Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, August 07, 2006

1691 Statute Dividing Province of New York Into Shires and Counties and Placing Pelham in Westchester

On October 1, 1691, the Province of New York enacted into law "An Act to Divide this Province and Dependencies into Shires and Counties". By that statute, New York divided its lands into counties including one named Westchester. The statute placed the "Mannour of Pelham" into the newly-named County of Westchester. Today's Historic Pelham Blog transcribes the statute in its entirety, immediately below.

"An Act to Divide this Province and Dependencies into Shires and Counties.

[Passed, October 1, 1691.]

INASMUCH as mistakes may arise about the limitts and bounds of the respective Countyes within this Province, for prevention whereof, BEE IT ENACTED By the Commander in cheife and Council and Representatives and by the authority of the same that the said Province be Divided into twelve Countyes as followeth. The Citty and County of New Yorke to containe all the Island comonly called Manhattan Island Mannings Island the two Barne Islands and the three Oyster Islands Manhattans Island to be called the City of New Yorke and the rest of the Islands the County, The County of Westchester to containe East and Westchester Bronks Land Fordham Mannour of Pelham Miniford Island Richbells Neck and all the land on the Maine to the Eastward of Manhattans Island as far as the Government at present Extends and the Yonckers Land and Northwards along Hudsons River as far as the Highland.

The County of Ulster to Containe the Townes of Kingstone Hurley and Marble Towne Foxhall and the new pallz, and all villages neighbourhoods and Christian Habitations on the west side of Hudsons River from the murderers Creek neer the highlands to the Sawyers Creeke, The County of Albany the Manour of Renslaerswyck, Schenectady and all the villages neighbourhoods and Christian plantacons on the East side of Hudson's River from Roeloffe Jansens Creeke and on the west side; from Sawyers Creeke to the outmost end of Saraghtooga.

The Dutchesse County to be from the bounds of the County of Westchester, on the Southside of the high land along the East Side of Hudsons River as far as Roeloffe Jansens Creek and Eastward into the woods twelve Miles. The County of Orange to beginn from the limitts or bounds of East and West-Jersey on the West side of the Hudsons River along the said River to the murderers Creeke or bounds of the County of Ulster and westward into the woods as far as Delaware River, The County of Richmond to Containe all Staten Island Shutter's Island and the Islands of Meadow on the west side thereof, Kings County to Containe the Severall Townes of Newton Jamaica Flushing Hemstead and Oysterbay with horse neck the Severall out farms Necks Settlements and Plantations adjacent and the Islands Called the two brother's and Huletts Island.

The County of Suffolke to containe the Several Townes of Huntington Smithfield, Brookhaven Southampton Southold Easthampton to Mantank Point Shelter Island, the Isle of Wight Fishers Island and Plum Island with the Severall Outfarmes Settlements and Plantations adjacent, Dukes County to Contain the Islands of Nantucket Martins Vineyard Elizabeth Island and No Mans Land. The county of Cornwall to Containe Pemaquid and all the Territoryes in those parts with the Islands adjacent."

Source: Lincoln, Charles Z., Johnson, William H. & Northrup, A. Judd, Commissioners of Statutory Revision, The Colonial Laws of New York From The Year 1664 to the Revolution Including the Charters To the Duke of York, The Commissions and Instructions to Colonial Governors, The Duke's Laws, The Laws of the Dongan and Leisler Assemblies, The Charters of Albany and New York and the Acts of the Colonial Legislatures From 1691 to 1775 Inclusive, Vol. I, pp. 267-68 (Albany, NY: James B. Lyon 1894).

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