Armstrong County Landowner Map Published by Pomeroy & Treat, 1861
Our goal at Ancestor Tracks is to publish maps and land ownership information allowing genealogy researchers to place more precisely the locations where our ancestors lived. The state of Pennsylvania began platting the exact metes-and-bounds tracts of the earliest landowners, township-by-township, starting in 1907, but the Land Office only completed about 1/3 of the state before the project ended. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania did not plat the tracts of the earliest landowners of Armstrong County. However, we are incredibly lucky that a dedicated individual, Herbert Eckman, has undertaken the difficult task of mapping the tracts of Armstrong Co. warrantees and patentees and has posted them free of charge. To date, he has completed the townships of Bethel, Burrell, Cowanshannock, Gilpin, Kiskiminetas, Kittanning, Manor, Parks, Plum Creek and South Bend. Kudos for this momentous work, Herbert!
In the hopes of helping researchers of 19-century Armstrong County, we are posting the Map of Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania which was published in 1861 and is referred to in histories of the county as "Pomeroy's Map." The map is located in the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. We hope that it will be a useful tool for locating your Armstrong County families when coupled with the 1860 census and published county histories. The Armstrong County Genealogy Project hosted by Nathan Zipfel has done an amazing job of placing extensive resources online, including complete transcriptions of History of Armstrong County Pennsylvania by Robert Walter Smith, 1883, and History of Armstrong County PA, Her People, Past and Present by Beers. Another excellent resource to be used with the 1870 and 1880 censuses is the 1876 Atlas of Armstrong County Pennsylvania. From actual surveys by Beach Nichols; published by Pomeroy, Whitman & Co., Philadelphia. Also of particular use to researchers using Smith's History of Armstrong County Pennsylvania is the CD First Landowners of Pennsylvania: Indexes to Tract Names of Patented Land in the PA Archives, Harrisburg, ca 1684-1811 since Smith often refers to the name of a tract purchased by a settler. The Tract Name Indexes give the warrantee and patentee names, the size of the tract, the date of the warrant, and the date, book and page number for the patent. This register would be useful to researchers who come upon references such as the following from Smith regarding tracts in Manor Township: "...the Alexander Hunter tract, called "Mahogany," seated by Jacob Hileman; the John Smith tract, called "Maria's Choice," "situate on the Kittanning path," 411 1/4 acres, partly in Kittanning township, seated by Joseph and Tobias Stiveson; the Michael Mechling tract, called "Mechlingburgh," 105 acres and 59 perches, seated by Jacob Wilyard; the John Gray tract, 280 acres, seated by Jacob Wilyard; the Rebecca Smith tract, 390.0 acres, seated by Thomas McMasters; the James Glentworth tract, called "Glentworth Park," 415 acres, seated by David McKelvy; and the Robert Davidson tract, 430.9 acres, seated by James Dougherty and John Truby...."
How early was Armstrong County actually settled? The following is taken from Smith's History of Armstrong County Pennsylvania: "William Findley, in his history of the Whiskey Insurrection, says: 'The western and southwestern portions of what is now Westmoreland, and the southeastern part of what is now Armstrong, were settled about the year 1769, the next year after the proprietary of Pennsylvania had purchased the country from the Indians as far west as the Allegheny and Ohio rivers.' In 1769 the land office, for the sale or location of the lately purchased land, was opened. Several thousands of locations were applied for on the first day. The settlement on the east side of the Monongahela and Allegheny was very rapidly extended from the Monongahela forty miles northward, as far as Crooked creek, and the first settlers were generally a more sober, orderly people than commonly happens in the first settlement of new countries."
If your ancestor was actually a first landowner, purchasing his or her property from the colony or state of Pennsylvania, southern Armstrong County was originally part of Cumberland County (created in 1750), then it became part of Bedford County (created in 1771), then it was part of Westmoreland County (created in 1773). Southern Armstrong County remained part of Westmoreland County until Armstrong Co. was created in 1800. Northern Armstrong Co. was annexed to Northumberland County in 1785 and was then transferred to Lycoming Co. in 1795 until, again, Armstrong Co. was created in 1800. These dates are important, as the earliest land warrants were filed under the county as it existed at the time the warrant was issued. Thus, all of the relevant Indexes to Warrant Registers, published as First Landowners of PA: Colonial and State Warrant Registers in the PA Archives, Harrisburg, 1682-ca 1940 , as well as the Indexes to Patent Registers, should be searched to find the first landowners. Your ancestor may, alternatively, have filed a New Purchase Application, and the ledger holding these applications is available from http://ancestortracks.com. The county was definitely being settled well before it was incorporated.
"Pomeroy's Map" of 1861 is below. Click on the township of your choice below. Once the images are loaded, they can be enlarged by clicking on them, and they may be saved to your computer by right-clicking and selecting "Save Image As..."