Following the Deeds

Recently, my sister and I had a chance to spend a couple of days in Portland, Oregon looking for information on our paternal grandparents, Robert and Susan (Samels) Shane.  They had a farm near Portland, in the community now known as Farmington, which is just south of Hillsboro. I’d been curious for some time about where their farm was located and whether or not Robert’s sisters purchased or inherited the farm after his death.  So without further ado, here is the first of three deeds filed in Washington County Oregon.. all three pertain to the same property.

This first deed is one I’d found on an earlier trip and documents Robert’s initial purchase of the land from Thomas Nissen, Theodore Nissen and his wife Mary, dated April 16, 1913.  Here’s page one:


As you see it has many cross-outs, areas where the type spacing results in some lines being partially covered by the following line… etc., etc, etc…  So I’ve transcribed the document as best I can, just as its typed, (typos and punctuation errors included, italics as called for). Hopefully I’ve gotten it all!


Thomas Nissen, et. al. to R.N. Shane                           F.L. Perkins, Recorder of Conveyances.

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, that we, Thomas Nissen, unmarried, Theodore Nissen and Mary Nissen, his wife, hereinafter designated grantors, in consideration of Twenty-six Hundred ($2600.00) DOLLARS to us paid by R.N. Shane, hereinafter designated , grantee, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged here by grant, bargain, sell and convey unto said R. L. (sic) Shane,, his heirs and assigns, all the following described parcel of real property, situate Washington County Oregon.

1st Tract:  Beginning at a stone on the N. line of the Peter Scholl Donation Land Claim No. 40, in Section 3, T. 2 S.R. 2 W. Will. Mer. Washington county, Oregon, South 70 deg. 29′ East 11.35 chains from the N.W. corner of the said Donation Land Claim; thence on said N. line of Donation Land Claim South 70 deg. 29′ E. 1096 feet to an iron; thence N.O. deg- 07′ E. 1633 feet to the S. line of John Griffith Donation Land Claim No. 43 thence on said S. line of Donation land claim west 1047.3 feet to a stone thence S. 0 deg. 29′ E. 1266.7 feet to place of beginning, containing 34.6 acres.

2nd Tract: Beginning at a stake on the E. line of the herein described tract 20 feet S. of it’s N.E. Corner;  thence E. 20 feet to a stake; thence NO. deg 07′ E. 1585 feet, more or less, through the land of Thos. Nissen to the County Road; thence W. 20 feet, thence s. O deg. 07′ W. 1585 feet more or less, to place of beginning containing 0.728 acres,


Together with our estate, right title and interest in and to the same, including dower and claim of dower.

To  Have and to hold the above described and granted premises unto the said Grantee, his heirs and assigns forever.  And the grantors above named do covenant to and with the grantee his heirs and assigns that we are the owners in fee simple of the above granted premises that they are free from all incumbrances. and that we will and our heirs, executors and administrators shall warrant and forever defend the above granted premises, and every part thereof, against the lawful claims and demands of all persons whomsoever.

The Grantors Theodore Nissen and Mary Nissen reserve unto themseles their heirs and assigns the right to use for road purposes in common with the grantee herein the parcel or real property second above described.  IN WITNESS WEREOF we have hereunto set our hand.  Bond and seal (?) on this 16th day of  April, 1913.

In our presence:

W.G. Hare

C.S. Brooks

Thomas Nissen (seal)

Theodor Nissen (seal)

Mary Nissen (seal)


Washington County, THIS CERTIFIES That on this 16th day of April 1913, before me the undersigned, A Notary Public in and for said County and State, personally appeared the within named Thomas Nissen, Theodore Nissen And Mary Nissen, his wife, known to me to be the identical persons described in and who executed the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that they executed the same.

In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year last above written.


Whew!  That was a real exercise in “reading the fine print” and the almost unreadable print in some parts of the document.  Some of the terms in this document aren’t commonly seen these days (unless you’re like me, looking for OLD documents) so here are some definitions from Wikepedia:

chain is a unit of length; it measures 66 feet or 22 yards or 4 rods or 100 links[1] (20.1168m). There are 10 chains in a furlong, and 80 chains in one statute mile. An acre is the area of 10 square chains (that is, an area of one chain by one furlong). The chain has been used for several centuries in Britain and in some other countries influenced by British practice.

The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 (ch. 76, 9 Stat. 496, September 27, 1850), sometimes known just as the Donation Land Act, was a statute enacted by the Congress of the United States intended to promote homestead settlement in the Oregon Territory in the Pacific Northwest (comprising the present-day states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho). The law, which is considered a forerunner of the later Homestead Act, brought thousands of settlers into the new territory, swelling the ranks of the emigrants on the Oregon Trail. 7,437 patents were issued under the law until its expiration on December 1, 1855.



Washington County Oregon, Deed Record dated April 16, 1913

Wikipedia articles: Chain Measurement, Donation Land Claim Act of 1850


Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington, September 16, 2009, All Rights Reserved

This entry was posted in Family History, Land Records, Shane. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Following the Deeds

  1. Ranger Doris says:

    Did you know there is a National Park site devoted to telling the story of the Homestead Act of 1862? To learn more about what may be the most influential piece of legislation this country has ever created go to or visit Homestead National Monument of America. Located in Nebraska, the Monument includes one of the first 160 acres homestead claims but tells the story of homesteading throughout the United States. Nearly 4 million claims in 30 states were made under the Homestead Act and 1.6 million or 40 percent were successful. The Homestead Act was not repealed until 1976 and extended in Alaska until 1986. Homesteads could be claimed by “head of households” that were citizens or eligible for citizenship. New immigrants, African-Americans, women who were single, widowed or divorced all took advantage of the Homestead Act. It is estimated that as many as 93 million Americans are descendents of these homesteaders today. This is a story as big, fascinating, conflicted and contradictory as the United States itself. Learn more!

  2. susaned1 says:

    Hello Doris,
    Thanks for your comment. I’m going to check out the site you mentioned…we have several family members who homesteaded to it’ll be especially helpful.
    Appreciate your contact.
    Sue Edminster

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