Research: Research Tips:

Research Tip #14

Deeds

Many (not all) private deeds from the 17th-18th centuries are recorded in series A0453.  There are grantor (series A4688) and grantee (series A4689) indexes available. Deeds and indexes are on microfilm in the research room (not available online or for ILL).

After 1683 most deeds were recorded by the clerks of the newly-established counties, but until 1823 this was not legally required.  Nevertheless, the county clerk's offices are still generally the best sources for information about the ownership, transfer, value, and mortgaging of real property.

Microfilm of series A0453 does not include early deeds from the Dutch colonial period.  Original versions are in fragile condition, so published translations are to be consulted first. 

Dutch records are translated and indexed in Arnold J.F. Van Laer, trans., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, 3 vols. (1638-1660) (Baltimore: 1974). A small number of deeds are translated in Charles Gehring, trans., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Volumes GG, HH & II; Land Papers (Baltimore: 1980).