 434-435 Patrick H Kelly to Henry Winser 14-05-1880                                      Transcript

SDC Vol 6 Fol 37-39 Grant to William and Michael Devereaux 29-08-1890                           Transcript

SDC Vol 6 Fol 59-60 Indenture Ann Winser to Thomas Graham Morry 15-12-1881               Transcript

SDC Vol 6 Fol 185-186 John White to Catherine White 14-12-1883                                       Transcript

SDC Vol 6 Fol 238-241 Indenture PG Tessier & AC Weston to John White 20-12-1884       Transcript

SDC Vol 6 Fol 242-244 Indenture PG Tessier & AC Weston to James Carter 20-12-1884   Transcript

SDC Vol 6 Fol 272-273 Robert R W Lilly Exec to James Carter 05-06-1885                        Transcript

SDC Vol 6 Fol 282-283 Philip Sorsoleil to George Le Messurier 11-11-1885                        Transcript

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Rockland, ON, K4K 1H9
1-613-219-9193

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You are visiting the website of the Morry family of Newfoundland, ex Devon

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We hope that this site will serve as a link and a gathering place for the scattered remnants of the Morry Family, whose ancestor, Matthew Morry, came from Stoke Gabriel via Dartmouth Devon, England, to Newfoundland to make a living in the fishing trade some time before Sept. 1784. At that time we know he was granted land for a fishing room in Caplin Bay (now Calvert) near Ferryland, a tiny fishing village on Newfoundland’s Southern Shore that we, his descendants, think of as our family seat.

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