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Delaware County, NY Genealogy and History Site

From The Evolution of Delaware County, New York by Shirley Houck 1999

hardcopy submitted by Shirley Houck, Delaware County Clerks Office
electonic text by Joyce Riedinger, August 28, 2000

pages 57 - 62

THE COMMONALTY OF THE TOWN OF KINGSTON
ULSTER COUNTY 1777-1797
DELAWARE COUNTY 1797 to date*
*(Survives most visably as the hamlet of New Kingston)

1777 On October 16, "the day that Burgoyne (British General) surrendered at Saratoga, the British General John Vaughn seized and burned Kingston, called by him Esopus, 'a nursery for almost every villian in the country', which he says he reduced to ashes, 'not leaving a house'." "Statement from Cummings: Upon the burning of Kingston by British General Vaughn and the great loss to so many inhabitants, Chancellor (Robert R.) Livingston offered 5000 acres to the sufferers among the people of Kingston as a gift provided that they locate outside of settlements upon the Patent.'"

DONATION DEED TO THE COMMONALTY OF THE TOWN OF KINGSTON

DATED: October 3, 1779

RECORDED: Ulster County Clerk's Office, Kingston, NY in Liber H of Deeds, pages 64-66, on June 22, 1783

GRANTOR: Hon. Robert R. Livingston, Esquire, Chancellor of the State of New York

GRANTEES: The Trustees of the Freeholders & commonalty of the Town of Kingston

RECITES: WHEREAS the Inhabitants of the Town of Kingston in the Town of Kingston in the County of Ulster aforesaid having from the commencement of this cruel and unnatural War with Great Britain distinguished themselves by their patriotism and Zeal in the Defence of the Rights and Liberties of their much injured and oppressed Country, thereby rendered themselves pecularily obnoxious to their British Foes, which occasioned the conflagration of the said Town on the sixteenth Day of October in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven whereby the Inhabitants thereof and Residents therein were greatly impoverished and reduced to such peculiar Hardship and Distress to excite the Benevolence and Compassion of the said Robert R. Livingston amongst other Humane and generous Friends to the American Cause AND WHEREAS the said Robert R. Livingston influenced solely by the Motives aforesaid hath agreed to release and convey to the said Trustees of the Freeholders and commonalty of the Town of Kingston the Lands and Hereditements herein after described and released for the Relief, Benefit and Advantage of the said Inhabitants and Residents of the said Town immediately before the said Conflagration NOW THEREFORE THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that the said Robert R. Livingston as well for and in Consideration of relieving the distressed Inhabitants residing in the Town of Kingston aforesaid immediately before the said Conflagration as for and in Consideration of the Sum of five Shillings current Money of the said State to him in Hand well & truly paid by the said Trustees of the Freeholders and commonalty of the Town of Kingston the Receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged, HATH given, granted, bargained, sold, aliened, released and confirmed and by these presents Doth give, grant, bargain, sell, alien, release and confirm unto the said Trustees of the Freeholders and commonalty of the Town of Kingston (in their actual possession now being by Virtue of a Bargain and Sale to them thereof made for one whole Year, by Indenture bearing Date the Day next before the day of the Date of these presents and by force of the Statute made for transferring of Uses into possessions) and to their Successors and Assigns

