Crawford County Landowner Map, Est. mid-1800s (undated)
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 Crawford County.
We found an undated atlas by published by J. C. McDowell of Dicksonburg, PA, in the files of the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg which appears to show at least some warrantees of larger tracts. It is not listed in United States Atlases: A List of National, State, County, City, and Regional Atlases in the Library of Congress but an online search indicates the images may be from an 1876 atlas. In any case, in lieu of being able to bring you Township Warrantee Maps of the earliest settlers, we are posting pages from what we believe is the Historical Atlas of Crawford County, Pennsylvania which show the residents of Crawford Co. at the date of printing, as well as some previous owners (warrantees or patentees?) of the larger original tracts. We apologize for the quality of the map--this is a copy of a copy. The penciled notations on some tracts almost certainly indicate the survey book and page number for the original tract. We hope that it will be a useful tool for locating your Crawford County families when coupled with the 1860, 1870, and 1880 census and published county histories.
Tom Yoset has posted outstanding resources on his site A Genealogical Tour of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, including "Incidents in the Early History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania" by Alfred Huidekoper and the biographies and township histories from History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: Warner, Beers, & Co., 1885). See the link for "Published Sources."
If your ancestor was actually a first landowner (warrantee or patentee), purchasing his or her property from the colony or state of Pennsylvania, his/her land acquisition should be documented at the state level, not at the county level. Crawford County was created in 1800, but was originally part of Allegheny County which was created in 1788. 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 received a Last Purchase or Donation Land Tract from the state, which we will be documenting in updoming CDs.
To see where the townships are in relation to each other, click here for the 1885 Map of Townships Crawford County from Beers
Images from the xerox copy of the undated Atlas of Crawford County are below. Click on the township of your choice. 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..."