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Watermills of Camden County - By William Farr - Glossary



Administrator C.T.A.:  see Intestacy

Bolting Mill:  process to produce flour from milling wheat, involving running the grist over a bolting cloth which was shaken back and forth by a rod, sometimes connected to the shaft which rotated the stones.

By-road:  private road; a little traveled secondary road.

Calendar of Wills:  the New Jersey Archives Calendar of Wills contains digests of wills and information about intestacies through 1900. They are best used by means of the three-volume Index of Wills, divided into counties, within which is an alphabetized list by name of the decedent and the date of the probate or intestacy proceedings. The microfilm of the actual documents shows them serially by number and letter, e.g. 131 H. The letter for Gloucester County is H, while Camden County’s is D.

Call:  reference to some natural mark, object, line of direction, in the descriptive part of a deed or survey.

Chain:  100 links or 66 feet.

Codicil:  addendum to a will, executed with the same formality as the will.

Colonial Deeds:  Colonial conveyances of the provinces of East and West Jersey 1664-1794. An index is available on microfilm.

Colonial Laws:  laws adopted during the period when New Jersey was a colony of Great Britain (1702-1776), published by the State in 5 volumes as the Third Series of the New Jersey Archives.

Country Work:  custom grinding of grain for neighboring farmers.
Cripple: An old word meaning a bog.

Floodgate:  gate for shutting out, admitting, or releasing a body of water; a sluice. One of its uses was to permit a release of water pressure resulting from an impending freshet, which might otherwise blow out a milldam.

Forges and furnaces:  For explanation of the uses made of these establishments, the reader is referred to Boyer’s Forges & Furnaces.

Grantee:  The person in whose favor a deed or similar instrument is made.

Grantor:  The person by whom a deed or similar instrument is made.

Intestacy:  dying without leaving a probatable will. No proceedings are necessary as to real estate owned by a decedent (it automatically descends to the heirs as provided by law). But if there is personal property to be administered, or if there is real estate only and debts to be paid, an administrator must be appointed. The term intestacy also applies where there is a will but it fails to dispose of all of the property of the testator (the person who makes the will), in which case an administrator C.T.A. (cum testamento annexo-with the will annexed) is appointed. The female of administrator is administratrix.

Merchant Mill:  grinding mill which bought grain and manufactured flour for sale.

Metes and bounds:  boundary lines of lands, with their terminating points or angle (Latin meth [boundary]). Alternative usage: “legal description.”

Mill seat:  tract of land on which a mill is located, accompanying a sale or lease of the mill.

Power of Appointment:  power conferred by one person upon another to select the person who is to receive an estate after a specified happening.

Proved:  prior to its being proved after death, a will is considered only a “paper writing purporting to be....” Until recent years, proof involved the executor presenting the will to the Surrogate and one of the attesting witnesses signing an affidavit verifying the statements of the attestation clause. The will was then “admitted to probate” and was retained on file indefinitely. (Presently, if a will is executed in a certain statutory fashion, there is automatic acceptance, without any further proof.)

Purchase Money Mortgage:  mortgage given, concurrently with a conveyance of land, by the buyer to the seller, to secure the unpaid balance of the purchase price.

Quitclaim deed:  deed operating by way of a release, relinquishing any title or interest which the grantor has in the subject lands. Example: heirs would normally give quitclaims to each other when inherited real estate was divided among them.
Resurvey: Any landowner could apply to the Surveyor General of the West Jersey Proprietors to have a resurvey made of his property in order to verify the boundaries and the quantity. The process required tracing and recording the title from the original survey down to the present, which is certainly a boon to local history and genealogical researchers.

Road Return:  Highways were laid out by road surveyors elected annually by and for each township. They were required to file a written report of the results of their assignment, to lay out a road, called a return, which was recorded in the County Clerk’s office in a Road Return Book. These are available on microfilm.

Surrogate:  This county officer, besides being the administrator of all proceedings relating to wills, intestacies and guardianships, and clerk of the Orphans Court, was (and is) the only elected judge in our State judicial system. An appeal from a Surrogate’s ruling was to the Orphans Court, from which a further appeal could be taken to the old Prerogative Court, and both of these courts had original jurisdiction as to wills. Sometimes wills which would affect real estate in several counties would be probated in the Prerogative Court so as to have statewide effect for the probate.

Survey:  As used with respect to land titles and local history, this is a surveyor’s report (“return”) to the colonial Surveyor General of the Council of Proprietors at Burlington, reporting that a specific piece of property had been laid off to a named person, which return was then recorded in the Proprietors’ Office. A certified copy was then the equivalent of the first owner’s original deed. These are available on microfilm.

Testator:  male maker of a will (female, testatrix)

Township:  Early on, counties were established by the creation of townships with fixed boundaries. But townships can disappear, e.g. Newton, in Camden County. The numerous changes in townships and other municipalities over the years can be determined by consulting Snyder’s Civil Boundaries.



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