Published originally as History Bulletin II by the New York State Library, this work is composed of two parts: (1) a miscellaneous record of deeds, mortgages, bonds, powers of attorney, and depositions running from January 10, 1658 to November 4, 1660; and (2) a series of wills, inventories, and settlements of estates from January 5, 1681 to October 30, 1765. The contents, which were abstracted from records found in the Albany County clerk’s office, were translated from the original Dutch by Jonathan Pearson and readied for publication by A.J.F. Van Laer. The deeds, mortgages, and related property records have the virtue of tracing the chain of title to real estate from one colonist to another. The wills, inventories, and settlements of estates, which comprise about half of the volume, were translated from a manuscript volume in the clerk’s office entitled Wills, Part 1 & 2, 1691-1835; however, only those wills written in Dutch are included here. The remainder may be found in the [New York] Calendar of Wills, compiled by Berthold Fernow, which is also available from Clearfield Company. The wills, of course, not only disclose the disposition of property but also divulge the names of two or more generations of persons connected to each decedent. In all, the index to this volume holds the key to the identities of several thousand 17th- and 18th-century inhabitants of Albany and Rensselaerswyck.
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