One of the best interesting, and potentially best frustrating, genitalia of researching the ancestry of your Revolutionary War ancestors is the abstraction of “land grants.” Abounding families accept tales about that audacious adept arresting off into the wilderness and allowance a plot, founding a new village, and acceptable one of our admired avant-garde settlers. Unfortunately, unless you accept a archetype of a patent, grant, or deed, acceptance this advice can be a bit difficult. This abbreviate adviser is advised as a starting point for you, to advice you accept some of the basal account and analogue that you will run above in your research. As always, your own claimed ancestors histories may be hardly different — we’ve all appear above awe-inspiring actual affairs that accomplish little faculty to us today — but in general, the action was the aforementioned for best soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
Because I alive in Central New York and analysis the CNY Aggressive Tract, the capacity reflect the action in New York. In addition, the assets I’m application in this commodity all affect to one specific aggressive acreage admission program. Some of the assets can be acclimated for added kinds of research, but you may charge to argue added sources to abetment you in those searches.
On Monday, September 16, 1776, the Continental Congress bound to accession 88 battalions of soldiers from the abandoned states. New York was appropriate to accession four, Connecticut eight, Massachusetts Bay fifteen and so forth. Congress accustomed a compensation of twenty dollars for genitalia and non-commissioned admiral as able-bodied as acreage grants to admiral of amounts absorption their rank, while NCOs and genitalia were accepted 100 acres. These acreage were not already in the control of Congress — it was accepted that they would be paid from acreage taken from the British during the war.
These battalions were additionally accepted as regiments, so New York was appropriate to accession four regiments of soldiers. All together, a state’s complete accumulating of regiments was accepted as its “line,” admitting the chat band acclimated in this way is abandoned organizational, not in any faculty accompanying to aggressive use. You will see on lists of Pensioners, for example, that they served on the “NY Line” or “Conn. Line.” This agency that they were Continental Army soldiers from that state, behindhand of what regiment or aggregation they served in.
The abstraction of acceding acreage in barter for aggressive account was not new with the Continentals; all through the 18th Century, soldiers accustomed acreage grants (usually of a set bulk like 200 acres) for their casework in British colonial regiments. Acreage accepted by aggressive patents during the aeon 1764–1775 were amid mostly in the Champlain Valley arctic of Albany and the high Susquehanna Valley adjoining Pennsylvania, areas that would accept represented the borderland at the time.
In the mid-1780s, a 4,000 aboveboard mile amplitude was amid in the Northwest Territory (beyond the aboriginal 13 states) and was set a for these acreage warrants. This breadth came to be accepted as the U.S. Aggressive District of Ohio. Through the advance of the war, New York absitively to action compensation acreage of its own, starting with 500 acreage for a clandestine or NCO. Afterwards the United States government fabricated an adjustment with the New York Accompaniment government that any soldier accurately accommodated his affirmation to the one hundred acreage in Ohio should draw a absolute of six hundred acreage in New York, which became the surveyed admeasurement of the lots in the Central NY Aggressive Tract. Those who did not abandon this affirmation did not accept a accomplishment for 100 acreage of the 600-acre lot. Additionally, the buyer of anniversary lot was appropriate to 48 shillings for surveyors’ fees aural two years or cost a bend of 50 acres. The 100-acre lots were accepted as “State’s 100s” and the abate lots were accepted as “Surveyor 50s.” The surveyor’s 50s were consistently the best bend (NE, NW, SE or SW) of the lot, and back the accompaniment auctioned these two kinds of lots in the 1790s, there was a abundant bazaar in speculations for them (see Scott Anderson for a abundant altercation of the belief market).
Previously, as we accept seen, Colonial New York soldiers could affirmation 200 acreage of abandoned acreage aural the old boundaries of the pre-war Province of New York, but this convenance was accounted unwieldy, and a plan was devised (about 1784) to bisect up the acreage advancing to be acquired from the Six Nations of the Iroquois (today added accurately accepted as the Haudenosaunee). These negotiations took best than expected, so New York approved to accessible acreage arctic of Albany in what became accepted as the “Old Aggressive Tract” and comprised of acreage in Es, Clinton, and Franklin counties. However, these acreage proved, at atomic to acreage speculators in New York City, to be far beneath adorable than those of Central New York and so none were absolutely granted.
Because anniversary “Township” was composed of 100 lots in the breadth of 600 acreage anniversary (roughly six afar square), back political/municipal capacity were actuality created in the backward 1790s and aboriginal 1800s, the Townships were burst into abate entities like towns, villages, and eventually, cities. In New York, belt is not a borough entity, and neither is a hamlet. Back you are researching, amuse accumulate this in mind, and apprehend that the apple of “Sweet’s Corners” is apparently not a abode that you can appointment for records.
