Research


New York State Engineer and Surveyor Records of Surveys and Maps of State Lands

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:
This series contains the miscellaneous filed papers of the New York State Surveyor General and the State Engineer and Surveyor. The series documents the role of the Surveyor General and State Engineer and Surveyor in establishing the boundaries of public and private lands, and in planning the development of the State's transportation system. A number of volumes contain documents relating to the sale of Loyalist lands by the Commissioners of Forfeitures during and after the Revolutionary War.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
51.6 cubic feet (29 disbound volumes)
Inclusive Dates:
1686-1892
Series Number:
A4016

Arrangement

Certain records in the series are grouped by subject. For example, records relating to state roads are found in Volume 1; material on town boundaries appears in Volumes 3 and 4; and documents relating to the sale of Loyalist lands by the Commissioners of Forfeitures are found in Volumes 7, 8, 9, 10, and 17.

Administrative History

New York's revolutionary government began seizing the personal and real property of suspected Loyalists in the summer of 1776. Statutes of 1779 and 1784 authorized the forfeiture and sale of real property of "persons who have adhered to the enemies of this State." An individual's real property became forfeit to the state when he was adjudged guilty of treason, either by an act of attainder passed by the State Legislature, or by trial and conviction in the Supreme Court of Judicature. Commissioners of Forfeitures were appointed to manage, sell at public auction, and convey by deed the lands forfeited to the state.

The Commissioners of Forfeitures operated in four disctricts: Western District (Albany, and Tryon/Montgomery Counties); Eastern District (Charlotte, Cumberland, and Gloucester Counties); Middle District (Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster Counites; and Southern District (New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties).

Scope and Content Note

This series contains the miscellaneous filed papers of the New York State Surveyor General and the State Engineer and Surveyor. The series documents the role of the Surveyor General and State Engineer and Surveyor in establishing the boundaries of public and private lands, and in planning the development of the State's transportation system. A number of volumes contain documents relating to the sale of Loyalist lands by the Commissioners of Forfeitures during and after the Revolutionary War.

The series contains records of land surveys undertaken for applicants for land grants; for landholders; to resolve disputes over property lines; and in preparation for land use by the State. A wide variety of document types are present: survey descriptions and measurements; survey diagrams; survey maps showing lots and numbers, name of town, names of landholders, property lines, route and length of roads, and waterways; small proofs of maps used in compiling David H. Burr's atlas of New York State in 1829; appraisals of the value of various tracts or lots; surveyors' certifications that land had been surveyed; correspondence and maps relating to errors in and corrections to previous surveys and maps; instructions to surveyors directing them to survey various lands; correspondence from surveyors discussing work they had done; petitions for land, often from soldiers; and Surveyor General's responses to petitions for lands or for resolution of property line disputes.

Volumes 7-10 and 17 of the series consist entirely or partly of documents relating to the sale of lands of Loyalists. These documents include contracts of sale by the Commissioners of Forfeitures; drafts or copies of deeds issued by the Commissioners of Forfeitures (up to 1788) and the Surveyor General (1788 and later); formal "locations" of lands by applicants to purchase; descriptions and surveys of those lands; and appraisals of the value of those lands. Occasionally other documents including correspondence, copies of judgments of attainder, and additional land title documentation are included. The series contains documents pertaining to forfeited lands in all sections of the state except for the Southern Disctrict (New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties). Most records concern lands located in the Western District (Albany and Tryon/Montgomery Counties).

NOTE: The name index included in this finding aid pertains only to two very specific subsets of the series - 1. Records pertaining to loyalists and/or the sale of land confiscated from loyalists during and after the Revolutionary War; 2. Applications for land grants submitted by veterans of British regiments that served in the American colonies during the Seven Years' War. Researchers interested in other portions of the series must consult the paper indexes available onsite.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this series.

Alternate Formats Available

A4016-77: Photostat use copies are available at the New York State Archives.

Scanned records relating to Loyalist Robert Leake are available at the New York State Archives.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A1816 New York State Assembly Petitions, Correspondence, and Reports Relating to Forfeited Estates, contains related information

Series B1858 Card file Index to Records of Surveys and Maps of State Lands, indexes this series

Series A4024 Indexes to Maps and Land Records (Volume 3), is the preferred index

Other finding aids

Each volume is indexed alphabetically by county, town, name or location of tract or patent, name of landholder, and name of surveyor. The series is also indexed by Series B1858, Card File Index to Records of Surveys and Maps of State Lands and Volume 3 of Series A4024, Indexes to Maps and Land Records.

