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  • Kendra Marroquin

THE HIDDEN HISTORY AND UNIQUE ROLES OF NOTARIES

Ever wondered about the hidden history and unique roles of notaries? From ancient Rome to modern-day digital notarizations, notaries have played pivotal roles in shaping our legal and societal frameworks.


Historical Facts:


1. Ancient Origins: The role of notaries dates back to ancient Rome, where they were called "scribae" and were responsible for documenting public and private transactions.


2. Medieval Europe: During the Middle Ages, notaries were crucial in documenting the proceedings of the Church and legal matters. They were often seen as prestigious officials.


3. Colonial America: Notaries played a significant role in colonial America, helping to establish and formalize legal documents as settlers established new communities.


Famous Notaries:


1. Thomas Jefferson: Before becoming the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson served as a notary in Virginia.


2. Mark Twain: The famous author and humorist Mark Twain was appointed as a notary public in Nevada during his time as a journalist.


Unique Roles and Stories:


1. Notaries in Maritime Law: In some jurisdictions, notaries have the authority to handle maritime protests, which are statements made by ship captains about incidents that occur during a voyage.


2. International Diplomacy: Notaries are often involved in international transactions and diplomacy, certifying documents that cross borders and ensuring their validity in different legal systems.


3. Protecting Rights: In some countries, notaries are entrusted with safeguarding citizens' rights. For example, in France and many Latin American countries, notaries play a crucial role in real estate transactions, ensuring that property transfers are legally binding and transparent.


Interesting Examples:


1. Notaries and Art: In the Renaissance, notaries were responsible for documenting art commissions and sales, ensuring the provenance and authenticity of artworks.


2. Celebrity Notaries: Some celebrities have become notaries to perform specific functions. For instance, actor Neil Patrick Harris became a notary to officiate weddings for friends.


3. Historical Documents: Many historical documents, such as the Magna Carta and various royal decrees, were authenticated and recorded by notaries, ensuring their preservation and legal standing.


Modern-Day Examples:


1. Digital Notarization: With the advent of technology, notaries are now performing remote online notarizations, allowing people to get documents notarized without being physically present.


2. Real Estate Transactions: Notaries often play a critical role in real estate closings, verifying identities, and ensuring all documents are properly signed and recorded.


These examples highlight the diverse and historically significant role that notaries play in both historical and modern contexts, demonstrating their importance in legal and societal frameworks.


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