Yesterday, I ventured to the registry of deeds to trace back, with a very knowledgeable and friendly records examiner, the prior owners of our home.
In the books recording the grantees (purchasers), as well as on the deeds, we encountered the Latin phrase— “et ux”. I asked Lynn what this meant, thinking it was an earlier form of etcetera. In fact, et ux is the shortened version of “et uxor”, and in Latin means “and wife”.
Women struggled over centuries for property rights. In 1848, New York enacted the Married Women’s Property Act, providing women rights to property owned before marriage. Other states followed suit. However, women were not allowed to manage or dispose of the property – apparently only men had the ability to conduct property transactions and so forth – and the et ux found at the end of the deeds to a large extent simply carried this limitation forward for quite a while.
I am pleased to have determined the names of some of the women that lived in this home:
Lucretia E Tuller
Mary A Tuller
Sarah L Gordon
Elizabeth M Noxon
Eleanora T Hayes
This list I now refer to as our home’s “et ux” group.
A half mile from our house sits a town maintained cemetery and one that I walk by daily. Here I found Abigail Andrews.