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be evidence:

law he is required to receive and record deeds and

conveyances. Copy of record to

(2765.) SEC. 2. The record of a Patent recorded in the Register's Oflice, or a transcript of such record certified by the Register in whose office the same may be recorded under his hand, may be read in evidence in any Court in this State, without further proof thereof.

An Act concerning the Records of Deeds and other Conveyances of Land.

[Approved March 24, 1836. Laws of 1836, p. 114.]

Duty of Surerrisors of organized!

to which it was attached.

(2766.) SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of County to cu Representatives of the State of Michigan, That the Board of etcof Lants in Supervisors, or a majority of them, of all such organized be copied from counties as have been attached to other counties for Judicial

purposes, are hereby authorized to direct the Register of Deeds of their county, either in person or by deputy, to provide a good and sufficient book or books, and procure, and record therein, a complete copy of all such Deeds, Mortgages, Powers of Attorney, or other instruments relating to the title of land, as may belong to their county, and on record in the county to which it had been so attached, and it shall be the duty of said Register or deputy, under his oath of office, to certify each and every copy so taken to be a true copy of the original record; and such copy so certified, shall be received as evidence in all Courts of Justice in this State, in the same manner and for the same purposes as the original record would be received.

(2767.) Sec. 2. All counties that now are, or may hereafter now or hereafter be organized, shall bave all the rights and privileges specified

in the first section of this act. Duty of Register; (2768.) Sec. 3. It shall be the duty of the Register of the

County, applying for a copy of Records, to transcribe the same in the book or books to be provided for that purpose as aforesaid; and the said Register shall receive for his services the fees allowed to Registers for recording Deeds, to be paid out of the County Treasury; and the Register to whom application may be made as aforesaid, is hereby authorized and directed to permit the Register first mentioned in this section to have the use of the books and Records in his office, for the purpose aforesaid.

(2769.) Sec. 4. The Supervisors are authorized and directed

Provisions to arply to Counties

His fees.

to make such further compensation to the Registers who may Further compentranscribe such record as may be proper and just.

sation to Regis. ter.

An Act to Provide for Making a General Index to all Books in the Office of the Registers of

Deeds, of the Respective Counties of this state.

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General Index to be kept by Regis

(2770.) SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Michigan, That the County Com-ters. missioners of the respective counties of this State be, and they are hereby authorized, if, in the opinion of the Commissoners, they shall deem it necessary, to cause the Registers of their respective counties to prepare a general index to all books in their offices, used for the purpose of recording deeds, mortgages, and other instruments, in order that the records containing the title of lands may the more easily be preserved, and a search of said records, to ascertain such title, facilitated; and the said Registers shall receive for their compensation, such sum as the County Commissioners may deem just and right.

(2771.) SEC. 2. No compensation shall be allowed for index- No compensation ing in the general index, deeds, mortgages, and other instru- tain cases. ments, that shall be left for record, after the general index books shall be furnished to the Registers of the respective counties, or when said books may have been already furnished, and the Registers are hereby required, without charge, to index all such deeds, mortgages, and other instruments, in said general index. (c)

there for in cer





By the Act of August 29, 1805, the Clerk of every Court was authorized to record all deeds and writings which were acknowledged or proved before such Court or any Judge thereof, or any Justice of the Peace, or any Notary Public.” Woodward Code, p. 52.

If the party did not reside in Michigan, the acknowledgment or proof was to be “ before any Court of law, or the Mayor or any Chief Magistrate of any City, town, or corporation in which the party should dwell, certified by such Court, Mayor or Magistrate, in the manner such acts are usually authenticated by them.” Woodward Code, p. 52, Sec. 87 and 89; Cass Code, p. 45.

By the Act of 1820, Deeds were required to be signed and sealed by the parties, and acknowledged or proved by one or more of the subscribing witnesses thereto before one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, or one of the Justices of any County Court, a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace. Code of 1820, p. 157.

Deeds executed in any other Territory, State or Country, were required to be acknowledged or proved and certified according to the laws and usages of such Territory, State, or Country Code of 1820, p. 159

The provisions of the Act of 1820 were substantially re-enacted in 1827, and continued in force until August 31, 1838. Revision of 1827, p. 258, and 1833, p. 279.

By the Revised Statutes of 1838, acknowledgments might be made “before any Judge of any Court of Record, or before any Notary Public, or Justice of the Peace, within the State or of the United States, or in any foreign country, or before any Minister or Consul of the United States, in any foreign country.” And provision was made for proving deeds before a Court of Record in case the grantor should die or depart from the State, without having acknowledged the same. P. 259.

