Town Records

The Town Records/Outside Records(1) are listed chronologically and indexed [with the exceptions of Vol's. 1-3] alphabetically by topic in each volume. Topics include: Applications; Appointments; Attorneys; Bills of sales; Bonds; Claims; Commissioners; Committees; Constables; Communications/Correspondence; Election districts--bills, boundaries, polling places; Electric lights; Fire--insurance, departments/ companies, districts; Franchises; Grand Army Relief (GAR); Grants; Grass cutting on common meadows; Greenfield cemetery meetings; Health--board, officers, rules and regulations; Highway--locations, alterations, releases, laying out, road districts, specific streets; Jury lists; Justices of the peace; Lighting districts; Nuisances; Overseer of the poor; Overseers of the highway; Oyster and clam licenses; Petitions; Quit claim deeds; School--appointments, accounts, districts, elections; Town Board meetings; Town Clerk; Town meetings (regular & specific); Town--reports, resolutions, land, leases; Town treasurer reports; Utilities; and Village specific matters. Topics of interest from the early Town Records include: Kieft Patent, cattle listing's, grazing laws, land transactions, articles of agreement between Tackapausha and Governor, land grants, Town meetings, and ear marks. THE LISTING IS NOT INCLUSIVE OF ALL TOPICS.

The early records use the JULIAN and GREGORIAN calendars. The Julian calendar, which was authorized by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., was found to have an error of about a day every 128 years. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar which dropped approximately 10 days which was the accumulated error by 1582. Adoption of the Gregorian calendar was not universal or immediate. It was not until 1752 that the British Government imposed the Gregorian calendar on all its subjects, including the American colonies.(2) A number of the early entries in the Record Books have the latin words "Stilo Novo" written after the entry date. Stilo Novo means "in the `new style' of the Gregorian calendar."(3) Therefore, we assume that these dates correspond to our present day calendar.

The first five described volumes all appeared as a grouping of original books listed in the Workers Progress Administration (WPA) project of 1936: "Inventory of all the records in all the Town Clerk's Offices in the County of Nassau, Long Island New York, 1936."

Town Meetings - 1707-1782(4) - 166 pages [BR]

The first page of the record seems to indicate that this record was used as an exhibit in a law suit in 1865.
The first legitimate entry from 1707 is written by the Reverend John Thomas [The second Episcopal Minister of Hempstead - 1704-1726] and covers his induction as Rector of Hempstead. Thereafter are baptismal records through page seven.
The remainder of the volume contains minutes of meetings of "the Justices & Vestry" of Hempstead. These include the appointment of vestry men (Hempstead and Oyster Bay) and church wardens (Hempstead). The greater part of these records contains the accounting of funds. The funds were monies collected from the Free Holders of Hempstead. Included in the expenses were: beating of the drum for the church, boarding of individuals, care and clothing of the poor, cleaning, constable's salary (serving warrants, gathering taxes), doctor's fees, fencing, foster care, grave digging, laying out highways, medical care of individuals, quit rents, rents, sundries, town clerk's salary, transporting people, travel expenses, vestry clerk's salary, and widow and orphan assistance.

Indentures(5)/Town Meetings [BR]

Indentures - 1788-1797 - 263 pages

Indentures - sale of land or possessions - 1781-1788 - pp. 1-16, pp 1-12. The numbering of pages ends at page 16, then begins immediately with page 1 again.
Commissioners of Highways - laying out highways - 1789-1795 - pp. 12-22.
Bonded Individuals - 1796-1796 - p. 22.
Town Meetings - Annual and Special - 1787-1833 - pp. 1-198
Included in the business of town meetings was the choosing/appointment of Town Officers (chosen or appointed at 1787 meeting: Supervisor, Town Clerk, Assessors, Commissioners for Laying the Highways, Constable & Collector, Fence Viewers, Overseers of the Poor, Assessors of Interstate Estates, Trustees of the Town, Overseers of Highways, two individuals to take care of stray sheep, two individuals to adjurate and settle all matters with North Hempstead, and two individuals to transcribe the records with North Hempstead); town lands--leasing, selling, trespass; grass cutting, clamming; sheep, cattle, swine; school money; funds for the poor, building or purchase of poor house; agreements with other towns; establishment of common schools and school districts (1814); and funds to defend the common right of Hempstead (re: North Hempstead vs. South Hempstead).
Abstracts and/or Annual Reports of Trustees (Superintendents) of Common Schools - 1835-1856 - pp. 199-263

