(Bulk Dates: 1890-1939) - 4.0 c.f.
The Town Land Series is an artificial series that incorporates loose and miscellaneous subject titled folders. The Town Land Series consists of the following sub-series: I. Boundaries (1852-1934); II. Land Surveys (1869-1934); III. Lease Applications (1838-1938); IV. Leases/Sales - Common Lands [including marshes and meadows] (1837-1963); V. Communications & Resolutions Relating to Town Land (1890-1953); VI. Petitions and Disputes Relating to Town Land (1884-1923); VII. Lease Transfers & Sub-Lets (1893-1911); VIII. Quit Claim Deeds & Deeds (1880-1959); IX. Maps of Leased or Proposed Leased Land [no written documentation available] (1886-1926); and X. Legal Disputes (1874-1928). The sub-series are all in chronological order.
The concept of Town Land dates from prior to the founding of the Town of Hempstead. In December of 1643, Carman and Fordham meet with tribal representation of the Reuckowacky, the Merockes, Matinecock, and Massapequas and a land deed was negotiated on December 13, 1643. The deed failed to specify boundaries of the vast land tract that was to become Hempstead. Nor did it mention any form of compensation for the tribes. [Copy of the Deed is available through the "Carman Papers," located at the Long Island Studies Institute, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.] The next year, an agreement with the ruling Dutch produced the Kieft Patent of 1644.
Know all men whom these presents may in any wise concern that I J. William Kieft Esquire, Governor of the Province called New Netherlands, with the Council of State there is established by virtue of a commission under the hand and seal of the high and mighty Lords, the Estates General of the United Belgick Provinces, and from his highness Frederick Hendrick, Prince of Orange, and the right honorable the Lords Bewint Hibbers of the West India Company, have given and granted, and by virtue of these we do give and grant unto Robert Fordham, John Sticklan, John Ogden, John Karman, John Lawrence, and Jonas Wood, with their heirs, executors, administrators, successors or associates, or any they shall join in association with them, a certain quantity of land, with all the havens, harbours, rivers, creeks, woodland, marshes, and all other appur-tenances thereunto belonging, lying and being upon and about a certain place call the Great Plains, on Long Island, from the East River to the South Sea, and from a certain harbour now commonly called and known by the name of Hempstead Bay, and westward as far as Matthew Garritson's Bay, to begin at the head of the said two bays, and for to run in direct lines that they may be the same latitude in breadth on the south side, as on the north, form them the said patentees ... this 1st of November, 1644, Stilo Novo. William Kieft.
[Town Records, Volume 1, 1644-1713, pp. 1-4, Dated November 1, 1644 - This seems to be an abbreviated copy; Complete 17th Century Copy - Dated November 16, 1644 - Long Island Studies Institute, Hofstra University.]
The Dutch ruled for twenty years and in 1664 the British claimed the territory. The commander of the British fleet, William Nicolls became "governor of the province of New York with Long Island a part thereof."[Baily, Paul (ed.) (1949). Long Island - A History of Two Great Counties - Nassau and Suffolk. (Vol. 1 of 3). NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., pp. 407-408.] In 1685 the patent was revised:
THOMAS DONGAN Lieutenant and Governor General and Vice Admiral under his Royal Highness James Duke of York, of New York and its dependencies in America, to all whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting, whereas there is a certain town in Queens County called and known by the name of Hempstead upon Long Island, situate, lying and being on the south side of the Great Plains, having a certain tract of land thereunto belonging, the bounds whereof being at a marked tree standing at the head of Matthew Garrison's Bay, and so running from thence upon a direct south line, due South to the main Sea, and from the said tree a direct north line to the sound or east river, and so round the points of the necks till it comes to Hempstead Harbour, and so up the Harbour to a certain barren sand beach, and from thence up a direct line till it comes to a marked tree on the east side of Cantiagge Point, and from thence a Southerly line to the middle of the Plaines, and from thence a due east line to the utmost extent of the Great Plains, and from thence upon a straight line to a certain tree marked in a neck called Maskachoung, and so from thence up a due south line to the south sea, and the said south sea is to be the south bounds from the east to the west line, and the sound or east river to be the northerly bounds, as according to several deeds or purchases from the Indian owners, and the pattent from the Dutch Governor, William Kieft relation thereto being doth more fully and at large appear. ...
In Testimony whereof, I have caused these presents to be entered upon record in the Secretary's Office of the same province, and the public seal thereof have hereunto affixed and signed with my hand this seventeenth day of April in the thirty seventh year of his Majesty's reign, and in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and eighty five.
1685 April the 17th Recorded in the Secretary's Office for the province of New York, in Lib No. 1 book patents in Col 52 to 55.
J. Spragg, Secretary.
[Town Records, Volume 1, pp. 4-6.]