By the Act of April 1, 1840, which took effect on that day, deeds might be acknowledged before a Justice of the Peace, Judge of the Circuit, District or Supreme Courts of the State, or Notary Public, or Master in Chancery. Laws of 1840, p. 166.

If executed by a person residing in any other State or Territory, the deed was required to be executed according to the laws of such State or Territory.

If executed by a person residing in a foreign country, it might be executed according to the laws of such country, and acknowledged before a Minister Plenipotentiary, Consul, or Charge d'Affairs of the United States.

This Act was in force until repealed by the Revised Statutes of 1846.

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The Act of 1805 provided that, “When husband and wife have sealed and delivered a writing, if the wife appear before such Court” (which it would seem must be a Court of Record), “ Judge or Justice, or Notary Public, and being examined privily and apart from her husband, shall declare that she did freely and willingly seal and deliver the said writing, to be then shown and explained to her, and wishes not to retract it, and consenteth that it may be recorded, a certificate of such privy examination being returned and recorded with the writing; and the writing being acknow. ledged also by the husband, or proved by witnesses to be his act, in such case the said writing shall not only be sufficient to convey or release any right of dower, thereby intended to be released or conveyed, but be as effectual for every other purpose, as if she were an unmarried woman." Woodward Code, p. 53 ; Cass Code, p. 45.

If the grantor did not reside in Michigan, no different acknowledgment seemed to be required of the married woman than of any other person ; but the deed, executed as before stated in the case of non-residents, together with any relinquishment of dower, was to “be effectual.”

The Act of 1820 provided that no estate of a feme covert residing in this Territory should pass by her deed without a previous acknowledgment made, “ on a private examination apart from her hus. band that she executed such deed freely, without any fear or compulsion of her husband;" but where any feme covert not residing in the Territory should join with her husband in any deed or conveyance of, or relating to any lands or real estate within the Territory, it might be executed and acknowledged in all respects as if she were sole, and she should thereby be barred of all claim of dower, and all other right and title therein as if she were sole. Code of 1820, p. 159.

This provision was re-enacted in 1827, and continued in force until, and including August 31, 1838, when it was repealed by the Revised Statutes of that year. See Revision of 1827, p. 259; and 1833,

p. 280.

The Revised Statutes of 1838 required the acknowledgment of the wife to be taken separately and apart from her husband, and that she should acknowledge that she executed the deed without any fear or compulsion of her husband. P. 258, Sec. 11. And to bar her dower, she must in the deed release her claim thereto. P. 263, Sec. 7.

The Act of April 1, 1840, which took effect on that day, provided that the right of dower which a married woman might have in the State should not be passed or conveyed, except by deed executed by her, to be acknowledged by her on a private examination, separate and apart from her husband, that she had executed the deed without fear or compulsion from any one. Laws of 1840, p. 167. This provision, it will be seen, relates only to the release of dower. It was in force until March 1, 1847, when the Revised Statutes of 1846 took effect.


Until the Revised Statutes of 1846 (p. 487, Sec. 49), there was no statutory provision dispensing with the necessity of a seal, or a substitute therefor to a conveyance of lands.

The Act of June 10, 1828, provided that “any instrument to which the person making the same shall affix any device by way of seal, shall be adjudged and held to be of the same force and obliga. tion as if it were actually sealed.” And that “all instruments executed since the thirty-first day of December, 1827, to which the person or persons executing the same may have a fixed any device by way of scal, shall be adjudged and held of the same force and obligation as if the same were actually sealed.” Laws of 1828, p. 29; Revision of 1833, p. 516.

A similar provision has been in force ever since. Revised Statutes of 1838, p. 438, 439; Laws of 1810, p. 167.

From the last clause above cited from the Act of 1828, one would be led to infer that a similar Statute had existed before, and had been repealed by the Code of 1827, which took effect January 1, 1828 ; but no such Statute has been found.



The Act of March 27, 1820, required deeds to be signed by two or more witnesses. Code of 1820,

P. 156.

This requirement was continued by the Act of 1827, and was in force until repealed by the Revised Statutes of 1838. Revision of 1827, p. 258 ; and 1833, p. 279.

From September 1, 1838, to May 20, 1839, no subscribing witnesses were required. From the date last mentioned to the present time, two have at all times been necessary. See Laws of 1839, p. 219.





