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Real Property Transfer Records

Land conveyances (deeds and mortgages) are recorded in the county clerks' offices or in the New York City Register's Office. Recording of deeds became mandatory statewide in 1823. Before that many deeds were not recorded. The State Archives holds records of land grants ("patents") by the Colony and State of New York. Applications for grants and related documents dating prior to 1804 are found in Applications for Land Grants ("Land Papers") (A0272), available on microfilm. The applications are abstracted and indexed in Calendar of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts Indorsed Land Papers, 1643-1803 (Albany: 1864; repr. 1987). The actual grants are recorded in Letters Patent (12943) and Military Patents (A0447). Some private conveyances of real property, mostly in the New York City area in the later 17th and early 18th centuries, were recorded by the Secretary's Office in Deeds ("Miscellaneous Records") (A0453).