Administrative History

In 1640, the State General of Holland approved a new charter of "Freedoms and Exemptions" in which the West India Company gave up its trade monopoly and removed the burdens from land ownership - new land grants could be transferred by sale or will, subject only to an oath of allegiance. As a result, there was an immediate increase in the population of New Netherland. Colonists included not only those from Holland, but also English settlers who were driven from New England by religious persecution. The new landholders took the oaths of allegiance to the West India Company and to the States General of Holland.

The provincial secretary was responsible for recording all land transactions in New Netherland. Depending on the administration, records were kept in separate books or recorded in the secretary's minutes.