This first became necessary May 20, 1839. The Act of April 20, 1839, which took effect thirty days thereafter, provided that “no Register of Deeds shall record any deed executed out of this state, unless there shall be attached thereto the official certificate of the proper certifying officer, showing that the officer taking the acknowledgment of such deed is such oflicer as by his certificate of acknowledgment he purports to be, duly commissioned and qualified.” Laws of 1839, p. 219.

The Act of 1810, which took effect the first day of April of that year, required that when the deed was executed in any other State or Territory, it should have attached thereto a certificate of the proper County Clerk, under the seal of his office, that such deed was executed according to the Laws of such State or Territory. Laws of 1840, p. 166.

The Act of January 19, 1843, in force from and after February 15, 1843, required that when the deed was executed in any other State or Territory, it should have attached thereto a certificate of the Clerk or proper certifying officer of any Court of Record in such State or Territory, under the Beal of his office, that such deed was executed and acknowledged according to the laws of such State or Territory. Laws of 1843, p. 6. This provision continued in force until the Revised Statutes of 1646.

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From 1805 to 1815, deeds might be recorded in the office of any Clerk of a Court. Woodward Code, p. 52, Sec. 87. The Act of 1815 required them to be recorded in the ofice of the Register of Pro. bate of the District in which the lands were situate. Cass Code, p. 80.

By the Act of March 27, 1820, deeds were to be recorded in the oflice of the Register of Probate for the County, or Rerrister of the City in which the lands were situate. Code of 1920, p. 157. And sec the Act of 1827, Rev.of 1827, p. 258 ; Rev. of 1833, p. 279.

The office of Register of Probate abolished by the Act of Jan. 29, 1835 and decils, except of lands in Detroit, were required to be recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds elected for each county, Laws of 1835, p. 79.

Tue ofice of City Register of Detroit was abolished by Act of March 22, 1837, and his duties cou. ferred upon the Register of Deeds for the County of Wayne. Laws of 1837, p. 208.


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For acts respecting conveyances by the Governor and Judges, ani by the Miyor, Recorder and Aldermen of Detroit, see Laws of 1934, p. 38 ; 1844, p. 60; 1846, p. 156; and 1859, p. 232.




2772. Widow entitled to Dower.
2773. Dower in case of exchange of Lands by

2774. Mortgaged Land.
2775. Mortgage to secure Purchase Money.
2776. When Widow entitled to interest after sale

on Mortgage.
2777. When Widow entitled to Dower of residue

after deducting amount paid on Mortgage.
2778. Dower in Lands aliened by husband, how

2779. When Dower may be assigned by Probate

2780. Warrant for assignment of Dower.
2781. Commissioners to be sworn, etc.; recording

assignment; Costs.
2782. When Estate consists of Mill, etc., how

Dower assigned.
2783. When Widow may occupy with heirs.
2784 to 2787. How Dower may be barred.
2788. Election in case of Jointure.
2789. Election in case of provision by Will.
2790. When Widow deemed to have elected to

take jointure, etc.

2791. When Widow to be endowed anew.
2792. Woman being an alien, or residing out of

State, to have Dower.
2793. Woman not to commit waste; to keep

houses, etc., in repair. 2794. How long Widow may remain in dwelling

house, and have sustenance. 2795. When to recover damages. 2796. Measure of damages, etc. 2797. Not estimated on improvements. 2798. Damages against heir alienating Land,

etc. 2799. Claim, when barred by assignment of

Dower. 2800. Collusive recovery not to prejudice Infant

Heirs, etc. 2801. When Money may be awarded in lieu of

Dower. 2802. When Dower claimed by two or more

Widows, who Arst entitled


2803. When Husband to hold as Tenant by the


From Chapter Sixty-Six of Revised Statutes of 1846.

R. S. of N. Y., Title 3, Chap. 1, Part 2.


Widow entitled to dower. 10 Wend., 480. 11 Wend., 392. 1 Paige, 634. 2 Doug. Mich., 141. 1 Mich. Rep., 1.

(2772.) SECTION 1. The widow of every deceased person shall be entitled to dower, or the use, during her natural life of one-third part of all the lands whereof her husband was seized of an estate of inheritance, at any time during the marriage, unless she is lawfully barred thereof.

(2773.) SEC. 2. If a husband seized of an estate of inheritance in lands exchange them for other lands, his widow shall not have dower of both, but shall make her election to be endowed of the lands given, or of those taken in exchange; and if such

Dower in case of exchange of Land by husband.

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