Original Crane Hook plots had land held in common

From Crane Hook on The Delaware by Jeannette Eckman
with permission of the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society
PDF (7mb) p 24

Whether the Dutch farmers had individual tracts to cultivate or used the land in common is not known. The people of Crane Hook were said to have received their land from the Dutch in one tract. Before the building of Crane Hook Church, however, the land had been divided into typical Dutch grants as deeds and court records show, eight of them, 18 rods wide facing the river with a larger tract at each end (Crane Hook Map I), each plantation having in front of it a stretch of marsh of the same width extending to the water's edge, each of these plots or plantations, called "home lots" extended 150 rods west to the border of a large tract of forest or woodland, which was held in common by the home lot owners. This arrangement repeated ; that previously mentioned at "Fyre Hook" (Furu Udden), a typical land grant method in the Dutch period, reproducing the neat patterns of small farm communities in Holland. English confirmations of the Fyre Hook tracts are identical patents to the eight owners by name, followed by a separate patent naming all the owners of the individual plots and granting them an adjoining tract of meadow ground "not mentioned in their several patents," to be held "in common." Similar confirming patents for the Crane Hook owners except for Simon Jansen are missing, but the information concerning those plots is supplied by other documents to be cited later.

Today, the Trustees of New Castle Common oversee land that is held in common. In this case it was granted by Penn in 1704 apparently on the basis of this Dutch custom.