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Carteret attempted to negotiate agreements with those who had purchased tracts from Nicolls, confirming their land rights in return for oaths of loyalty to the Berkeley and Carteret proprietors. In 1668, however, when Carteret attempted to convene an assembly and also sought to collect quitrent payments, he faced resistance from some purchasers that ultimately led to the outbreak of violence in 1670. The conflict grew worse through the meddling of James Carteret, the son of Sir George Carteret, who appeared in the colony in 1672 ; James Carteret successfully appealed to the settlers opposing Philip Carteret to convene an assembly at which he was elected “president” of the province.
Philip Carteret sailed to England to ask the proprietors to reconfirm his authority. Ultimately, he obtained the backing of the Duke of York, including decrees that the grants of land titles from Nicolls were null and void; that anyone without a title from the proprietors forfeited his land; and that refusal to pay quitrents subjected the violator to execution of the debt through forfeiture of furniture, cattle and other movable goods. The decree also strengthened the governor’s powers through declaring that only freemen could vote; that only the governor and his council could designate who was a freeman; and that only the governor could charter towns, appoint officials, establish courts or sell land that had not been previously sold. James Carteret was banished from New Jersey and departed for the Carolina colony.
Philip Carteret returned from England to rule an increasingly hostile colony, but in 1676 the control of New Jersey was fragmented through the news that Lord Berkeley had sold his half of the colony to two Quakers, Major John Fenwick and Edward Byllynge. Soon after the sale, the purchasers from Berkeley and Sir George Carteret decided that it would be best to partition their ownership, splitting the province into West Jersey and East Jersey, with the Quakers assuming control of the western lands which started west of a line starting just north of what is Atlantic City to a line on the Upper Delaware ending near the current boundary between Sussex and Warren counties. Philip Carteret’s smaller role as the governor of East Jersey was further undermined by continuing conflicts with the settlers and interference from Governor Peter Andros of New York, who asserted that the right to govern New Jersey still resided in the governor of New York. Carteret denounced Andros’s claim, but was seized by a detachment of 80 soldiers dispatched from New York to Elizabethtown by Andros. Unfortunately for Andros, a jury convened to hear the charge that Carteret was governing New Jersey without legal authority acquitted Carteret, and a similar ruling against Andros was later handed down by an arbitrator appointed by the Duke of York.
As proprietors of what was known a the Province of New Jersey, Berkeley and Carteret commissioned Philip Carteret, a relative of Sir George, as Governor of New Jersey and he arrived in August 1665 with a group of settlers and servants.
The first settlement of Elizabethtown took place on November 24, 1664 with the landing of the founding fathers. All of the settlers from Long Island and Connecticut carne as "Associators" (or "Associates"), stockholders in the undertaking who were entitled to a full share in the division of the land. They drew lots for their town plots. The first recorded Town Meeting took place on February 19, 1666
the rkeley was co-proprietor of New Jersey from 1664 to 1674. In 1665, Berkeley and Sir George Carteret drafted the Concession and Agreement, a proclamation for the structure of the government for the Province of New Jersey. The document also provided freedom of religion in the colony. Berkeley sold his share to a group of Quakers because of the political difficulties between New York Governor Richard Nicolls, Carteret, and himself. This effectively split New Jersey into two colonies: East Jersey, belonging to Carteret, and West Jersey. The division remained until 1702 when West Jersey went bankrupt; the Crown then took back and subsequently re-unified the colony.He became Governor of Exeter, and General of the royalist forces in Devon. A native of the island of Jersey off the British mainland, Carteret governed Jersey during the British Civil War, maintaining it as a refuge for Royalists, including hosting Prince Charles in 1646 and again in 1649-1650, who honored Carteret by naming him as a knight and baronet. After the execution in 1649 of King Charles I, the Prince's father, Carteret also proclaimed the younger Charles as the new king, making Jersey the first of the British realms to recognize his claim to the throne as King Charles II. In 1665, Carteret was one of the drafters of the Concession and Agreement, a document that provided freedom of religion in the colony of New Jersey. It was issued as a proclamation for the structure of the government for the colony written by the two proprietors, Berkeley and Carteret.
Philip Carteret and Berkeley issued the Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors of New Jersey, the "most liberal grant of political privileges made by any English colonial proprietor to the people". Freedom of conscience was guaranteed and generous land grants were promised. Carteret indeed issued many grants of lands to settlers and landowners, partly with the purpose of increasing the worth of the colony. The pair "expected to profit from sales of their rich North American land holdings, and they were not disappointed".
Carteret designated Elizabethtown (named after the wife of George Carteret) as the capital of New Jersey, where a representative assembly first met in 1668. Middletown Township and Shrewsbury Township refused to send representatives to this New Jersey Assembly and declared their independence, electing James Carteret as their leader. Carteret became angry and left for England, and had the English government force the New Jersey settlers to pay quitrents.
Carteret found the province inhabited by "a few hundred Dutchmen and English Puritans. During his governorship, more towns sprung up in New Jersey. By the end of his term in 1682 the province consisted of seven towns, and many outlying plantations. The populations (exclusive of Lenape natives) was about 3500 in the seven established towns of Berghen, Newarke, Elizabeth Towne, Woodbridge, Piscattawy and Middletown, with an undetermined number in outlying areas.
After the death of George Carteret, Governor Edmund Andros of New York attempted to seize power in East Jersey. When Philip Carteret refused to give up his position as governor, Andros sent a raiding party to his home and had him beaten and arrested to New York. Carteret was placed on trial, but was acquitted by the jury. The attack caused permanent injuries to Carteret, and he died in 1682.
