Four valuable old documents, particularly interesting because they concern the disposition of a large tract of land along the Canadian side of the Niagara river, were recently discovered by Miss Marion L. Cooper, a great-great-grand-daughter of James Cooper, who purchased the land, while she was looking through some old records in her home on the River road, near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. Miss Cooper and Oliver Cooper live in a house built on the same site as the home of their distant ancestor.
Mr. Cooper, the ancestor of the two Niagara Peninsula residents, emigrated from New Jersey in 1811, crossing the river from Lewiston to Queenston by rowboat. He purchased 624 acres of farm land on the river, the land still occupied by his descendants, on Oct. 3, 1816, for 2,340 pounds, as the most recent of the deeds relates.
Show Ownership Changes
The first of the documents is a grant from George the Third of 116 acres of the land occupied by the Coopers to Archibald Cunningham. The second is another grant of 100 acres to Mr. Cunningham. The first deed relates the sale of the property of Archibald Cunningham to Thomas Clark, of Queenston, and the second deed conveys the property to James Cooper.
old grants which were printed on paper that is badly yellowed and torn with age. Both are written in the old style, using "f" for "s." Because of its general interest, the oldest of the grants, dated May 16, 1798, is reproduced below in the same style as it is written.
Grant Made in 1798
The old grant, badly torn in the center, is headed "UPPER—CANADA." It read as follows:
"George the Third, by the grace of Cod of Great-Britain, France and Ireland King defender of the Faith, and fo forth, to all whom thefe prefents fhal come.
"Know ye, that we of our fpecial grace, certain knowledge and mere motion have given and granted, and by thefe prefents Do Give and Grant unto Archibald Cunninghame and his heirs and affigns forever, a certain parcel or tract of land fituate in the Township of Newark containing by admeafurement one hundred and sixteen acres, with Allowance for Road be the fame more or lefs, being compofed of lot 11, and broken front and fituate, lying and being in the Township of Newark aforefaid in the county of Lincoln and Home dictrict of * * * * oforefaid, together with all the Woods and Waters thereon lying and being, under the refervations, limitations and conditions herein after expreffed: whi * * * * One hundred and Sixteen acres of land, are butted and bounded, or may be otherwife known as follows (that is to fay) Beginning at a Post in front of the front Concefsion, marked 10/11, on on the bank of, and at the distance of one chain from Niagara River, and at the North East Angle of Lot No. 10 thence Northerly along the banks, 20 Chains, more or lefs, always at the distance of on* Caain from the Rivers Edge, to Lot No. 12—thence west, 61 Chains, more or left,—thence South, 20 Chains-Then East, to within One Chain of the River Niagara at the place of beginning.-
"And whereas by an act of the parliament of Great Britain, paffed in the thirty-firft year of his Majefty's reign, entitled "An act to repeal certain parts of an act paffed in the fourteenth year of his Majefty's reign, entitled "An act for making more effectual provifion for the government of the province of Quebec, in North America, and to make further provifion for the government of the faid province," it is declared that "no grant of lands hereafter made fhall be valid or effectual unlefs the fame hall contain a fpecificatlon of the lands to be allotted and appropriated folely to the maintenance of a proteftant clergy within the faid province:
"»**** the lands to be hereby granted, Now know ye, that we have faufed an allotment, or appropriation of Sixteen Acres and four Sevenths to be made in a certain Parallelogram in the rear of the Tow * * * * of Flamboro— Beginning at the South East Angle of the Lands appropriated for the Clergy for the Township of Stamford—thence North 45 degrees—West, 210 Chains * * * * North 45 degrees—East, 160 Chains—thence South 45 degrees, East 210 Chains—and thence South 45 degrees, west, 160 Chains, to the place of beginning.