Town Meetings - 1784-1856 - 27 pages

This section of the volume (open volume from the back) deals with the Act that separated Hempstead into North and South Hempstead (April 6, 1784), division of expenses, property, the poor of the Town, joint meetings, and an attempt of South Hempstead to reconcile and reunite with North Hempstead (1821). Also within this section are the general town meetings (South Hempstead) - 1784-1787; Overseer of the Poor accounts (1784-1788); and land leasing - 1829 [2 pages].

Town Meeting/Stray Cattle [BR]

Town Meetings - 1834-1850 - 55 pages

Annual Town Meetings - 1834-1850 - pp. 21-76 - Appointments and Elections of Town Officials; money for the poor; guarding common lands; resolutions regarding the cutting of grass, taxes, hogs, cattle, sheep, fencing, shooting of meadow hens; number of constables; obstruction of public landings, and the Hempstead Plains. Village of Hempstead meeting (1834) - naming of streets.

Stray Cattle - 1837-1857 - 11 pages

"Entre of Stray Cattle and Sheep &c" - 1837-1857 - pp. 76-87 - Records of cattle straying onto neighboring land ("enclosure of the subscriber..."), physical descriptions of the animals, and dates found.

Elections/Slaves [BR]

Elections(6) - 1799-1840 - 88 pages

Election Inspector affidavits. For Senator, Assemblyman, and Representative to Congress (1799-1803). As of 1804, Governor and Lieutenant Governor were included. As of 1822--Sheriff, Clerk, and Coroners and as of 1825--President and Vice President were elected. In 1820 there was a vote to elect delegates to a State Constitution Convention to amend the State Constitution.

Slaves - 1799-1824 - 39 pages

This section (open volume from the back) deals with "A Record of Children Born of Slaves in Hempstead after the 4th of July 1799" [1799-1817, pp. 1-33] -Manumission records [1801-1824, pp. 4-39](7)

Highways/His Mark [BR]

Highways - 1795-1850 - 161 pages

Receipt - for $118.17 - 1799 Tax Book - p. 1.
Boundaries - School Districts Number 1 & 2 - n.d. - p. 1.
Articles of Agreement - Potential Rules for the pasturing of sheep on common meadows - North Hempstead, South Hempstead, Oyster Bay - 1791 - pp. 3-4.
Commissioners of Common School - Description of Districts (including numbers) and boundaries - June 19, 1812 - pp. 5-13
Highway Related - Decisions and/or mandates from the Highway Commissioners, Applications and/or complaints from Freeholders. Included are releases to the Town of damages by reason of altering or opening highways; selling of portions of land for highway use; surveying for potential highway use, laying out and shutting down highways, and Road Districts (1827/1838) - 1795-1850 - pp. 21-161.

His Mark - 1785-1861 - 87 pages

His Mark refers to ear marks (cutting of animals ears) for the purposes of identification. Since farmers used common pastures, these marks were necessary for identifying which animals belonged to whom.

Town Records - 1644-1713 - Vol. 1 - 498 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1658-1725 - Vol. 2 - 526 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1747-1768 - Vol. 3 - 507 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1761-1784 - Vol. 4 - 399 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1709-1809 - Vol. 5 - 489 pages [BR]

[The information in Volume Five(3) is not in a chronological progression from Volume Four(2). Rather, the information in Volume Five(3) is exact duplication of original information found in: Town Meetings - 1707-1782; Indentures/Town Meetings - 1788-1797 / 1784-1856; Elections/Slaves - 1799-1840 / 1799-1824; Highways/His Mark - 1795-1850 / 1785-1861. The exception to this duplication of information is from pages 210-375 which is a continuation of the accounts of the Overseer of the Poor (1788-1845), which began in the Indentures/ Town Meetings volume.]

Town Records - 1784-1862 - Vol. 6 - 460 pages [BR]

[The information in Volume Six(4) is not in a chronological progression from Volume Four(2) or Volume Five (3). Rather the information in Volume Six(4) is exact duplication of original information found in: Indentures/Town Meetings - 1788-1797 / 1784-1856; Highways/His Mark -1795-1850 / 1785-1861. The exception to this duplication of information is from pages 333-460 which contains Highway related matters (1850-1857), Annual and Special Town Meetings (1850-1859), and School related matters (1850-1862).]

