Document Type: Patent

A patent was a grant of land from the government (in New Netherland the Dutch West India Company) to an individual or group of individuals who intended to develop the land. Securing a patent was a complicated process. If the land was acquired from Native Americans, called by the Dutch 'Indians', it had to be ascertained that they were willing to part with it, and what they wanted for it in return, in writing.  This is known as the Indian Deed.  Then, the transaction had to be agreed to by the governor of the province where it lay, then a license to purchase it was filed, the land was surveyed, and a another deed was drawn up between the government and buyer. Then, the buyer(s) with their documents had to appear before the governor to petition for a formal grant, or patent, and then reappear before the governor to receive official confirmation of the transaction. The land in question was granted in perpetuity to the buyer and his heirs. All land in New Netherland can theoretically be traced back to this original grant, or patent.