"being in the proportion of one to feven of the lands fo hereby granted, as and for a referve, and to and for the fole ufe, and fupport of a proteftant clergy being as nearly adjacent I thereto as circumftances will admit and being as nearly as circumstance and the nature of the cafe will admit, of the like ^quality as the lands in refpect of which the fame is allotted and appropriated, * * * neuly as the fame can be eftimated equal in value to the feventh part of the lands fo hereby granted as aforefaid. To have and to hold the faid parcel or tract of land to him the faid Archibald Cunninghame and his heirs and affigns forever, faving neverthelefs to us, our heirs and fucceffors all mines of gold, filver, copper, tin, lead, iron and coal that fhall or may now, or hereafter be found on any part of the faid parcel or tract of land hereby given and granted as aforefaid; and faving and referving to us, or heirs and fucceffors, all white pine trees that fhall or may now, or hereafter grow, or be growing on any part of the faid paraforefaid * * * * ded always that no part of the faid parcel or tract of land hereby granted to the aid Archibald Cunninghame and his heirs be within any of the refervations before this grant * * * nd marked for us, our heirs and fucceffors by our Surveyor General of Woods, or his lawful deputy, in which cafe this our grant for fuch part of the land hereby given and granted to the faid Archibald Cunninghame and his heirs as aforefaid, and which upon a furvey thereof being made be found within any fuch refervatons, fhall be null and and void on none effect, any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithftanding. Provided alfo that the faid Archibald Cunninghame his heirs of affigns fhall or do within three years erect and build, or caufe to be erected and built in and upon fome part of the faid parcel or tract of land a good and fuffient dwelling houfe (he the faid Archibald Cunninghame or his affings not having built, or not being in his or their right lawfully poffeffed of an houfe in our faid province and be therein, or caufe fome perfon to be therein refident for and during the fpace of one year then next enfuing the building of the fame. Provided alfo that any time or times thereafter the land fo hereby given and granted | to the faid Archibald Cunninghame i and his heirs fhall come into the poffeffion and tenure of any perfon or peifons whomfoever, either by virtue of any deed of fale, conveyance, enfeollment or exchange, or by gift, inheritance, defcent, devife or marriage, fuch perfon or perfons fhaU within twelve months next next after his, her or their entry into, and poffeffion of the fame, take the oaths prefcribed by law, before fome one of the magiftrates of our faid province; and a certificate of fuch oaths having been fo taken shall caufe to be recorded in the fecretary's office of the faid province; In default of all or any of which faid conditions, limitations and reftrictions, this faid grant, and every think herein contained fhall be, and we do hereby declare the fame to be hull and void, to all intents and purpofes whatfoever; and the land here-vefted in us, our heirs and fucceffors in like manner as if the fame had never been granted; anything herein contained to the contrary in any wife notwithftanding.
'Given under the great feal of our province of Upper Canada: Witness the Honorable Peter Rufsell the President of the Government of our faid province, this Sixteenth day of May in the year of our Lord, one thoufand seven hundred and ninety Eight and thirty Eithth of our reign."
At the bottom the sheet was signed "Entered in the Auditors office 16 May 1798, Peter Rufsell Auditor General."
OTHER GRANTS, DEEDS
The second of the grants was to Mr. j Cunningham for 100 acres in lot No. 36 in the second concession of the Township of Niagara. It was signed by Peter Hunter, Esq., "our lieutenant governor of our said province and lieutenant general commanding our forces in our province of upper and lower Canada." The deed was signed by Peter Russell, this time as "agent." King George the Third, by this time, had abandoned the claim to be ruler of Prance and that was dropped from the first part of the deed. The main part of the deed contained similar reservations to those in the first grant.
The first of the deeds, on parchment, was marked on the back, "Bargain and Sale." It was dated April 4, 1810, and in it James Cunninghame "of Bonnington near Edinburgh Esquire in that part of Great Britain called Scotland" for the sum of 1,000 pounds conveyed to Thomas Clark, of Queenston, 650 acres of the land known as "Cunninghame's farm," which had been bequeathed to him upon the death of his brother Archibald Cunninghame. The property was described as founded in front by the Niagara river, to the south by Isaac Vrooman's lands, and to the north by Joseph Brown's lands. This deed was recorded in the office of the register for the counties of Lincoln and Haldimand on Nov 19, 1810.
The second deed was executed on Oct. 3, 1816, and in it "The Hon." Thomas Clark of Queenston, and "Mary Margaret, his wife," conveyed to James Cooper, of Stamford, described as a blacksmith, 624 acres of
land comprising Lots No. 11, 12, 34 and 36, 59 and 60 and including the broken fronts in front of lots No. 11 and 12. The transaction involved the payment of 2,340 pounds by Mr. Cooper and Mary Margaret received five shillings for relinquishing all her claims to the land. The parchment recording the sale was three feet square and was sealed with three big seals.
James and Ellen Cooper, great, great grandparents of Marion and Oliver Cooper, of the River road near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., who purchased in 1816 the land still occupied by their descendants, as shown by old deeds and grants recently discovered by Miss Cooper.
Residence of Miss Marion L. Cooper, near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., which is built upon the land purchased back in the early days of Upper Canada by her great great grandfather. It was in this house that Miss Cooper recently discovered the documents described elsewhere on this page.