I obtained a copy of Reports of Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Courts of Pennsylvania Before and Since the Revolution by A. J. Dallas, Esquire. Cited as 1 Dall., the volume provides cases from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and other courts. For a 220+ year old book, the text is pretty clean for the most part, and I’ve been adding images to older cases, such as Price v. Watkins, and cleaning some of the original transcription.
The difficulty is when I come across a word that I do not recognize. It could be because the word is no longer in use. Or, it could be because of the long s problem, which should be familiar to anyone who has seen a copy of the Bill of Rights: “Congrefs shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of the prefs, or the right of the people peaceably to afsemble, and to petition the Government for a redrefs of grievances.”
Not too difficult to figure out that Congrefs is Congress, prefs is press, afsemble is assemble, etc. Now, in the sixth line of Price v. Watkins, I came across a word that appeared to be Mefiuage. Interestingly, I searched for mefiuage in Google and saw a result from Dictionary.com, which just reported “no dictionary results.” The other results were scans from old texts. I got the same results searching for Mefluage.
However, in looking at some other texts, the term clearly appears as Meffuage, which is really (because of the long s) Messuage. That does make sense since Messuage is an archaic term for a dwelling house.