That survey of 1803 was in two phases. The first mapped all the documented claims of the Corporation of Kingston to firm up the exact bounds of the Town of Kingston. Land had been added to the original patent description of 1687 over the preceding century. This survey was to place the northern border that had extended with these additions into what was then Albany County. Once this border was settled on, this line became the boundary between the towns of Kingston and Catskill. This also became the line dividing the new Greene County from the extended Ulster County. All of this newly defined Town of Kingston up to the new Greene county border was claimed by the Corporation of Kingston.
The second phase of the 1803 survey divided this total town of Kingston into a grid of mostly 30 & 45 acre lots. Locating these lots was made manageable by placing them in large divisions called "Classes".
A half dozen of these Classes were south of the Rondout Creek in the present town of Esopus. They were, by name: The South of Rondout Second Class East of Road; the South of Rondout Second Class South of Road: South of Rondout First Class; The Huzzy Hill lots; The Shappawanick Mountain lots; Kline Esopus lots.
Nine of these Classes were around the present day City of Kingston and Towns of Ulster and a much-decreased Town of Kingston. These were, by name: The Binnewater Class; The Pine Bush Class; The Flat Bush Class; The Clove Class; The Three Mile Class; Compensation Class East of Road; Compensation Class West of Road; and, the Suppies Hook lots. Parts of the Southwest and most of the First Class were also in these towns.
The rest were in Saugerties. 80% of present day Saugerties is on the footprint of part or all of 11 "Kingston Common Classes". These are, by name: most of the Southwest Class and the northernmost line of lots in the First Class; all of the Second, Third, Forth, Fifth, Sixth, Northwest, Seventh, Plantasie Bergh ; and, the West of the Esopus Kill lots.
There are also occupied farms within and adjacent to Class bounds that use numbered lot corners or lines as references for their locations.
In excess of 650 individual deeds to these lots are recorded in what are called the "Trustees Books" numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. The latter four of these books are made up of printed "boilerplate" deeds with hand written date, purchaser and trustees' name, lot description and reservation of trespass rights to common access. All of Books 5 and 6 and most of 7 are deeds recorded in 1804 with books 1, 2, 3, 4 and the rest of 7 and the J, K and L parts of book 8 recording deeds that range in time from 1687 to the last sale in 1816.
The Trustees books have an Index but this is by grantee name only. The original survey maps are missing and a map made in the 1890's by Edward Codwise that is much referenced but missing parts and very schematic in form, has been found to be incomplete and in many cases erroneous. Surveyors like Codwise have attempted to reconstruct the 1803 surveys for specific areas of interest but the only evidence of extensive research to locate exact positions of lot corners relative to a large collection of period surveys to be found is in the collected documents of Morris Rosenblum.
Rebuilding an accurate map of the original surveys is not a completely onerous task. Every deed is a building block rectangle and each references corners of others in its description. Nearly all descriptions use right angle directions of 66° SE or NW and 24° NE or SW. All the deed descriptions are written in measurements of “chains and links” and use specific numbered lots as corners as well.
The town of Saugerties provides the key to the precise locating of every Commons lot that has a location on the west side of the fields of Atharacton, the Churchland and Kaatsbaan. The locations east of of this and on the river and also south of the Roundout do not have this "key" advantage.
The originating 1811 documentation for the formation of Saugerties applies the 66 and 24-degree angles and uses "chains" as a measure in its boundary description. This description also uses a specific Kingston Commons lot as a corner.
This makes it possible to use any modern day map of the Saugerties to position the angles and measurements of the original commons lots. The town's west to south corner gives both the key angle and position of a starting point.
A scaling key is even made possible by dividing the length of the sides of this key southwest angle into the number of chains in the 1811 formation documentation. From there it is possible to correctly proportion and position a model lot rectangle size to the overall map since all the deeds use adjacent lots in their descriptions. Even the odd lot description with non-rectangular measurements can be drafted to fill a void by applying this 1803 base angle to plot a shape.
The majority of Morris Rosenblum's work on Kingston Commons lots is concerned with Saugerties but his collection of survey references covers the entire Kingston Patent. His own personal studies use graph paper and overlays of vellum to draw lots and link them together to reproduce Classes. This is done over a number of years as clues appear in surveys and title abstracts. His Classes sketches at first were scaled to accurately place the Commons Lots in registry on aerial survey photographs and then after 1978, when tax lot maps registered to the USGS topographical map of the town were made, the scale of these became his base.