Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kings Co., New York Deeds, Vol. 7 Index

Kings County, New York, which today has the same political boundaries as New York City's Borough of Brooklyn, was a primary center of settlement during the 1600s. Many families found in Westchester, Dutchess and Orange Counties, New York, throughout New Jersey, and even in Bucks and Philadelphia Counties, Pennsylania, during the 1700s, can trace their origins to Kings County, New York. Researching families from Kings County can be a challenge. Church records exist, but they are scattered and have gaps. For example, records for the Brooklyn Dutch Church, post 1719, are lost. Literally, the records of hundreds of marriages and thousands of baptisms from Brooklyn can not be consulted. Probate records prior to the Revolution are usually found in the Probate Records of New York County, assuming they were probated and recorded. Many, however, were not. (The Kings County Surrogate's Court, which handles probate, was not established until after the formation of New York State). A third source of primary information, land records or deeds, can sometimes fill in missing genealogical data.

Kings County Deed records begin in the late 1670s. The deeds are recorded in Books (often referred to a as Volumes or Libors). Books 1 through 7 cover the colonial period and a bit beyond. They have been filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available through local Family History Center Libraries. Volumes 1-4 are on FHL film #1413189, while volumes 5-7 are on FHL film #1413190. The deed records from Kings County, Volume 1, were abstracted by David McQueen and published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record in 1917. They are found in Volume 48, pages 110-118, 291-298, and 355-361. These records take us up to the mid 1690s. Abstracts are convenient, but the complete original document should still be sought out. Doing so is a two step process. First one has to consult the Grantor and Grantee Indexes (FHL film #s1413114 to 1413188), then one has to go to the appropriate volume of deeds to locate the complete record. Fortunately, Volumes 5, 6 and 7 include either a list of deeds, or an alphabetical index at the back of each volume. These three volumes cover the years 1724 to 1803. I have taken digital images of the lists and indexes for volumes 5, 6 and 7 and will make them available online. If you are looking for a Kings County ancestor, circa 1724-1803, this will at least save you one step. We'll start with Volume 7.

Kings County Deeds, Lib. 7 Index

There are seven images, and they are probably best viewed by downloading them to your own computer and using your computer's tools to zoom in, etc.

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