This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
All conveyances of freehold or leasehold interests in lands, other than certain leases for three years or less, must, by the Statute of Frauds, be in writing.22 In most, if not all, the states of this country there are statutes to the same general effect.23 These statutes, however, as be-before stated, do not interfere with surrenders by operation of law.24 And even in the case of an at955; Dobschuetz v. Holliday, 82 I11. 371; Firth v. Rowe, 53 N. J. Eq. 520, 32 Atl. 1064; Allen v. Brown, 00 Barb. (N. Y.) 39.
18. Norton Deeds, 46, citing the numerous English cases. Goodtitle v. Bailey, Cowp. 600; Roe d. Wilkinson v. Tranmer, Willes, 682; Foster's Lessee v. Dennison. 9 Ohio, 121; Hunt v. Hunt, 14 Pick. (Mass.) 374; Lambert v. Smith, 9 Ore. 185, 191. See Gray. Perpetuities Sec. 65.
19. Crossing v. Scudamore, 2 Lev. 9, 1 Mod. 175; Horton v. Sledge, 29 Ala. 478; Bank of
United States v. Housman, 6 Paige (N. Y.) 526; Eckman v. Eckman, 68 Pa. St. 460.
20. See ante, note 33.
21. Roe d. Wilkinson v. Tranmer, 2 Wils. 75, Willes, 682; Ward v. Wooten, 75 N. C. 413: Wall v. Wall , 30 Miss. 91, 64 Am. Dec. 147; Merrill v. Publishers Paper Co.. 77 N. H. 285, 90 Atl. 786; Rembert v. Vetoe, 89 S. C. 198, 71 S. E. 959.
22. 29 Car. II c. 3, p. 1-3.
23. 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, Sec.Sec. 1560. 414.',.
24. See ante, Sec. 431.
Tempted oral conveyance, the intended grantee, by making improvements upon the property, may create an equity in himself entitling him to a valid written conveyance.25
At common law, all written conveyances of land, as well as most other written instruments, were in the form of deeds, that is, of instruments under seal, and a deed was either a "deed of indenture" or a "deed poll." A deed of indenture was a deed made between two or more persons, while a deed poll was made by one person only.26 These terms are thus used in England at the present day, and they are occasionally so" used in this country.
A carefully drawn conveyance usually consists of the following parts: At the commencement the names of the parties are stated,27 and the date is sometimes here given, though it is frequently placed at the end. Next come the recitals, if there are any, these being statements of fact, explanatory of the transaction. A statement of the consideration and of its payment and receipt then follow,28 and, after this, the operative words of conveyance,29 with a description of the land conveyed,30 and any exception therefrom.31 The parts thus far enumerated constitute what is known as "the premises," The premises are followed by the "habendum" which limits the estate to be taken by the grantee, and is usually introduced by the words "to
25. Post, Sec. 547.
26. Co. Litt. 229a. The word ,'indenture" originated in the fact that two copies of the deed were usually written on the same piece of parchment, with some word or letters written between them, through which the parchment was cut in an indented or waiving line. The words "deed poll" refer to a deed "polled" or shaven at the top. Subsequently, conveyancers adopted the practice, which still, it seems, prevails in England, of cutting all deeds between two or more parties in a waving line at the top. 2 Blackst. Comm. 296; Williams, Real Prop. (18th Ed.) 150.
27 .Post, Sec. 434.
28 Post, Sec. 438.
29. Post, Sec. 435.
30. Post, Sec.Sec. 441-448.
31. Post, Sec. 436.
Have and to hold."32 Any declaration of trust which is sought to be made is here inserted. The "reddendum" or reservation33 then follows, after that the statement of any condition or power affecting the grant, and then the covenant or covenants of title.34 The conclusion usually consists of a formal reference to the execution, and the signatures and seals of the parties are then placed by them at the foot of the instrument.35 There is also, almost invariably, a certificate by an officer that the conveyance was acknowledged by the grantors.36
Though a well drawn conveyance usually contains all or most of these parts above referred to, a conveyance containing merely the names of the parties and words of conveyance, with a description of the land, if duly executed, is sufficient to vest at least an estate for life in the grantee.37