Protecting Property from a Husband’s Control

Protecting Property from a Husband’s Control

I’m at the local Family History Center today, working on gathering New York City deeds for an on-going project on my husband side.

In 1796, Margaret Hairs, daughter of Leonard Sanders, transferred “all the real Estate belonging to … [her] … in fee, situate in the said City of New York” to her sister Mary Garrick who would serve as a trustee during Margaret’s lifetime and then distribute it as outlined in the deed. [1]

And why was this done?

“… so that no Husband at any time hereafter, shall have any Controul [sic] therewith …” [2]

As I think about this, especially knowing a little bit about Mary’s marital situation (I think it was an unhappy one) [3] and her subsequent independence (I believe she ran a tavern/restaurant), [4] I find myself thinking, “Go Margaret! Go Mary!” It seems to me that they were strong women who weren’t about to be pushed around. And so, in celebration of Women’s History Month, I thought I’d share.


  1. New York County, New York, Conveyances, v. 55, p. 125-126, Margaret Hairs to Mary Garrick, 30 November 1796; digital image, “Conveyances, 1654-1866,” FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 March 2019) > DGS 7178092 > image 712.
  2. Ibid.
  3. [No title], Daily Advertiser (New York, New York), 23 June 1791, p. 3, col. 1; digital image, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 24 March 2017). Thomas Garrick posted an advertisement offering a reward for his wife Mary’s return, stating that she had “eloped from … [his] … bed and board.”
  4. 3. “Mary Garrick,” Public Advertiser (New York, New York), 27 May 1812, p. 3; digital image; Genealogy Bank ( : accessed 24 March 2017). Mary Garrick is advertising a “Porter and Oyster Hous.”

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