ALL that certain Tract or parcel of Land situate, lying and being in the County of Ulster aforesaid in a certain Tract of Land commonly known by the Great or Hardenbergh Patent on the platte Kill (to the Northward of the Settlement called Pacatacan and between the Pacatacan Kill and the Delaware River) being part and parcel of Lots Number thirty nine and forty BEGINNING at a certain place two Miles distant from the Division Line between Gulian Verplanck and the said Robert R. Livingston (of the said Lot Number thirty-nine) measured on a Course of North thirty-three Degrees and thirty Minutes East from where the said Line crosseth the East side of the said platte Kill, and runs from the said place of beginning North fifty six Degrees and thirty Minutes West two hundred twenty-three chains and sixty two Links, thence North thirty three Degrees and thirty Minutes East two hundred twenty-three Chains and sixty-two Links, thence South fifty six Degrees and thirty minutes East two hundred twenty three Chains and sixty two Links and thence South thirty three Degrees West two hundred twenty three Chains and sixty two Links to the place of beginning being an Equilateral Square containing five thousand Acres of Land TOGETHER with all and singular the Lands, Meadows, Commons, Pastures and common of Pastures, Fadings, Woods, underwoods, Ways, Paths, Waters, Watercourses, Easements, Profits, Commoodities, Advantages, Emoluments and Hereditements whatsoever to the said Tract of Land belonging or in any wise appertaining, and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders, Rents, Issues and profits of all and singular the said premises and every part and parcel thereof with the appertenances. AND ALSO all the Estate, Right, Title, Interest, property Claim and Demand whatsoever in Law or Equity of him the said Robert R. Livingston of in, and to all and singular the said premises above mentioned and of, in and to every part and parcel thereof-with the appertenances TO HAVE AND TO HOLD all and singular the said Tract of Land Hereditaments and premises above mentioned and described and every part and parcel with the Appurtenances unto the said Trustees of the Freeholders and commonalty of the Town of Kingston their Successors or Assigns to the only proper Use and Behalf of the said Trustees of the Freeholders and commonalty of the Town of Kingston their Successors and Assigns forever. IN WITNESS whereof the parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their Hands and Seals the Day and Year first above written---
Robt. R. Livingston

SEALED AND DELIVERED IN THE PRESENCE of in the first line an obliteration between the words the and third in the nineteenth Line the Words or parcel and Tract of Land interlined, with an obliteration under the last, and in the twentieth Line the Settlement called and between the pacatacan Kill and with an obliteration under the last also in the second Sheet, fourth DO the Words being an Equilateral Square interlined.
R Morris
Will Cockburn

MEMORANDUM That on the tenth Day of October in the Year one thousand seven hundred and eighty two The Honorable Robert R. Livingston Grantor of the within Deed, personally appeared before me Richard Morris Esq Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and acknowledge that he executed the within written Deed for the Uses therein mentioned, Voluntarily and of his own free Will and Accord and I having perused the same and finding no material Erasures or Interlinations therein except those taken Notice of before the Execution Do allow the same may be entered on Record.
R. Morris

A true Record entered at the Request of the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of Kingston this 22d Day of June 1783 the Words thirty nine and between the 5th & 6th Lines of the second page of this Record being the 65 Page of this Book being first Interlined.
Christr Tappan DY Clerk

1779 "On April 15, a meeting was appointed, when the Kingston Trustees, directed William Cockburn the surveyor, to attend with his maps of the patent. After consultation with Surveyor Cockburn, Peter DuMont, Jr., and Peter Hynpagh; a tract of land was selected at Paghtackan (Arkville) on the west side of the East Branch of the Delaware River in Great Lot Nos. 39 and 40. The tract was divided into 50 acre lots and arranged into ten classes of 10 lots each." (Monroe ?)

"The allotments were as follows:

