When I first started in on this project, Susan Silvestri, a very old friend, suggested that I check into The Register Of Deeds. This proved to be more than sage advice. At that time I was still guessing about so much as to when the Knapp Mansion was built, 1870's 1880's, 1890's, 1903 etc. (as kids we always thought it was 100's of Years Old ) who owned the land first, and the BIG ?? ...Who gave it to St. Judes RC Church? (answer NOBODY....but they got it for a song) Even St. Jude's did not know the correct answer, and coupled with that, they were extremely reluctant to discuss anything concerning the Knapp Mansion with me. All through those frustrating months Susan kept saying "Check The Register Of Deeds You Don't Need The Church To Tell You...."

I agreed and said it was on my list of things to do, but that it would also have to wait till I could get up to the Island. She knows so much about that kind of stuff because she performs it as part of her job as a CPA and Para Legal. On one of her family visits home to Long Island a few months ago , she checked into the Suffolk County office to scope it out for me and I can't thank her enough. She figured out their system, pulled a few Knapp Deeds for me and gave me a list of a bunch more that were in there. But most importantly she gave me detailed instructions on how to do the research that is very time consuming and would of been a TOTAL DISASTER if I tried to figure it out. It is nothing like going into a library and looking for a book, though there a thousands of HUGE BOOKS in there. In the three days I spent there I pulled and copied 156 legal documents of property in Suffolk County belonging to Joseph Palmer, Joseph Fairchild and Claire Antoinette Knapp. A lot of land, and a lot of quarters ($39.00) into three of the crummiest, sorry Xerox copy machines I have used since I can remember. There are probably 75 more Knapp Deeds that I didn't get time to copy....but it didn't matter cause I found what I was looking for. Thanks To Sue....."crackerjack investigator"


From The Outside It Looks Just Like A Typical

Govt. Building


When you get in there......



Each one of those, is a canvas covered legal sized binder or "LIBRE" with around 600 deeds in it Weighs in around 22 pounds. Those are stone desk tops in the middle of the aisle. Every deed & mortgage in the county of Suffolk (eastern half of Long Island) from 1973 back to 1600's is in these aisles and theres MILES OF AISLES...From 1973 forward they went to micro film.....These "Libres" sit in roller compartments.....but before you roll one out you have to look


In These ..... the index books. hundreds of them. All Hand written, they tell you what number book the documents are in.

Lots of FUN & ADVENTURE at no cost...unless you want a copy of the document....

Then you get in line to drop your quarters in three dilapadated copy machines, that jam constantly. Most of the regulars know how to fix em'

And it's a busy place..... there are lawyers, paralegals, and mokes like me in there on a daily basis... I know cause I saw the same people everyday I was in there.... What A Job......

Here's What 156 pieces of legal docs look like on top of my scanner.....waiting to be scanned....hey I already copied you in Riverhead.


These deeds & mortgages are also mentioned and linked throughout the specific web pages.

1862 C. J. Smith & Henry Nicoll

1894 The Smith's & Joseph Palmer Knapp

1916 Frank Lawrence & Joseph Fairchild Knapp &

Joseph Fairchild Kapp & Claire Antoinette Knapp

1917 Joseph Palmer & Elizabeth, Joseph, & Claire Knapp

1925 Claire Knapp Penney & Joseph Fairchild Knapp

1929 Home Guardian & Joseph Fairchild Knapp

1938 Joseph Fairchild Knapp & Home Guardian

1941 Home Guardian & George Sutter

1950 George Sutter & St. Judes