Welcome to the Town of Southampton’s Historic Division, created by Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer in 2008 to provide support to the preservation projects of the Town’s collection of ancient documents and holdings. The Division maintains the historical records with the Town Historian leading the effort of researching, recording, obtaining and preserving the historical documents and archival information contained within the Historic Division. Expanding the Town’s website to include images and descriptions of historical documents as well as historical photographs, maps and other resources is an integral function of the Historic Division of the Clerk’s Office. Digitizing the historic records has been an ongoing effort to make the Town’s historic treasures available to the public for research while continuing to preserve and protect the originals.
The Town of Southampton, New York State’s first English colony, traces its history to 1640 when a small group of settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts, set out to form their own settlement. Eastern Long Island was then inhabited by Native Americans; on its westerly end where the settlers first landed, it was claimed by the Dutch. Finding a spot to stake out their claim to “eight miles square of land” was therefore far from easy, but after exploring the southern coastline of Long Island Sound, the settlers discovered a secluded harbor now known as North Sea Harbor. It is there that the Lynn colonists finally made landfall at a place later called Conscience Point, and founded a settlement they named Southampton.
The Town of Southampton is proud to be New York State’s first English colony. The Town’s records extend back to the founding of the settlement in 1640, and include agreements and land exchanges, inventories and vital records, and numerous documents that portray the expansion and evolution of the early colony. Please enjoy the pages that follow and if you have any questions, feel free to contact the Town Historian.