Class One Class Two Lot 1, Moses Cantine Lot 1, John Dumond 2, Oke Sudam 2, Johannis Jansen 3, Cornelia Low 3, Abraham Freer 4, John Whitaker 4, Heirs of Hendrick Plough 5, Jacobus & Cornelius 5, Nicholas Bogardus Elmendorph 6, Heirs of Johannes B. DeWitt 6, Evert Bogardus 7, Petrus Burhans 7, Ariantje Elmendorph 8, Abraham VanGassbeck, Jr. 8, Heirs of Teunis Houghteling, 9, Heirs of Benjamin Masten dec'd 9, David Cox 10, Petrus Bogardus 10, Abraham Low Class Three Class Four Lot 1, Luke Kiersted Lot 1, Christopher Tappen 2, James Hamilton 2, Matthew Persen 3, Philip Swart 3, Egbert DuMond 4, Petrus Hudler 4, Abraham VanGassbeek 5, Anthony Hoffman 5, Derick Wynkoop 6, Johanes Persen 6, Jacob Tremper 7, Tobias VanSteenberg 7, Mary Elmendorph 8, Henry Sleght 8, Johannes Wnykoop 9, Thomas VanSteenboogh 9, Joseph Gasherie 10, Heirs of William Elting 10, Abraham Hasbrouck Class Five Class Six Lot 1, Frantz P. Roggen Lot 1, Johannes Sleight 2, Johannes VanKeuren 2, Petrus Swart 3, Abraham Hasbrouck, Jr. 3, Tobias VanBuren 4, David DeLametter 4, Jan Elmendorph 5, Heirs of Cornelius Veilie 5, Abraham Masten 6, Benjamin Swart 6, Jacobus Low 7, Helena VanSteenbergh 7, James Roe 8, Abraham J. DeLametter 8, Anthony Freer 9, Coenraedt J. Elmendorph 9, Jacob Heermanse 10, Jacob Turck 10, Benjamin Elmendorph Class Seven Class Eight Lot 1, Johannes Masten Lot 1, William Ellsworth 2, Adam Swart 2, Jacob TenBroeck 3, Coenraedt Crook 3, John McLean 4, Ezekiel Masten 4, Cornelius Elmendorph 5, Catherine Kiersted 5, Heirs of Solomon Freer 6, Elias Hasbrouck 6, Philip VanBuren 7, Abraham Heermanse 7, John Beekman 8, Heirs of Matthew Ed. Thompson 8, Heirs of Abraham Turck 9, Cornelius Jansen 9, William Eltenge 10, Gerritje VanKeuren 10, Cornelius Beekman Class Nine Class Ten Lot 1, Cornelius Masten Lot 1, Petrus Whitaker 2, Peter Dumont 2, Petrus Sleight 3, Heirs of Henry J. Sleight 3, Issac, Abraham & Samuel Burhaus 4, Tobias Swart 4, Nicholas VanDerlyn 5, Elizabeth Eltinge 5, Jacob Marius Groen, Jr. 6, Jeremiah & Wilhelmus 6, Coenraedt E. Elmendorph Houghteling 7, Johannes B. Masten 7, Wilhelmus Houghteling,Jr. 8, Teunis Sleght 8, Benjamin TenBroeck 9, Matthew VanSteenbergh 9, Abraham Elmendorph 10, Benjamin Low 10, Johannes Snyder

"The 5,000 acres was, of course, only a small part of the 500,000 acres held by the Chancellor in the Hardenburgh Patent and it was located way off in the wilderness some fifty miles from Kingston. In fact, the tract (now called New Kingston), was not settled until sixteen years after the burning of Kingston and the censuses of 1790 and 1800 do not show a single donation allottee living there. But the land was located between the east and west branches of the Delaware River and that land was then the subject of a legal action. If, reasoned the Chancellor, settlers moved into the area, that would establish title into him by possession and occupation. Secondly, in order to reach these lands, roads would have to be improved or built all the way from Kingston (by the local governments involved, of course) and the lands along these roads -- owned by the Chancellor -- would become more valuable. In both cases, he was right."
(VanValkenburgh, 24)

Until March 10, 1797, land transfers and other related legal transactions are recorded in the Ulster County Clerk's Office, in Kingston. After that date, these records are recorded in the Delaware County Clerk's Office, in Delhi. The following information, abstracted from two Deeds will serve to show the continuation of the record. First: The Deed, dated March 6, 1823, recorded on arch 1, 1827 in Liber H of Deeds, at Pages 105 and 106 transfers ownership of Lot No. 2, in the 4th Class of the five thousand acre tract granted by Robert R. Livingston to the Trustees of the Town of Kingston. The Lot was sold by Cornelius Person and Elizabeth, his wife, of the Town of Saugerties, and Tunis Swart, Jr., of the Town of Kingston, Ulster County, to William VanBenschoten, of the Town of Middletown, Delaware County, for $75.00. The Deed recites "it being the lot which fell to Matthew Person". Second: The Deed, dated December 21, 1827, recorded October 8, 1829 in Liber I of Deeds at Page 512 and 513, transfers ownership of Lot No. 8, in the 8th Class of an undivided 1/5th part of the 5,000 acre tract conveyed by the Honorable Robert R. Livingston to the Trustees of the Town of Kingston as a donation for the use of the suffering inhabitants of said town of Kingston and by the said Trustees conveyed to the heirs of Abraham Turck, deceased on the 14th day of November 1788. In this latter Deed, Hugh Rose, of the Town of Bovina, sold the Lot to Richard Swart, of the Town of Middletown for $50.00. In the description of said Lot No. 8, there is a recitation that the bordering Lot No. 7 had been conveyed by the said Trustees to John Beckman.


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