On 1 July 1788 Jonathan and Jamime Puffer, along with Matthias Rice and Mary Rice, deeded eight acres in Stow, Massachusetts, to Luke Brooks. Like most deeds during this time and place, a metes and bounds description of the property is included. There’s an interesting phrase after the description of the property’s location:

Reserving to the aforesaid Mary Rice all the apples that may be annually in the old Orchard that is fenced in during her natural Life.


That phrase got me to thinking: why?

Why Mary and not Mary and Matthias (they appear to be married giving how they are stylized in the deed) both get the apples? Why don’t the Puffer people get the apples for their natural lives as well?

And why are the Puffers and the Rices selling this property? How did they come to acquire it?

Stay tuned!



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