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, Unfortunately, Pennsylvania did not plat the tracts of the earliest landowners of Forest County.
In lieu of being able to bring you Township Warrantee Maps of the earliest settlers, we are posting Map of Forest Co. Pennsylvania Compiled from Records & Official Surveys by S. D. Irwin which was published by J. L. Smith in 1881. 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 Forest County families when coupled with the 1880 census and published county histories. Also, this map is nearly contemporaneous with History of the Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania published by J.H. Beers & Co in 1890 which is being transcribed by the Forest County History Project.
If your ancestor was actually a first landowner, purchasing his or her property directly from the colony or state of Pennsylvania, further information about these tracts may be gleaned from the Warrant and Patent Registers of Forest County and its parent counties (Forest was originally part of Northumberland County, then Lycoming, and it became split between Lycoming and Venango Co. when Venango was created in 1800. When Jefferson Co. was created in 1804, Forest was split between Venango and Jefferson. The eastern half of the county was carved from Jefferson Co. in 1848 and given its own name, and the western half was carved from Venango and added to the original Forest County in 1866.) Since the first settlers of Forest County came here ca 1797, their records may be found in any of those warrant registers. These Warrant and Patent Registers are contained on our CDs, First Landowners of PA: Colonial and State Warrant Registers in the PA Archives, Harrisburg, 1682-ca 1940 and First Landowners of Pennsylvania: Indexes to the Colonial and State Patent Registers in the PA Archives, Harrisburg, 1684-ca 1995.
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..."
Forest County Landowner Map, 1881