Notary History

Notary history has come a long way from the scribes of Ancient Egypt to the mobile notary services of today. However, one central theme has prevailed throughout the years: The role of the notary public has always been highly regarded and worthy of a respected public official. Historical figures had different reasons for involving notary professionals, even before they were used to prevent fraud – which is primarily what they do today. Here’s a look back at the notary public from the early ages and some other historical references to notarization.

The History of the Notarial Seal:

The notary profession dates back as far as 2750 BC in Egypt, where “scribes” were entrusted with managing official communications and transactions. Certain letters, announcements and tax documents were required to be verified in order to have legal effect.

In the 13th and 14th Centuries, the job of the notary public began to more closely resemble the role they play today. A notary was usually a member of the Church of England, due to the fact that illiteracy was widespread. Over the years and as more citizens learned to read, the requirement of being a member of the clergy was less relevant. Notary professionals were also in high demand during these times as trans-oceanic trade increased.

The U.S. legal system is based upon that of England, so the role of the notary public goes back to colonial times in our country. These were people of high moral character that could be trusted, as they were appointed as public officials to certify documents in trade, verify the identity of individuals and maintain the integrity of papers.


Famous People in Notary History

  • Thomas Fugill: The first person in the colonies to act as notary was appointed in 1639. However, Mr. Fugill was found to be falsifying documents and lost his credentials as a result.
  • Pete Rose: He wasn’t a notary public, but this famous baseball player did require notary services as part of an endorsement deal. When the makers of Wheaties asked Mr. Rose to appear on the front of the box, he had to swear in the presence of a notary public that he’d eaten the cereal since he was a child.


Famous Historical Notary Sites

  • National Archives Building, Washington, DC: This facility is home to the Declaration of Independence, a document that was signed by notary Thomas McKean.
  • Calvin Coolidge Home, Vermont: President Coolidge was the only holder of the title to be sworn into office by a notary public. At this site in 1923, Calvin took his Oath of Office before his father, John Calvin Coolidge.

It’s interesting to read about notary history and understand how the role of this official has remained the same in many ways throughout the years – yet changed in others. One development that’s a valuable benefit to all is the availability of mobile notary services that make the notarization process easier and more convenient. Consider retaining a mobile notary public if you’re looking to save time and money when executing important documents.

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