The “balloting” action was doubly random, with 600-acre lots numbered from 1–100 in the twenty-five aboriginal townships commutual with soldier names. The after-effects of this action were appear in 1825 based on the aboriginal book recording the 1790 drawings. Back you apprehend that a adept “drew” a assertive lot, this is the action that is actuality described. Soldiers themselves were not present (though acreage agents and speculators may accept been); The Balloting Book has a area blue-blooded “The Book of Commitment of Patents for Acreage in the Aggressive Tract,” which lists anniversary soldier and the actuality who physically best up the apparent for the land. In this case, the apparent functioned as a acting title, and back accomplishments were recorded, the apparent was affidavit of ownership. Notoriously, soldiers awash and resold several times over, in the 1783–1790 era, their “rights” to the promised lands, and for several decades cloister cases were fought to authorize bright titles to land. One of the areas of my own analysis focuses on the soldiers who abandoned took commitment of their patents, a bit added than 150 of the 2800 or so lots. To acquisition an antecedent who absolutely acclimatized his own lot is a attenuate treasure.
Step One: Your antecedent served in the Revolutionary War, and you appetite to apperceive if he accustomed any acreage for his service. If you’re not abiding that he served, you can use chase engines to acquisition lists of men who served. New York Accompaniment has abundant actual accessible about soldiers who served.
Step Two: Was the account in the Continental Army or in a militia regiment? This is a acceptable abode to absolutely dig in and apprentice about what your about absolutely did during the war. Abounding men served in added than one accompaniment and were in militias and the Continental Army. Some enlistments lasted the bigger allotment of a decade, so you ability acquisition affirmation of several types. The Daughters of the American Revolution advance a chargeless database you can search.
Step Three: Attending in The Balloting Book (links below; the basis on pages 191–214 is avant-garde and contains actual few errors) for your target’s aftermost name. If your antecedent is not in The Balloting Book, he about absolutely did not accept a acreage grant. The book was appear in 1825, and so contains a absolutely absolute account of patentees. That actuality said, there are mistakes — General George Clinton, who served as Governor of New York during the war and afterwards spent seven years as Vice President, is inexplicably absent from the Book of Commitment list, and so the added sources in the book charge be acclimated to clue his grants. Not counting name variations, at atomic one soldier who acclimatized on his grant, Captain John Shepard, is additionally absent from the Book of Delivery.
Last summer, I collection by a actual brand for the Revolutionary adept John Albright and became absorbed in his story, so I will use him as an archetype of how to chase these steps. The clear actuality is from the Index
showing the pages for Jacob and John Albright. Although these Albrights are unrelated, the Basis is a acceptable ability for ancestors names, a way to clue those brothers, uncles and cousins. Here, folio 36 shows us that John
Albright was a anatomical in New York’s Added Regiment, and additionally cross-references his compensation (600 acres) and area of the patent: Belt 19 (Homer), Lot 29 forth with the date the lot was drawn — July 8, 1790. Pages 91 and 133 accommodate about the aforementioned information, admitting p. 91 specifies Albright’s aggregation as actuality the Light Infantry. These acutely bombastic pages advice us accept how the book was aggregate from altered sources (the account on folio 91 is allotment of “Connolly’s Aboriginal Return,” an accounting of soldiers and admiral by Lt. Michael Connolly filed with New York Accompaniment on May 5, 1783). Because this is a accumulation of abstracted sources, you may acquisition spelling variations or alike absolute errors, so it is consistently acceptable to attending at anniversary page.
From several sources, it is accepted that John Albright (1760–1845) aing the New York 2nd Regiment as a teenager — he absolutely traded his acknowledgment to a clothier for the tailor’s son’s abstract notice. He served as a clandestine at Fort Montgomery, Valley Forge, Fort Stanwix (where he was taken captive and afterwards released), on the Sullivan Expedition of 1779, and at Yorktown back Accepted Cornwallis surrendered in 1781. At some time he was answer to anatomical and was acceptable for a admission of 100 acreage from Congress and 500 acreage compensation from New York State.
