NOTE: Actual possession is a pedis possessio which can be only of ground enclosed. PEDIS POSSESSIO. A foothold, an actual possession. To constitute adverse possession there must be pedis possessio, or a substantial enclosure. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2193; 2 N. & M. 343.
Applying the common law principle of possession, the first colonists established ownership of land through occupancy and use. In 1630, for instance, the Puritans claimed title to granted land under the idea that it was not rightfully "occupied" or "settled" (by Indians), stating they "inclose noe Land, neither have any setled habytation, noe any tame Cattle to improve the Land by..."