Town Records - 1859-1883 - Vol. 7 - 669 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1880-1888 - Vol. 8 - 400 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1888-1892 - Vol. 9 - 612 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1890-1895 - Vol. 10 - 600 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1895-1897 - Vol. 11 - 600 pages [BR]

Town Records - 1897-1898 - Vol. 12 [BR]

Town Records - January 16, 1899 - April 8, 1901 - Vol. 13 [BR]

Town Records - April 13, 1901 - August 14, 1903 - Vol. 14 [BR]

Town Records - August 17, 1903 - December 26, 1905 - Vol. 15 [BR]

Outside Records - January 2, 1906 - September 16, 1907 - Vol. 16 [BR]

Outside Records - September 16, 1907 - March 8, 1909 - Vol. 17 [BR]

Outside Records - February 4, 1909 - October 28, 1910 - Vol. 18 [BR]

Outside Records - November 2, 1910 - March 11, 1912 - Vol. 19 [BR]

Outside Records - March 18, 1912 - November 2, 1913 Vol. 20 [BR]

Outside Records - September 8, 1913 - December 15, 1914 - Vol. 21 [BR]

Outside Records - December 15, 1914 - March 21, 1916 - Vol. 22 [B]

Outside Records - March 28, 1916 - July 3, 1917 - Vol. 23 [B]

Outside Records - July 9, 1917 - December 12, 1918 - Vol. 24 [BR]

Outside Records - December 24, 1918 - June 21, 1920 - Vol. 25 [BR]

Outside Records - June 29, 1920 [sic] - January 10, 1922 - Vol. 26 [BR]

Outside Records - January 10, 1922 - November 24, 1925 - Vol. 27 [BR]

Outside Records - December 1, 1925 - October 16, 1928 - Vol. 28 [B]

Outside Records - October 23, 1928 - October 21, 1930 - Vol. 29 [B]

Outside Records - October 28, 1930 - August 2, 1932 - Vol. 30 [B]

Outside Records - August 16, 1932 [sic] - June 5, 1934 - Vol. 31 [B]

Outside Records - June 12, 1934 - April 1, 1936 - Vol. 32 [B]

Outside Records - April 7, 1936 - July 27, 1937 - Vol. 33 [B]

Outside Records - July 27, 1937 - February 14, 1939 - Vol. 34 [B]

Outside Records - February 21, 1939 - February 4, 1941 - Vol. 35 [B]

Outside Records - February 11, 1941 - February 2, 1943 - Vol. 36 [B]

Outside Records - February 9, 1943 - January 23, 1945 - Vol. 37 [B]

Outside Records - January 30, 1945 - September 24, 1946 - Vol. 38 [B]

Outside Records - October 1, 1946 - November 25, 1947 - Vol. 39 [B]

Outside Records - December 2, 1947 - August 10, 1948 - Vol. 40 [B]

Town Board Minutes - August 24, 1948 - December 28, 1948 - Vol. 41 [B]

[Town Board Minutes are Outside Records - cover of journals were changed at this time.]

Town Board Minutes - January 7, 1949 - June 28, 1949 - Vol. 42 [B]

Town Board Minutes - July 12, 1949 - December 27, 1949 - Vol. 42 [B]

Town Board Minutes - January 3, 1950 - June 27, 1950 - Vol. 43 [B]

Town Board Minutes - July 11, 1950 - December 26, 1950 - Vol. 44 [B]

Town Board Minutes - January 2, 1951 - June 26, 1951 - Vol. 45 [B]

Town Board Minutes - July 10, 1951 - December 18, 1951 - Vol. 46 [B]

Town Board Minutes - January 8, 1952 - June 24, 1952 - Vol. 47 [B]

Town Board Minutes - July 15, 1952 - December 30, 1952 - Vol. 48 [B]

Town Board Minutes - January 1, 1953 - April 28, 1953 - Vol. 49 [B]

Town Board Minutes - May 5, 1953 - August 25, 1953 - Vol. 50 [B]

Town Board Minutes - September 15, 1953 - December 29, 1953 - Vol. 51 [B]