According to Goodwin’s history of Cortland County, John Albright “accompanied by his wife, on horseback… explored his ‘military’ lot; afterwards free to absorb it, they alternate to Charlestown and remained until the bounce of 1797. On the 12th of March, they accomplished Mr. Benedict’s abode in Truxton, area they remained until Mr. Albright could arrect a baby abode on his lot. It was of the best archaic character, actuality composed of logs covered with bark” (pg 343–4). In your research, you will acquisition the annal of aboriginal settlements in this time period. If you are attractive for deeds, the timeline of canton accumulation is advantageous to apperceive which annal ability help. Remember that the ancient annal may accord “Township” information, but alike admitting abounding of the names of the Aggressive Townships alive on in the names of towns, they are not municipalities and some analogous of accepted and above places may be required.
At the time, New York Accompaniment law appropriate a abstracted accounting of the aggressive lands, and for the antecedent aeon accoutrement 1799/1800, affairs are in The Balloting Book, the aboriginal of which was kept in Onondaga County, and is accessible in an unindexed angel anatomy from FamilySearch [note: best images were photographed well, but some are illegible]. The aboriginal 250 or so images of this almanac are a archetype of the printed adaptation of the Balloting Book of 1825. The absorbing actual starts on angel 305, which catalogues “A Account of Awards of the backward Onondaga Commissioners.” Because of the aggressive counterfeit reselling of patents by soldiers, their families, and speculators, there were aggressive claims to titles which were bound accurately by this Commission. The aftermost 93 or so images appearance how the issues of buying were settled, including buying of the State’s 100s and Surveyor 50s. Actuality is that advice for John Albright, Homer Lot 29:
From this we can deduce that Albright chose not to pay the 48 shillings, so the Surveyor 50 was awash to Theodorus V.W. Graham, a arresting advocate and acreage charlatan in Albany County.
I accept alleged John Albright as my aboriginal archetype because I knew already that he was a soldier to whom the apparent for the lot fatigued was delivered to in person. The Balloting Book has a account of all the soldiers and to whom the patents were delivered (in a area alleged “The Book of Delivery.”) Folio 150
tells us that John Albright’s apparent was delivered to “himself.” The added Albright, Jacob, drew Lot #28 in Solon (the belt anon east of Homer, now a allotment of Cortland County), and the Commitment Account tells us that it was delivered to “John Lawrence,” who took commitment of a absolute of 39 patents. Mr. Lawrence, like Theodorus V. W. Graham, affianced in acreage belief from New York City, hiring bounded agents to advertise subdivided lots.
When I began researching soldiers clearing on their own patents, I started with a account of about 150 veterans who had their patents delivered personally, which I articular would be a acceptable indicator of a veteran’s ambition to accumulate his land. Because Continental soldiers had fought for up to eight years
without pay, and again were affected to delay an added seven years for acreage grants, about all the bodies advantaged to acreage had awash their rights — often added than already (leading to a coil of acknowledged battles in the aboriginal 1800s). From my account of 150, I begin about a dozen of these did achieve their own land. Researching so abounding names took some time, and during this time, I encountered several soldiers who were verifiably settlers, but the Balloting Book listed some added actuality as accepting taken commitment of the patents. I now accept a account of afterpiece to two dozen absolute settlers, and on that account is Conrad Bush, matross in the New York Regiment of Artillery.
In the Book of Delivery, Bush’s apparent is listed as actuality delivered to “Gen. Clinton for said Bush.” Abounding of the patents accept agnate addendum of one actuality acrimonious up the apparent for another, but few of these are for the aboriginal patentee. Generals George and James Clinton did not appoint in acreage belief to the amount that added admiral did (they alike captivated assimilate some of their compensation acreage until their deaths), so whichever Clinton took commitment of the patent, he charge accept been abandoned acting as a proxy for Conrad Bush. Indeed, in the 1790s, Bush may accept advised aloft not clearing on the frontier, because the Onondaga Canton Property Annal almanac a 1796 accomplishment amid Conradt Bush and Elias Jackson, Esq., carrying all of Lot #47 to Jackson. Despite this sale, Conrad Bush did achieve on Lot #47 in about 1800,
allegedly afterwards removing the Shattuck ancestors of Joseph and his nine developed sons, who reportedly anticipation they had acknowledged appellation (a quick analysis of Onondaga Canton grantees shows no accomplishments recorded for any Shattuck on Pompey Lot #47). At that time, it was bent that Conrad Bush captivated acknowledged appellation to the land, so the aboriginal auction for £450 had somehow collapsed through, conceivably on the agreement of acquittal or a mortgage captivated by Bush. Admitting abounding of the aboriginal settlers defaulted on their mortgages, which alternate the acreage to the acreage speculators, I accept abandoned begin one added instance of a absence abiding the compensation acreage to the aboriginal patentee, that of Jacob Hicks who awash his Romulus Lot #10 to a James Haskill, and afterwards a 1791 defalcation the lot alternate to Hicks. There is alike some slight affirmation that Hicks went on to achieve that lot (Hicks drew/owned lots in Locke and Cincinnatus as able-bodied that went to heirs).
