Guide to the New York State Comptroller's Office Minutes of Commissioners to Extinguish Claims Against Lands Sold by the State
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List of Loyalist Names Indexed Alphabetically
List of Claimant Names Indexed Alphabetically
ArrangementMinutes are arranged chronologically by date of commissioners' decision.
The Commissioners to Extinguish Claims against Land Sold by the State were empowered by legislative acts of 1799 and 1801 to examine and settle any legal claims against land sold by the State of New York. A 1799 act gave this authority to the Commissioners of the Land Office; legislation enacted in 1801 transferred the authority to the Comptroller, Attorney General, and Surveyor General, or any two of them. Most if not all the claims considered by the commissioners arose from sale of Loyalist lands by the Commissioners of Forfeitures during and after the Revolution. The claims usually were based on erroneous sales of lands not subject to forfeiture or on dower rights of widows of Loyalists. Some erroneous sales stemmed from forfeitures later determined to be void because property owners were adjudged guilty of treason after the peace treaty with Great Britain was signed. The widow's dower right to the income of one-third of her spouse's property was not subject to forfeiture.
Scope and Content Note
Minutes of each claim record the geographic location of the property against which the claim was made, the property's bounds, the substance of the claim itself, and the commissionioners' decision and award, if any. Minutes of some claims include a copy of the claimant's petition to the commissioners.