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New Jersey Deed History

New Jersey was one of the 13 colonies to revolt against the British rule. In 1776, two days before the Second Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain, the New Jersey Constitution was passed. New Jersey first became a proprietary colony in 1664. Between 1674 and 1702, there were two distinct provinces: East Jersey and West Jersey. The two separate provinces were combined in 1702 to form a royal colony. The Province of New Jersey was documented by a deed executed by William Penn, Gawen Lawrie, Nicholas Lucas, and Edward Byllinge with Sir George Carteret. The deed is known as the Quintipartite Deed

There are a total of 21 counties in the state of New Jersey. East Jersey had four original counties while West Jersey had two original counties when the state was formed. New Jersey was first settled in 1609 by Dutch and Swedish explorers as New Netherland and New Sweden. The most populous county is Bergen, which was an original county in East Jersey and was designated as a judicial district in 1675, and was officially named a county in 1685 when the General Assembly passed an act to create the county.

In New Netherland, the Dutch enacted a policy requiring the formal purchase of all land that was settled upon. The first to make a formal purchase was Michael Pauw from Amsterdam. However, his settlement grew slowly and was mismanaged. The settlement, called Bergen Neck, was later re-purchased by the Director General of New Netherland, and in 1661Bergen was established, which makes it the oldest municipality in the state.

There are no records created in New Jersey of land grants made during the Dutch period. In 1655, Governor Nicolls of New York made the first land grants. When Governor Carteret arrived, he chose a registrar to record land sales. Due to the boundary line controversy between the Colonies of New York and New Jersey, many deeds were never recorded or deposited in an office of public record.