According to the pictured actual brand and several added sources, Conrad Bush was the abandoned adept in the Town of Pompey to accept acclimatized his own patent. While this is technically true, Thomas Dixon, who drew Pompey Lot #4, acclimatized his acreage and is active in Walnut Grove Cemetery Jamesville, Onondaga County. I accept the affirmation for Bush’s ability again hinges on the actuality that his acreage became allotment of the “Town of Pompey” while Dixon’s acreage was in a altered municipality.
Regardless of whether he was the sole face who fought in the Revolutionary War, it would be difficult to acquisition a man added vividly clear about the affiliation amid the men angry the war and their compensation lands. Joshua V.H. Clark relates the adventure from Conrad Bush that back New York’s soldiers were absolved from service, some shouted “Who will accord a pint of rum for mine? Who will accord a absolute for mine?” In the mid-1780s, the acreage bounties were about $.25 of alien wilderness, abounding with bears, wolves and panthers, not to acknowledgment the actual Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca Nations of the Iroquois. Given that ambiguous prospect, soldiers ability accept been blessed to accretion any “profit” from this land, but Bush was not one of those. “I captivated on to mine, and I am able-bodied off,” Bush told Clark in 1848, back he was accounted to be 94 years old. In his Aftermost Will & Testament, recorded in the Onondaga Canton Probate records, Bush writes:
“[T]he acumen why I assets said altitude for a burying arena and admiration therein to be active is that it is on my Aggressive Compensation Acreage which I purchased with my blood.” To this day, Conrad Bush and some associates of his ancestors are active off Bush Road in Pompey, the armpit of his aboriginal acreage grant.
Just alfresco Auburn, NY, beside the shores of Owasco Lake, one of the eleven Finger Lakes, the Town of Fleming is called for Revolutionary adept Captain George Fleming. Admitting I grew up in Cayuga Canton not too far from Fleming and knew vaguely its actuality called afterwards a Revolutionary War adept (a almost attenuate accident in Central New York), I did not accept Captain Fleming on my aboriginal account of patentee-settlers. This is because of a the way the lists assignment in The Balloting Book. Because the kinds of affiliated analysis we do does not consistently accept accessible means to analysis accuracy, we generally absence some adequately accessible information, so it is acceptable to accept groups of bodies with whom you can allotment capacity and double-check research.
In the case of George Fleming, the basis has eight entries for “Flemming, George.” But because my analysis started with the “Book of Delivery,” I would accept abandoned the characters “Robert Dunlap, by adjustment of Capt. Fleming,” because I initially focused on those soldiers who took commitment of their own patents. Strangely, Fleming is on this account twice, as one of his patents, Town 12, Lot #16 is listed as actuality delivered to “Aaron Pitny, for Joel Coe, by his order.” But, as I accept learned, added settlers had their patents delivered to proxies than took commitment themselves, so that action abandoned cannot acquaint us which soldiers would accept acclimatized their own patents. Next, the basis lists Flemming on pages 122, 126, and 132 — the pages which account the lots sequentially forth with the patentee who drew them. As a captain, Fleming was advantaged to 1800 acreage total: Folio 122 shows George Flemming for Aurelius Lot #95, folio 126 has him cartoon Scipio Lot #16 (the one delivered to Aaron Pitny), and folio 132 has him accepting Locke Lot #6.
The catechism now is: Did Fleming achieve on any of these lots? One of the best sources for advice about Revolutionary War veterans, admiral especially, is burying records. Doing a chase for George Fleming’s burying gives us the advice that Accepted George Fleming was active in the Arctic Street Cemetery in Auburn, NY in 1822. Auburn itself was created from several lots of the Belt of Aurelius, so it seems acceptable that Fleming acclimatized that Lot #95, and added analysis verifies this. Fleming connected his aggressive account afterwards the Revolutionary War, appropriately his rank of General. The Town of Fleming, Cayuga County, was created partially from his aboriginal Lot #95 in 1823 as a abiding accolade to the man.
Though there are hundreds added absorbing belief about the Central New York Aggressive Tract, the several I’ve told actuality should accord you a faculty of the kinds of advice and assets that are complex with researching acreage grants in this tract. If you are a beginner, go advanced and dive in and don’t be abashed to ask questions. If you accept some affiliated acquaintance beneath your belt, hopefully this adviser helps analyze some of the added ambagious aspects of acreage grants in New York. Acceptable luck!
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