Introduction The value of land records lies in the fact that land was highly sought after and the transactions were recorded from the time settlers began to arrive. Therefore it is a consistent and continuous record of many ancestors lives. Land records can be used to learn where and when an individual lived in certain areas, as well as often revealing useful and interesting family information.
New Jersey has been a state-land state in which property has been distributed by the colony or state rather than the federal government. Various methods of distributing land have been used.
If you are new to land research, you may wish to read the Beginner’s corner and other articles included on the United States Land and Property page.
Land Records Before 1664 There are no records created in New Jersey of grants made during the Dutch period. See New York Land and Property for information about grants made prior to 1664.
Proprietary Land Records In 1664 King Charles granted New Jersey to his brother, James, Duke of York. James, in turn, conveyed it as a proprietary colony to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. They chose Philip Carteret to be the first governor. Before Governor Carteret's arrival in August 1665, Governor Nicolls of New York made the first land grants (see New Jersey Emigration and Immigration. Once Carteret arrived, he chose a surveyor general to lay out lands. He also chose a chief secretary to record or register sales.
Following Berkeley's sale of his share of the colony in 1674, the area was divided in 1676 into two separate provinces, West Jersey and East Jersey. Each was governed by its own board of proprietors. The two boards of proprietors sold land to individuals through proprietary deeds. Each board kept separate records of these sales. The records include surveys, deeds, and minutes. These are records of the original sales of the land. Subsequent exchanges were recorded by the secretary of state until 1785 or by the county clerk, primarily since 1785 (see below).
The New Jersey State Archives has the proprietor land records for both East Jersey and West Jersey and has a growing online index of Proprietary Warrants and Surveys, 1670-1727 from both East Jersey and West Jersey. A good explanation of proprietary records is at the New Jersey State Archives web site. This includes a history of the records and needed facts with ways to effectively use the records.
East Jersey Proprietary Records. The proprietary land records for East Jersey have not been microfilmed. The Family History Library has transcripts of surveys for what is now Passaic County, titled Perth Amboy Surveys for East Jersey, 1678 to 1814. FHL Collection films 947881-83, index on film 947881).
Some records since 1901 are closed to the public. The minutes of the proprietors for 1685 to 1794 (missing 1706 to 1723) have been published in:
West Jersey Proprietary Records. The records for West Jersey have not been published, but the originals at Rutgers University have been microfilmed. These include:
For additional or more recent records, contact: West Jersey Proprietors, c/o Clerk, P.O. Box 158, 230 High Street, Burlington, NJ 08106
Secretary of State's Deeds From 1664 to 1785, land sales between individuals were recorded as deeds in either the East Jersey capital of Perth Amboy or in the West Jersey capital of Burlington. In 1795 deeds were transferred to Trenton, where they became known as the secretary of state's deeds. It has been estimated that less than half of all land transactions were ever recorded as deeds. The secretary of state's deed books also contain some proprietary deeds, warrants, surveys, powers of attorney, mortgage releases, and other miscellaneous documents.
East Jersey. Deeds recorded by the secretary of state are now at the New Jersey State Archives and on microfilm at the Family History Library. These include deeds and indexes, 1667 to 1783 (FHL Collection films 522742-46 and 460030-39)
West Jersey. The New Jersey State Archives has the original West Jersey deeds. They are also on microfilm at the Family History Library:
New Jersey Land and Property >> FamilySearch.org
The local property tax goes back to the colonial period. In 1670, a levy of one half penny per acre of land was imposed for the support of the central government. Until the middle of the 19th Century, property taxes were levied on real estate and certain personal property at arbitrary rates within certain limits, referred to as “certainties.”The Public Laws of 1851 brought to New Jersey the goals of uniform assessments based on actual value and a general property tax This meant that all property classes were to be treated the same for the purpose of taxation. In 1875 the concept of uniform assessments was enshrined in the State Constitution. Our Courts held that the amendment, however, permitted the classification of property for tax purpose and the exemption of certain property classes from
taxation. A long period of the erosion of the “general property tax” concept followed.
In 1884, a State Board of Assessors was created to assess the value of railroad and canal property. The State, thereby, inserted itself into the local property tax assessment process.
With the proliferation of the automobile in the 1920s, New Jersey's population quickly decentralized into suburbs along main highways. In 1929, PSE&G’s Area Development Department began helping companies find sites and locate facilities in New Jersey. In 1935, the phrase "TRENTON MAKES THE WORLD TAKES" was installed on the lower bridge, and Trenton was a thriving industrial city with major pottery, ceramics, steel, and other heavy manufacturing interests.
Accessibility has always been the key to the growth. The Garden State Parkway was constructed between 1946 and 1957 to connect suburban northern New Jersey with resort areas along the coast and alleviate traffic on traditional north–south routes. The New Jersey Turnpike opened in 1952, paving the way for development unparalleled in the history of the state, from the Meadowlands at Exits 15, 15A and 16, to Port Newark/ Elizabeth between Exits 10 and 15, to the Central New Jersey market at Exits 8A, 8, 7A and 7, and further south. By 1957, New Jersey had more than 15,000 major industrial establishments. The population grew and real estate values soared as many new commercial enterprises sprang up.
The 1960s saw many significant developments in commercial real estate. The typical office was freed from partitions, and management was no longer ensconced in executive suites. Hartz Mountain ventured beyond its successful pet care business into real estate development with the building of a large speculative industrial distribution facility in Bayonne. The Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission was created in 1969. Manufacturing and industrial jobs began to decline, and state government agencies began leasing office space in Trenton and the surrounding suburbs. Cali Associates (destined to become Mack-Cali) built its first office building in Cranford.