Research


New York State Department of State Applications for Land Grants

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
The series consists of applications for grants of unappropriated land by letters patent from New York Colony and State. Along with the applications are related reports, surveys, maps, warrants for surveying lands and drafting of letters patent, objections to title, and letters.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
22 cubic feet (63 volumes); Copies: 39 microfilm reels; 35mm.
Inclusive Dates:
1642-1803
Series Number:
A0272

Arrangement

The volumes in this series are arranged roughly chronologically. Note that certain documents were removed from the series for conservation and filed separately upon their return. These documents appear in their original location in the microfilm version of the series.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of applications for grants of unappropriated land by letters patent from New York Colony and State. Along with the applications are related reports, surveys, maps, warrants for surveying lands and drafting of letters patent, objections to title (caveats), and letters. The bulk of the series is an amalgam of two large pre- and post-revolutionary series held originally by the Office of Secretary of State. Each of these, the "Colonial Council Papers" (1668-1783) and the "Papers of the Land Office" (from 1784) are readily identifiable within the combined series and are described in brief below. Certain volumes in the series also contain smaller groups of documents which were originally unique series; these were combined with the larger two groups to form the current series in 1819.

Colonial records. Most documents in this group concern original land grants made by the governor with approval of the colonial council. Documents found in the series to varying degrees include a petition for license to purchase land from the Indians; license to purchase land from the Indians; Indian deeds, in the form of a "bargain and sale" conveyance (sometimes marked with totems of Indians conveying the land); warrant of survey (governor's order to the surveyor general to survey land for a petitioner); return of survey (gives metes and bounds and acreage of the tract surveyed, but actual surveys are often lacking, especially before 1700); petition to the governor for a land grant by letters patent; a report of a council committee approving the grant; and warrant to prepare letters patent (order from the governor to the attorney general or the solicitor general to prepare a draft of the patent).

Also found in this group are caveats, or formal objections to granting letters patent because of a conflicting title; petitions for grants of land under water (often including the right to erect a wharf or pier); descriptions of town boundaries; petitions for licenses to operate ferries; and assorted notices, affidavits, and letters related to petitions for land grants.

Of special note are 17th century Dutch "deeds of confirmation" and petitions; land grants by courts in Kingston, Hurley, and Marbletown; petitions for remission of quit rents accruing during Queen Anne's War; the Schenectady patent; documents on Palatine German settlement on the Mohawk River; petitions for land grants to French and Indian War officers and soldiers (including affidavits or certificates of war service and returns of surveys) and additional petitions submitted by those veterans after the Revolutionary War; petitions and returns of survey (with maps) for tracts in what is now Vermont; and petitions for grants (most prior to 1681) on the west side of the Delaware River and Bay in what are now Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Post-revolution records. The series also contains applications for letters patent after the Revolutionary War. No original letters patent were issued by New York State for lands west of the 82nd milestone on the Pennsylvania border. Most post-revolutionary "land papers" relate to land grants in the new Military Tract in central New York. Records in this group include applicant's claim or petition to the Commissioners of the Land Office; order of the surveyor general to survey the tract; the resulting return of survey; certificate of location certifying the grant of land (described in detail); and assignments of certificates by veterans to others. Other documents relating to military land bounty rights include powers of attorney; state treasurer's receipts; and letters and affidavits in support of claims.

Documents associated with survey and sale of public lands include petitions for land grants, returns of survey, and certificates of locations similar to those for military grants; certificates of purchase at public vendue; proposals (bids) for purchase of lands, with correspondence; assignments of certificates of location; drafts of letters patent; caveats, or affidavits of claims to lands already granted; powers of attorney; and letters and reports concerning land grants. Special categories of records found after 1784 are applications for ferry licenses and petitions for grants of land under water, with attorney general reports; applications for surveys of new roads in central, northern, and western New York, with surveyor general reports; related road surveys and maps; certificates of completion of roads; and a few petitions by Indians for land grants for Revolutionary War service.

Other record groups. Found among several volumes in the series are smaller groups of documents which were separate series before being combined into this series by the Office of Secretary of State. These include items relating to a land dispute between heirs of general John Bradstreet and the proprietors of the Hardenbergh Patent (1785); land grants to patriot refugees who left Canada and Nova Scotia during the Revolutionary War, including lists of refugees, petitions and claims for land grants, certificates as to the authenticity of claims, and related letters (1789-1790); the "Chemung Papers" concerning surveys and sales of land in what is now Tioga and Chemung counties (1788, 1793); and a few deeds or releases of property to the state (1794-1796).

Items Online

Digital Collection

Please note that only a portion of this series has been included in this digital collection. Other items exist that are not available online.

Link to items online Browse items online

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Alternate Formats Available

Microform is available, except for Book 59 of this series. Specifically, folios 127-184 (end of volume) were never filmed.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A0447 Military patents and

Series 12943 Letters patent, contain the final land grants awarded to veterans who received military bounty lands, the applications for which may be found in this series

Series A4609 Original Indian treaties and deeds, 1703-1847 and

Series A0448 Recorded Indian treaties and deeds, 1703-1871, contain related documents

Other finding aids

"The Calendar of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts Indorsed Land Papers; in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York, 1643-1803" (Albany: 1864) lists all documents in this first series of "Land Papers" as they were rearranged in 1819. There is an index to personal names and to land tract names or geographical locations at the back of the volume.

