This collection of applications to the Commissioners of the New York State Land Office, later the Division of Land Utilization, for grants to lands under water is located at the New York State Archives.
They are especially useful for areas along the State’s waterways, including documenting early railroad and the shipping and transportation industries. These applications often relate to the construction of retaining walls, docks, piers, causeways, bridges, and navigational aides, and other near-water structures.
The applications typically include affidavits of publication, and court house postings; an affidavit from the applicant, the county judge or supervisor, and the town clerk or assessors; an affidavit of twenty years possession; and map of the grant applied for, which may include natural features, existing a proposed structures.
Information on the application also includes applicant name; date; attorney’s name; notes related to the final determination of application; a date patent was ordered to be issued; the patent date; and attorney’s signature.
The collection includes applications from 1802-1902, 1943-1965, and 1978-1994. An index for the years 1802-1895 is available online. Most of the maps are available digitally at the State Archives website.
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Photo of Survey of lands under water for Andrew Cornwall and Charles and John F Walton (Waterford, Online). New York State Archives, New York State Office of General Services Division of Land Utilization lands under water application files, Series B2321, Box 15.