Beaver County Landowner Map, 1860

Our goal at Ancestor Tracks is to publish maps and land ownership information allowing 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. Beaver County, fortunately, is one of the counties whose earliest landowners were completely platted. We intend to index all of the townships and publish a book covering Beaver County in the future. In the meantime, scroll to the bottom of this page for links to the Township Warrantee Maps posted by the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg.

We are posting images from Map of Lawrence and Beaver Counties from Actual Surveys by N.S. Ames which was published in 1860. This 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 Beaver County families when coupled with the 1860 census. Once you click on an image and it is on your screen, it can usually be enlarged by clicking on the image, and it may be saved to your computer by right-clicking and selecting "Save Image As..."

Beaver County was created in 1800 from Allegheny and Washington Counties. Thus, all of these counties should be checked for deeds and wills, etc. If your ancestor was actually a first landowner, purchasing his or her property from the colony or state of Pennsylvania, further information about these tracts may be gleaned from the Beaver, Allegheny or Washington County Registers contained on our CD, First Landowners of PA: Colonial and State Warrant Registers in the PA Archives, Harrisburg, 1682-ca 1940. (see below) This area was part of the Depreciation Land which was given to Revolutionary War soldiers, so locating an ancestor here definitely warrants further research into Revolutionary War records.


Big Beaver Township
Brighton Township
Center Township [see Moon Twp]
Chippewa Township
Darlington Township
Daugherty Township [see Pulaski Township]
Economy Township
Franklin Township
Greene Township
Hanover Township
Harmony Township
Hopewell Township
Independence Township
Industry Township
Marion Township
Moon Township [now Center Township]
North Sewickley Township
New Sewickley Township
Ohio Township
Patterson Township
Potter Township [est. 1910 from Moon and Raccoon Townships]
Pulaski Township [now Daugherty (est. 1894)]
Raccoon Township
Rochester Township [later enlarged]
South Beaver Township
White Township [est. 1887 from Chippewa Twp]

Towns and Villages Beaver Town
New Brighton
New Galilee
Van Port

As mentioned above, Ancestor Tracks intends to transcribe the information on the Township Warrantee Maps for this county in the future. Until then, you may access the maps through the links below which will take you to the images posted on the Pennsylvania Archives website. Unfortunately, they are not indexed.

Please note that these land transfers were from the colonial or state government to the first private landowners. These transactions predate the deed books located in each county which show transactions from one person to another person.

Scroll down to below the table to learn how best to use these Warrantee Maps to gain the maximum information regarding your ancestor's tract.

Beaver Co. Township Warrantee Maps

The following is an explanation of the descriptions shown on each tract. Refer to the tract owned by Ebenezer VOWELL near the top of the Hopewell Township map for this discussion. You will see that 300 acres and an allowance of 6% for roads was warranted to Ebenezer VOWELL on 27 Dec 1784 and it was surveyed 23 Mar 1785. Then it was patented to James SHORT 16 July 1785 and recorded in Patent Book P3, page 460 (shown as P.3-460 on the tract). Sometimes there are many years between each of the three steps (warrant, survey & patent) in finalizing the title of the first landowner and the tract may have passed through several hands before the patent is granted since each step involved paying a fee; in this case it did pass to another owner but it occurred within 6-7 months, indicating that VOWELL may have been speculating rather than settling.

According to this Warrantee Map, his western neighbors, John and Sarah RUSSELL, appear to have settled there in 1837, and his eastern neighbor, Solomon IRON, appears to have settled in 1825. To see who Ebenezer's neighbors were at the time his tract was surveyed in 1785, though, you need to look at his survey which is online. Unfortunately, the Warrantee Maps above show the Patent Register information rather than the Survey Book entry which means you have to take a couple of steps before you can see the survey which was copied into Survey Books now in Harrisburg (they have the original surveys as well). First, determine which county the township was part of at the time it was warranted. In this case, you need to consult the Washington County Warrant Register (Butler County was created from Allegheny County in 1800, and Allegheny County was created from Washington and Westmoreland Counties in 1788.) Thus, in 1785 this township was part of Washington County and that is the Warrant Register you must consult. Next, you can either search the county Warrant Registers which have been posted online by the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg or consult our CD which contains all 67 County Warrant Registers which can be saved onto your computer for easy access in repositories where no internet connection is available.

For Ebenezer VOWELL, go to the section of the Warrant Register that starts with "V" and then find him chronologically by his warrant date (27 Dec 1784). You will see several other VOWELL warrantees who received warrants on the same day - they are probably all related so you should check them all out. The right two columns of the Washington County Warrant Register show that Ebenezer's tract was recorded in Survey Book A7, pg. 49. The Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg, under the direction of Jonathan Stayer, has posted images of both the front and back side of every page of the Copied Survey Books online. Click on Volume A-7 and then page 49. The survey shows the date it was created for Ebenezer VOWELL and that it was situated on the waters of Logtown Run in (then) Washington County. It shows the neighbors at that time (1785) as Joseph ROBISON, the Logstown tract, and "vacant." It also gives additional survey information for the adjoining tracts (C194-192, D45-28 & 29, C47-133, and C4-233). By looking at each of these surveys, you will find that Ebenezer's tract was owned by Edward WARD in 1812 and later by Solomon IRONS and then William IRONS by 1868, and that John and Sarah RUSSELL's tract (shown as warranted to the RUSSELLs in 1837 on the Township Warrantee Map) was surveyed for Thomas L. BIRCH in 1812 and actually warranted to William DAWSON in 1785.All of these transactions occurred before final title was handed over from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Always check both the front and back of the survey for additional information. Nearly all surveys show the date of the warrant, the name of the county as it then existed, the date of the survey, and the neighbors owning the surrounding tracts at the time of the survey. Many times there is additional information.

If you are interested in the person who actually received final title, or patent, to the land, all of the information you need has been recorded on the Township Warrantee Map (the date, Patent Book number, and page number). No additional information is recorded in the index to the Patent Registers, although you can check (they are posted online by the Pennsylvania Archives, or you can purchase our CD containing all of the state Patent Registers for use when the internet is not available. You must search by the last letter of the patentee's surname--in the case of Ebenezer's tract, this would be James SHORT. As shown on the Township Warrantee Map, SHORT's patent of 16 July 1785 is recorded in Patent Book P3, pg. 460.

If you would like a copy of the original warrant, survey, and patent, you can order copies from Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
Pennsylvania State Archives
350 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0090
Their order form is online.

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