Town Board Minutes - January 5, 1954 - April 27, 1954 - Vol. 52 [B]

Town Board Minutes - May 4, 1954 - August 31, 1954 - Vol. 53 [B]

Town Board Minutes - September 14, 1954 - December 28, 1954 - Vol. 54 [B]

Town Board Minutes - January 4, 1955 - April 26, 1955 - Vol. 55 [B]

Town Board Minutes - May 3, 1955 - August 23, 1955 - Vol. 56 [B]

Town Board Minutes(8) - September 13, 1955 - December 27, 1955 - Vol. 57 [B]

The following series of Minute Books contain the same information as is found in the Outside Records, but in abbreviated form.

Town Board Minutes - 1884 - 1891 - 480 pages [BR]

Chronological order - Contents: Board of auditors meetings, town board meetings, commissioners of highway meetings, board of justice of the peace meetings, board of assessors meetings, oyster licenses, joint meetings, macadam road meetings, G.A.R. relief, and Board of Canvassers.

Town Board Record (Minutes) - 1891 - 1895 - 598 pages [B]

Chronological order - Contents: Same as above

Minutes - 1895 - 1903 - 597 pages [BR]

Chronological order - Contents: Board of auditors meetings, town board meetings, board of canvassers meetings. Liber(9) and page number included next to each entry.

Minutes - 1903 - 1911 - 597 pages [BR]

Chronological order - Contents: Town board meetings, board of canvassers meetings. Liber and page number included next to each entry.

Minutes - 1911 - 1912 - 136 pages [BR]

Chronological order - Contents: Town board meetings, board of canvassers meetings.

Town Board Minutes - May 6, 1912 - November 27, 1917 - Vol. 3 - 503 pages [B]

Chronological order - Contents: Town board meetings.

Town Board Minutes - December 4, 1917 - March 25, 1924 - Vol. 4 - 468 pages [B]

Chronological order - Contents: Town board meetings.

Resolution Book Index - 1952 - 1956 - 284 pages [B]

Contents: Resolution numbers by year indexed to case numbers.

Resolution Book Index - January, 1957 - February, 1957 - 10 pages [B]

Contents: Resolution numbers by year indexed to case numbers.


Index of Pidgeon [sic] Holes in Vault - c. early 1900s [B]

Alphabetical index of items that were in pigeon holes in the vault room of the old Town Hall.

Index to Maps - n.d. - 99 pages - [BR]

Alphabetical index to maps that were located in pigeon holes and/or map cases in old Town Hall.


ENDNOTES
(1)Outside Records are Town Records.
(2)The World Almanac and Book of Facts. (1990). NY: World Almanac. p. 268.
(3)Webster's New International Dictionary. (1959). 2nd Ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. p. 2477.
(4)There is an entry [pp.164-166] dated January, 1783 recounting the monies spent in 1782. The final entry [p. 166] dated March, 1784 is one line noting money received for the poor.
(5)The first 28 pages deal with Indentures, the remaining cover Commissioner of Highways, bound individuals, town meetings, and common schools.
(6)For Federal Office, members of the House of Representatives are chosen by "the people of the several States" (Article I, Section 2.1. Constitution of the United States). United States Senators were originally chosen by the Legislature. Amendment XVII of the United States Constitution (ratified May 31, 1913), changed the process so that Senators are "elected by the people thereof."
(7)"SLAVERY IN NEW YORK. Negro slavery existed from an early colonial period, and was sanctioned by statute under the State Government. During the Revolution, a law was passed by which slaves enlisting in the army, with the consent of their owners, should become free. In 1798, a law was passed for the gradual emancipation of slaves, and on the 31st of March, 1817, it was enacted that slaves born after July 4, 1799, should be free; if male, at the age of 28; or if female, at the age of 25. Those born before that period were to remain slaves for life. The Revised Statutes of 1828 made a final ending of the system, by enacting that all men are free within the State, except in punishment for crimes of which convicted." Census of the State of New York for 1865. Hough, Franklin B. (1867). Albany: Charles Van Benthuysen & Sons, pp. iii-iv
(8)Volumes 58 to present are located in the Active Records Vault.
(9)Libers are the Records of the Towns of North and South Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y.. 8 Volumes, published 1896-1904.