Access Terms

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Detailed Description

Dates Contents Box

Accretion: A4016-05
1787-1862 Miscellaneous documents estrayed from the original accession 1

Accretion: A4016-77
Volume 1: Pages 2-89 1
Volume 1: Pages 90-259 2
Volume 1: Pages 260-388 3
Volume 2: Pages 1-189 4
Volume 2: Pages 190-361 5
Volume 3: Pages 1-154 6
Volume 3: Pages 161-401 7
Volume 4: Pages 1-166 8
Volume 4: Pages 173-390 9
Volume 5: Pages 1-85 10
Volume 5: Pages 86-170 11
Volume 5: Pages 171-202 12
Volume 6: Pages 1-74 13
Volume 6: Pages 75-145 14
Volume 6: Pages 146-198 15
Volume 7: Pages 1-85 16
Volume 7: Pages 86-160 17
Volume 7: Pages 161-194 18
Volume 8: Pages 1-85 19
Volume 8: Pages 86-175 20
Volume 8: Pages 176-200 21
Volume 9: Pages 1-85 22
Volume 9: Pages 86-159 23
Volume 9: Pages 160-200 24
Volume 10: pages 1-85 25
Volume 10: pages 86-161 26
Volume 10: Pages 162-192 27
Volume 11: Pages 1-43 28
Volume 11: Pages 44-86 29
Volume 11: Pages 87-198 30
Volume 12: Pages 1-85 31
Volume 12: Pages 86-170 32
Volume 12: Pages 171-200 33
Volume 13: Pages 1-85 34
Volume 13: Pages 86-159 35
Volume 13: Pages 160-200 36
Volume 14: Pages 1-129 37
Volume 14: Pages 130-200 38
Volume 15: Pages 1-80 39
Volume 15: Pages 81-160 40
Volume 15: Pages 161-200 41
Volume 16: Pages 1-85 42
Volume 16: Pages 86-170 43
Volume 16: Pages 171-200 44
Volume 17: Pages 1-50 45
Volume 17: Pages 51-100 46
Volume 17: Pages 101-150 47
Volume 17: Pages 151-200 48
Volume 18: Pages 1-54 49
Volume 18: Pages 55-114 50
Volume 18: Pages 115-173 51
Volume 18: Pages 174-200 52
Volume 19: Pages 1-50 53
Volume 19: Pages 51-100 54
Volume 19: Pages 101-150 55
Volume 19: Pages 151-200 56
Volume 20: Pages 1-50 57
Volume 20: Pages 51-100 58
Volume 20: Pages 101-150 59
Volume 20: Pages 151-200 60
Volume 21: Pages 1-50 61
Volume 21: Pages 51-100 62
Volume 21: Pages 101-150 63
Volume 21: Pages 151-200 64
Volume 22: Pages 1-50 65
Volume 22: Pages 51-100 66
Volume 22: Pages 101-150 67
Volume 22: Pages 151-200 68
Volume 23: Pages 1-51 69
Volume 23: Pages 51-100 70
Volume 23: Pages 101-150 71
Volume 23: Pages 151-199 72
Volume 24: Pages 1-50 73
Volume 24: Pages 51-100 74
Volume 24: Pages 101-150 75
Volume 24: Pages 151-200 76
Volume 25: Pages 1-50 77
Volume 25: Pages 51-100 78
Volume 25: Pages 101-150 79
Volume 25: Pages 151-200 80
Volume 26: Pages 1-50 81
Volume 26: Pages 51-100 82
Volume 26: Pages 101-150 83
Volume 26: Pages 151-200 84
Volume 27: Pages 1-50 85
Volume 27: Pages 51-100 86
Volume 27: Pages 101-150 87
Volume 27: Pages 151-200 88
Volume 28: Pages 1-50 89
Volume 28: Pages 51-100 90
Volume 28: Pages 101-150 91
Volume 28: Pages 151-200 92
Volume 29: Pages 1-50 93
Volume 29: Pages 51-100 94
Volume 29: Pages 101-150 95
Volume 29: Pages 151-200 96
Indexes to Volumes 1-5 97
Indexes to Volumes 7-10 (Index to Vol. 6 Never Received) 98
Indexes to Volumes 11-15 99
Indexes to Volumes 16-20 100
Indexes to Volumes 21-25 101
Indexes to Volumes 26-29 102

Accretion: A4016-94
1789-1791 "Field Book" of a survey of the Township of Lysander (No. 1) by Nathan Parshall 1
1886-1887 "Field Notes of Survey by Col. W. Martin" surveying boundary lines between towns of Dix, Montour, Catherine, Hector, Veteran, and Catlin in Schuyler and Chemung counties 1
1837 July Survey of the Moose River Tract 1