Sunday, March 3, 2019

1690 Long Island Land Deed

Having both maternal and paternal ancestral lines that trace back to the early 1600s I have become more and more interested in land deeds over the years.  Recently, while on Long Island and searching for land records I wondered about how and when land deeds began on Long Island? I was amazed to find a land deed from 1690 between an early settler on Long Island and Native Americans.  How surprising to find a land deed going back that far!  This is a transcription of the original that is held by the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead, New York. 

 (click on image to enlarge)

December the 30. 1690
Be it Known unto all men whom it may concern, that we whose hands are under written, do conform unto Richard Woodhull Junior of Brookhaven, his heirs executors administrators assigns for ever to have and to hold for ever, (that is to say) the High Ways on each side of the Neck, commonly called by the English Rattle Snake Neck the high ways to be Eight-Rods wide [44 yards], down to the Meadows with fencing stuts, building timber houses yards, or any live Timber what _ _ so ever the said Richard Woodhull shall have occasion for, with all other privileges or commanages [land owned by more than one person] yards Cow houses or other buildings with a further conformation of all the Meadows that is moveable whether high or low _ ground, fresh or salt grass, both in Snake Neck and in Wonacrosscome Neck and Connecticut Meadows Lands We whose hands are under written do conform unto the said Richard Woodhull his heirs and assigns forever, And further of the said Zobacheus Sachem, with the rest whose hands are underwritten, do give and conform unto the said Richard and his heirs and assigns for ever, that is to say Yards houses barns hovels _ and fencing across our Lands, For the conveniency of his Meadows and former Deed given both in Land and Meadow, both in the old Pathway _ and new, we the Said Indians do give grant make over and Conform all ye above said promises conformations gifts or grants above mentioned And we the said Indians whose hands are underwritten freely give _ Our good friend Richard Woodhull eight Rods deep of Woodland round the Neck next to Meadows both in Snake Neck and Wonacrosscome Neck for his conveniency for Wintering of Cattle: And this we whose hands are under written do Warranty against all persons or person what so ever shall lay any claim or challenge to ye same, and we do promise and witness we our heirs and assigns for ever to maintain, and give a further _ confirmation if need require.
As witness our hands
Tabacckas Eis mark
Wasqnasatsook Eis mark
Taceques Eis mark
Pamuta Eis mark
Antuok Eis mark
Wap Eis mark
Aiof Eis mark
Posuum Eis Mark
Wud Ramps
Singed and Sealed in presence of us
Tom T Frances Eis mark
Ludas Eis mark
Richard R. Floyd Eis mark
Susabbah Lloido

Deciphered and written from the original by Mr. John Thorne (?)
At Mastic, L.I. about 1910
  • Note: Please excuse misspellings of names, etc. above.  If you know the correct spelling please let me know so corrections can be made.  There are also symbols that I was unable to replicate. 

As I transcribed this I wondered where exactly ‘Rattle Snake Neck’ was?  I searched for ‘Rattle Snake Neck, Long Island 1690’ and found the following in a book (click on title to read book for free on Google Books) entitled The Indian Place-Names on Long Island and Islands Adjacent: With Their Probable Significations by William Wallace Tooker (published in 1911)  on page 60:

Sometimes finding such a record, even though it doesn’t directly relate to your ancestors can be an amazing find.  Records like this help tell the story of the early settlers and what was happening around your ancestors.  What a treasure this document is for the history of the area!

If you have any corrections, additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. Excellent find. Love the names of the Native Americans.

  2. Thank-you Diane! I couldn't believe that I could find such a document in the local historical society. So interesting.