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Luzerne 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 Luzerne County. We hope to transcribe them at some time to make the significant information on them available to researchers. In the meantime, the unindexed warrantee maps which show the very first owners of land in the county are online and links to them are below (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. We hope they will be useful for pinpointing the whereabouts of residents in the 1850-1880 census records and those mentioned in History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania by Henry C. Bradsby. The 1873 atlas also includes images of simplified Warrantee Maps of Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, but more information regarding each tract can be found in the Township Warrantee Maps posted by the Pennsylvania Archives (below the atlas).
The 1873 atlas is located in the Library of Congress. While the physical maps are in the public domain, the imagess we have personally taken by going to 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.
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. They may also be saved to your computer by right-clicking and selecting "Save Image As..." They may also, of course, be printed.

Luzerne County, 1873

Click on the title page above to see the arrangement of townships
Conyngham Township (created from Hollenback Twp. in 1875)
Fairview Township (created from Wright Twp. in 1889)
Hunlock Township (created from Union & Plymouth, 1877)
Marcy Township (now Duryea Borough, Pittston Twp.)
Rice Township (created from Wright Twp. in 1828)

Towns and Boroughs

Warrantee Maps (First Landowners)

If your ancestors were one of the first landowners in the county, purchasing their land directly from the colony or state of Pennsylvania, he or she should be shown on the following warrantee maps. 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; the warrant, survey and patent date; 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. Check both the front and back of the relevant survey. Paper versions of these maps are also available from the Archives.
In addition, the 1873 Atlas of Luzerne County includes simplified warrantee maps. Details on the Warrantee Maps are found in the Warrant Register and Patent Register on file at the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg and available on CD from Ancestor Tracks.

The Warrant Registers are also online. 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). Once the land passed into the hands of a private owner, any subsequent transfer of the land was recorded in the county courthouse as it existed at that time.

The Lackawanna County GenWeb Project has 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.
For the very first landowners, check out the Township Warrantee Maps on file at the Pennsylvania Archives showing the metes-and-bounds plats. They have generously been posted by the Pennsylvania Archives in Harrisburg. These Township Warrantee Maps show the first purchasers of land from the colony or state of Pennsylvania, usually from the 1700s. Paper copies may be ordered from them as well. 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.

Luzerne 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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