|•The Indian deed that transferred the Wawayanda Patent lands was
signed in March of 1702/03 The reason
the date is often given like this is because the calendar changed in
1752. Previously the New Year started
in March, but it was changed to January.
Double dating was used in Great Britain, colonial British America, and
British possessions to clarify dates occurring between 1 January and 24 March
on years between 1582 and 1752. In the
ecclesiastical or legal calendar, March 25th was recognized as the first day
of the year and was not double dated.
|Researchers of colonial
American ancestors will often see double dating in older records. Double
dates were identified with a slash mark (/) representing the Old and New
Style calendars, e.g., 1690/1691. Even before 1752 in colonial America, some
educated clerks knew of the calendar change in Europe and used double dating
to distinguish between the calendars.
The picture above is how the date is written on this document.
|•Benjamin Aske was one of the patentees, and he later claimed his
portion in the Warwick Valley, including the Rt. 94 corridor area, and called
it Warwick, presumably after his home in Warwickshire, England.
|•Colonial era signers of patents and land deeds often could not read
and write, and so developed an abbreviated signature, or “mark” that they
used. In this document we see both the
Native Americans and the colonists using marks. This document is a copy of
the original, from appearances a fair copy made at the time, and also bearing
original signatures. Instead of red
wax seals at the end of each name, another person (likely Lancaster Syms) has
attested to the signatures by writing his initials. The lack of wax seals on this and another
copy of the deed lends strength to the argument of some scholars that the
deed was a fraud.
|•Chuckhass’ signature appears as a winding curlicue– We speculate
perhaps because his tribe’s land included the winding stream we call
Wawayanda today. Several versions of the origin of this name exist, but the
one that makes the most sense is that it derives from the Lenape words for
|•Colonial spelling– not standardized even in official documents; much
of population not literate