Lackawanna County

Our goal at Ancestor Tracks is to publish maps and land ownership information allowing genealogy researchers to geographically locate 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, and they did complete connected tract maps of the earliest landowners of Lackawanna County (which was created from Luzerne Co. in 1878). We hope to transcribe them at some time to make the significant information on them available to researchers. In the meantime, the unindexed maps are online, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Archives, and we are posting links to them (scroll to below the 1873 atlas links).

We are posting free, downloadable images from the 1873 Atlas of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, from actual surveys by and under the direction of D. G. Beers published by A. Pomeroy & Co. This atlas, of course, includes Lackawanna County. We hope the images will be useful for pinpointing the whereabouts of residents in the 1850-1880 census records and those mentioned in History of the Lackawanna Valley by Horace Hollister. The 1873 atlas is located in the Library of Congress. While the physical maps are in the public domain, the images we have personally taken at the Library of Congress belong to us and are not to be used commercially. If you wish to use them for personal use (including illustrating a family history you are working on, or including one on your personal web page for which you do not charge), you may use them freely as long as you attribute them to Ancestor Tracks.

The Lackawanna County GenWeb Project has also posted images from Atlas of Luzerne County Pennsylvania. From actual Surveys by and under the direction of D. G. Beers & Co., 1873 and you may want to use these images as an alternate source if our image is not clear. Unfortunately, the GenWeb Project's maps are broken into sections and contain watermarks.

Click on the township of your choice. Once the images are loaded, they may appear to be illegible but they can then be enlarged and clarified by clicking on them again. They may also be saved to your computer by right-clicking and selecting "Save Image As..." They may also, of course, be printed.

Lackawanna [Luzerne] County, 1873

Click on the title page above to see the arrangement of townships
Clifton Township (created from Covington Twp. in 1873)
Elmhurst Township (formed in 1941)
Glenburn Township (created in 1877)
La Plume Township (a borough in 1885, but lost status)
Lehigh Township (called Bucks Twp. until 1880
Providence Township (consolidated into Scranton, 1866)
Thornhurst Township (created from Buck Twp., Luzerne Twp., 1878)
Waverly Township (formerly Abington Twp.)
West Abington Township (created from Abington Twp. in 1895)

Boroughs and Towns

The following Township Warrantee Maps, showing the metes-and-bounds plats of the first landowners of the county, have been placed online by the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg (the maps below are large and will take time to completely download). Information on each tract (or in the margin of the map) includes a hyphenated entry such as A-19-121. This refers to the the Survey Book (A19) and page number (121) where the survey was recorded in Harrisburg. The other information includes the size of the tract; dates of the warrant, survey and patent; name of the patentee; and Patent Book and page number where the patent is recorded. 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 the Survey Book number and then the correct page number to see the individual survey. Check both the front and back of the relevant survey. Paper versions of these maps are also available from the Archives.
Details included on the Warrantee Maps were found by the state draftsmen in the Warrant Registers and Patent Registers on file at the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg and available on CD from Ancestor Tracks. The Warrant Registers are also online, although each page must be accessed separately rather than paging through the ledger as a pdf file. Look in the Warrant Registers for either Luzerne or Northumberland County (Luzerne was created from Northumberland Co. in 1786, but many of the earliest landowners purchased before that time).

Remember, after the land passed from Pennsylvania colonial or state property into the hands of an individual, you will find those records in the county courthouse.

In addition, the 1873 Atlas of Luzerne County includes simplified warrantee maps (see links above).

Lackawanna Co. Township Warrantee Maps

Finally, another county atlas published by G. Wm. Baist in 1894, is online courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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