George Roll Farm

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1840 [unknown]
Location: Lancaster, New Yorkmap
Surname/tag: Roll
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George Roll arrived in New York from Dettwiller France in July 1832. In 1838 his father, John Roll, purchased land in the Town of Lancaster. The seller was the Farmer’s Loan and Trust Company. In the early 1830s a number of New York City firms were interested in the Holland Land Company’s unsold lands, and the Company began to liquidate its business interests in western New York. One of the interested firms was the Farmers Land & Trust Company. In 1835 this firm purchased about 89,000 acres of land from the Holland Company in Niagara, Erie, Orleans and Genesee Counties. Payments were completed in the summer of 1838 and the Holland Company’s interests were closed in these four counties. (Paul D. Evans, The Holland Land Company (1924), pp. 393, 422-423.)

John Roll’s deed was dated December 15, 1838. He paid $370 for 64 acres of land ($5.78 per acre). Adjusted for inflation, this would be $10,200 today. The land was contained in lot number 7, section 2, township 11, range 6 of the Holland Land Company survey. Township 11, range 6 is the northern two-thirds of Lancaster, New York.[1]

On the same day, December 15, 1838, John Roll conveyed this land to his son George Roll. The microfilm copy of that deed is too poor to read, but the deed is listed in the Erie County, New York County Clerk’s index. In 1838 George Roll was twenty-three years old, unmarried and he had some siblings living at home. It does not appear that he became the sole owner of the land, especially because, after his father’s death in 1850, his brothers and sisters became joint owners of the 64-acre farm. Thus, it is most likely that in December 1838, John Roll and George Roll were joint owners of the land.[2]

John Roll died in 1850 without a Last Will. The Surrogate’s Court appointed his youngest son Michael Roll as the administrator of the estate. Nine heirs were identified. They were Elizabeth, John Jr., Christine, Andrew, George, Francis, Magdalena, Mary, and Michael. The whereabouts of Clare Roll was unknown. In 1853 they all conveyed their share of the Lancaster property to their brother, George. The transfers were all made with quitclaim deeds, which meant each heir, except George, terminated (“quit”) “any right and claim to the property, thereby allowing the right or claim to transfer to George” (Wikipedia).

Ten years later, in March 1864, George Roll purchased an additional 20 acres of land across Ransom road from his farm. He paid John Rodloff $800 for a 20-acre parcel in lot 5 section 2. In 1867, George Roll’s two oldest sons purchased a farm in Alden, and the next year he sold this 20-acre addition. The land in lot 5 section 2 was sold in March 1868 for $1,200, which was a very nice return on his investment.[3]

George Roll died in January 1897. His Last Will left his estate to this wife, Gertrude. She died a few months later, in May 1897. John Roll, the oldest son, became the administrator of the estate and sold the Ransom road land. The land was conveyed to John Smith for $2,150 in April 1898. The deed notes that the parcel contained 64 acres, but that two railroad companies had purchased rights in the lot, which amounted to about three acres of land.[4]


  1. Farmer’s Loan and Trust Company to John Roll
  2. John Roll to George Roll December 1838
    Index page:
    Deed page:
  3. John Rodloff to George Roll, March 1864
    George Roll to Heinrich Kliukman March 1868
  4. John Roll (administrator) to John Smith, April 1898

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