Last year, I did a presentation at the Coppell Senior Center on the history of Notaries Public. When I started researching the topic I didn't realize how many interesting things I'd find.
Did you know that "Scribes" were the earliest known chroniclers of official communications in recorded history? A Roman slave named Tiro was the first known "notae" for writing down the speeches of Cicero.
Notaries accompanied Christopher Columbus on all of his voyages to account for his discovered treasures on behalf of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. In fact, Rodrigo de Escobedo was the Notary Public who witnessed when Columbus discovered the new world.
Thomas Fugill was the first official American Notary Public, appointed in 1639 but he failed to live up to all of his duties and was thrown out of office for falsifying documents.
Here's a few more fun facts:
Notaries were used in the Royal bedchambers to witness the consummation of marriages (yikes - not a job I'd want)!
Mark Twain was a Notary Public. So was Shakespeare. Leonardo Da Vinci was the son of a Notary Public.
Before Pete Rose could appear on a box of Wheaties cereal, he had to swear before a Notary that he'd eaten the cereal since he was a child so it could officially be called The Breakfast of Champions!