Presumed Late Grantees
Those individuals we have categorized as “Presumed Late Grantees” are both those individuals for whom we can definitively document a land grant dating after 1830, and those individuals for whom we have no grant date, but based upon the fact that their grants were less than 30 acres (often around 20 acres), we assume are Late Grantees. Most Presumed Late Grantees received their land after the passage by the Bahamian legislature of the Commutation Act of 1847, when the Crown regranted parcels of land (“deeds of commutation”). This act allowed individuals who were physically occupying land to back-pay overdue quit rents for land that had been seized from the original grantee or his/her heirs and assigns, and to become the owner of the land in fee simple.
An escheat occurred when all the “issue” (children) of the original grantee died, and the granted land returned to the Crown to be re-issued. Long Island had numerous examples of both of these types of land conveyance. With a few notable exceptions such as the Calabash Limited acquisition in 1962 of Galiot Cay and Cape Santa Maria following passage of the “Quieting Titles Act” of 1959, a majority of the Presumed Late Grantees received their land between 1847 and 1873. A small handful received their land in 1918-1919 for reasons we did not explore. This class of individuals has not been explored for this phase of the project, but more work to flesh out them and their lives is tentatively planned for later phases.