Series B1454, Inventories, receipts, and transfer documentation for assorted land records, [ca.1913-1973], includes an annotated copy showing documents in the "Calendar" found to be missing in 1928 and thereafter. The list of documents determined to be missing from series A0272 as of 1928 are also indicated in the reprint edition of "The Calendar of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts Indorsed Land Papers; in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York, 1643-1803" (Harrison, NY: Harbor Hill Books, 1987).

Volumes in this series spanning 1785-1790 contain name indexes to claims of Revolutionary War veterans.

An extensive narrative description of the provenance, content, and indexing of this series is available, which includes a list of associated land records series and a review of subsequent recordkeeping responsibilities of various state agencies.

All of the earlier series from which the series was formed were listed (by bundle) in the "Annalium Thesaurus," an inventory made by the Office of the Secretary of State ca. 1819.

Maps found among the volumes are listed and indexed in David E.E. Mix's "Catalogue of Maps and Surveys..." (Albany: 1859), pp. 134-244.

Custodial History

The series was created under direction of Secretary of State John Van Ness Yates in 1819 from an amalgam of documents taken from the "Colonial Council Papers," the "Papers of the Land Office," and several other small series that existed in the office at that time. Since the nineteenth century the series has been known as the "Land Papers" and is now referred to as "Land Papers - Series 1" to distinguish it from another series of early land-related documents bound by the State Engineer and Surveyor (series A4016).

The "Indian Deed Conveying to New Settlers Land Bordering the 'Mohawks' River, 1732" was removed from the series for exhibit purposes and subsequently stored separately.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
Function(s):
Title(s):

Detailed Description

Contents Box Roll

Accretion: A0272-78
Volume 1, Pages 1 - 214 1 1-2
Volume 3, Pages 1 - 190 3 2-3
Volume 4, Pages 1 - 182 4 3
Volume 5, Pages 1 - 182 5 4
Volume 6, Pages 1 - 191 6 4
Volume 7, Pages 1 - 203 7 4
Volume 8, Pages 1 - 200 8 4-5
Volume 9, Pages 1 - 172 9 5
Volume 10, Pages 1 - 178 10 5
Volume 11, Pages 1 - 194 11 6
Volume 12, Pages 1 - 170 12 6-7
Volume 13, Pages 1 - 168 13 7
Volume 14, Pages 1 - 176 14 7-8
Volume 15, Pages 1 - 188 15 9
Volume 16, Pages 1 - 167 16 10-9
Volume 17, Pages 1 - 168 17 11
Volume 18, Pages 1 - 181 18 11-12
Volume 19, Pages 1 - 174 19 12
Volume 20, Pages 1 - 185 20 12-13
Volume 21, Pages 1 - 186 21 13
Volume 22, Pages 1 - 182 22 14
Volume 23, Pages 1 - 162 23 14-15
Volume 24, Pages 1 - 162 24 16
Volume 25, Pages 1 - 150 25 16-17
Volume 26, Pages 1 - 157 26 17
Volume 27, Pages 1 - 159 27 17
Volume 29, Pages 1 - 152 Including Index 29 19
Volume 30, Pages 1 - 148 Including Index 30 19-20
Volume 31, Pages 1 - 160 31 21-22
Volume 32, Pages 1 - 157 32 22
Volume 33, Pages 1 - 153 33 22-23
Volume 34, Pages 1 - 161 34 23
Volume 35, Pages 1 - 146 35 23-24
Volume 36, Pages 1 - 83 36 24
Volume 37, Pages 1 - 156 37 24
Volume 38, Pages 1 - 157 38 24-25
Volume 39, Pages 1 - 148 39 25
Volume 40, Pages 1 - 155 40 25-26
Volume 41, Pages 1 - 149 41 27-28
Volume 42, Pages 1 - 170 42 28
Volume 43, Pages 1 - 169 43 29
Volume 44, Pages 1 - 170 44 29-30
Volume 45, Pages 1 - 182 45 30
Volume 46, Pages 1 - 145 46 30-31
Volume 47, Pages 1 - 172 47 31
Volume 48, Pages 1 - 186 48 32
Volume 49, Pages 1 - 148 49 32
Volume 50, Pages 1 - 157 50 32
Volume 51, Pages 1 - 170 51 33-34
Volume 52, Pages 1 - 179 52 34
Volume 53, Pages 1 - 169 53 34
Volume 54, Pages 1 - 192 54 34-35
Volume 55, Pages 1 - 180; Page 29 Transferred to Page 27 55 35
Volume 56, Pages 1 - 174; Page 98 Transferred to 1792 June 5 56 36
Volume 57, Pages 1 - 185 57 36
Volume 58, Pages 1 - 187 58 36
Volume 59, Pages 1 - 126; Page 65 Transferred to 1800 59 36
Volume 60, Pages 1 - 188 60 37
Volume 61, Pages 1 - 182 61 37
Volume 62, Pages 1 - 181 62 38
Volume 63, Pages 1 - 163 63 38
Volume 28A, Pages 1 - 90 28A 18
Volume 28B, Pages 91 - 157 28B 18
Volume 2A, Pages 1 - 144 2A 2
Volume 2B, Pages 145 - 277 2B 2
Items filed separately after conservation Alienatd 1
Items filed separately after conservation Alienatd 2