Holland Land Company Land Records
Land Tracts of the Cazenovia Establishment
 
by Daniel H. Weiskotten
 
Last Modified September 3, 2001
 
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MUST READ ... Very Important Notes
Plats of the Tracts
Land Records Arranged by Lot
Land Records Arranged by Name
Histories of the HLCo. Purchase and Tracts
 
 

A Short History of the Holland Land Company Purchase in Central New York

The history of the Holland Land Company's "Lincklaen Purchase," or "Cazenovia Establishment," is incredibly complex and I hope to at least present some of the raw information that researchers can find most useful, as well as general information sources such as maps and histories that describe the Holland Land Company's efforts to settle this part of Central New York.

The area which became the praimary part of the HLCo purchase was a long, narrow strip of land, just a little more than seven miles wide at the greatest, but nearly 35 miles in length.  This unusually shaped tract was the result of a surveyor's error and was aptly named "The Gore," which is a term used for such long narrow tracts which are the result of error on the part of the surveyors.

The HLCo tracts in Central New York, which were to fall under the local authority of Resident Agent John Lincklaen, had to be purchased from several speculators who had purchased or been given them by the State of New York in 1791, 1792, or early 1793.  The Gore, as it became known had been divided into four large tracts which had been surveyed in 1789.  The HLCo also purchased "Township No. One" or "No. One Township" of the "Governor's Twenty Towns," which lay at the very northeast corner of the HLCo purchase, and contains over 27,000 acres, bringing the total of the Company's holdings in the are to nearly 119,000 acres.

Before the land could be sold it needed to be divided into farm lots for the settlers.  To make the job of surveying easier the various tracts of the earlier speculators were combined and redivided into four different tracts.  Beginning with the northern most tract they were named the Road, Tromp, DeRuyter, and Brakel Townships.  The new Road Township was so named because it partly corresponded with one of the earlier tracts which had been given to the speculators in return for construction of a road between Oneida Castle and the Mohawk River.  Becasue the Road Township was located at the most promising and fertile end of the tracts, a large area was "Reserved" from the north end and was divided into the Village Plot, Ten Acre Out Lots, and the Road Township Reservation.  These sections contained smaller lots where the village of Cazenovia was to sprout.

Nearly all lots in the tracts were laid out to contain just 150 acres, but the shape of the tract, which was about half a mile narrower at the sourthern end than at the northern end, and an apparent surveyor error, meant that the lots might range as low as 130 acres to as high as 198 acres.  Nathaniel Locke, the surveyor, did attempt to keep the lots around 150 acres but topography, variation of the compass, and dimensions of the tract seem to have made this a difficult task.  In the No. One Township the setting out of lots seems to have been a much easier task as the tract was nearly square.  The irregularities of the No. One Township are limited to a single row of irregular lots at the northern end where the tract angled slightly, and a single row of lots across the middle of the tract which contained 140.88 acres each, but all the other lots were just 150 acres.

Purchasers of the lots needed to approach John Lincklaen or one of his assistants and they could begin the purchase process by going to the Land Office in Cazenovia.  A second land office was opened for a time in the DeRuyter Township (now near North Pitcher in the Town of Pitcher, Chenango County).  In the first days of land sales the surveyors could barely keep ahead of the settlers wanting land and at one point sales were stopped for fear of making mistakes.  Many settlers took whole lots of 150 acres while many took only portions of lots, such as the East One-Third, North Half, etc.
 
 
 

Before Going to the Indexes Please Read These Important Notes!!!!

This data was compiled from the original Ledgers.  The information presented here is summarized and arranged from a larger computerized data base which fully copies the original record.

 

Plats of Cazenovia Tracts Showing Location of Lots

 

Links to the Tract and Lot Arrangement of the Land Record Books

 

Links to the Name Arrangement

 

Histories and Descriptions of the Holland Land Company Purchase and Tracts