Sasine Abridgements Explained
It is not always easy to understand the contents of an abridgement. The following notes may help:
- If the abridgement contains the words 'registers disposition', 'gets disposition by' or 'gets assignation by' it is probable that property is changing hands consequent on a sale. 'Gets notarial instrument on disposition', or property under 'a letter of heritable alienation' also indicates the buying of property.
- The phrase 'registers special and / or general service' shows that this is a case of property being inherited (via a retour).
- When the word 'bond' occurs - often as 'bond and disposition', then a mortgage is involved, and someone is being given sasine to certain property as security for a loan of money. The person lending the money 'gets Bond and Disposition for £...' by the borrower 'over' certain lands which are mortgaged till the loan is repaid.
- Another sasine is then recorded when the bond is repaid. This is indicated by the phrase that the lender 'grants discharge of bond and disposition for £...' to the borrower and the lender now declares the mortgaged property 'disburdened thereof'.
There follows a glossary of the shortened terms used in abridgements:
- Assig. - assignation
- Disch. - discharge
- Disp. - disposition
- Inter alia - among others
- Not. Instrument - notarial instrument (legal document)
- Pro indiviso - undivided
- Qua - as
- Ratif. - ratification
- Sp. and Gen. Serv. - special and general service
Reproduced from Tracing Scottish Ancestors, by Rosemary Bigwood, published by Collins, 1999.
Not included in Rosemary's book, but a phrase often found:
'Not Instr by Trs of dec A. B.' indicates that A.B. has died and the property is transferred temporarily to his trustees or executors. This is frequently the first indication that the property owner has died.
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