Juniata & Mifflin County Landowner Resources
Ancestor Tracks is committed to becoming a one-stop resource for researchers of early Pennsylvania landowners. In addition to publishing our own books, we are posting images of 19th century maps and atlases that we personally took in the Library of Congress. Our goal is to post landowner maps, or links to other websites with landowner maps, for every county in the state.
Original Land Owners
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 either Juniata or Mifflin Counties. See our explanation of how land was transferred from the government to individual owners from the earliest days of settlement.
The only way that we at Ancestor Tracks know to find the date, book and page of the original warrant, survey, and patent for your ancestor is to search for him or her chronologically through county Warrant Registers on the Pennsylvania State Archives website where each page of each county’s ledger is a separate pdf file, or download and save to your computer the entire set of 67 county Warrant Registers plus 3 pre-1733 ledgers called First Landowners of PA: Colonial and State Warrant Registers in the PA Archives, Harrisburg, 1682-ca 1940 ($35). Once you have found the information, you can access the free online surveys, and you can order copies of the original documents from the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg using their order form. Keep in mind that Juniata County was formed from Mifflin County in 1831. Mifflin, in turn, was created in 1789 from parts of Cumberland and Northumberland Counties. Thus, you may have to consult all of this county Warrant Registers depending on when your ancestor settled here.
If you cannot find an original landowner’s name in the Warrant Registers, the next place to look is in Pennsylvania’s index to Patent Registers ($35). Within an index covering the relevant years, the names are grouped alphabetically by the first letter of the patentee’s surname, then grouped by volume number of Patent Book, and finally arranged chronologically by date of patent. Thus, you have to look through the entire alphabetical section (which may be as little as one page to as many as 50) to be sure you don’t miss anyone.
Please note that these land transfers predate the deed books located in each county because they deal with the first transfer of land to private individuals from Pennsylvania’s colonial or state government. Once the land passed into the hands of a private owner, any subsequent transfer of the land was recorded as deeds in the county courthouse as it existed at that time.
In lieu of being able to bring you Township Warrantee Maps of the earliest settlers of this area, we are posting images from Atlas of Perry, Juniata & Mifflin Counties Pennsylvania from Actual Surveys by and under the direction of Beach Nichols published by A. Pomeroy & Co. in 1877. This atlas is located in the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Washington, D.C. We hope that you will find it a useful tool for when coupled with the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census and published county histories.
Three excellent resources for this area have been printed: (1) The 1886 History of That Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys Embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder is online (Volume I and Volume II); (2) the 1889 History of the Early Settlement of the Juniata Valley: Embracing an Account of the Early Pioneers and the Trials and Privations Incident to the Settlement of the Valley; and (3) the 1913 A History of the Juniata Valley and Its People (Volume I, Volume II, and Volume III). All can be downloaded and saved to your computer. Here’s a map of the counties in the Juniata Valley from Juniata College.
All of the Mifflin County townships from this 1877 atlas have also been posted online through the sponsorship of The Mifflin County Historical Society in Lewistown. Many thanks to the volunteers who have been and are working on the genweb site! They have also posted many of the Juniata County Townships as well.
Please note that there is an excellent resource when using the 1877 atlas: Kelly Smith of Marysville, OH, has been working for years to produce an index for this atlas of all three counties, and she has completed all of the townships and nearly all of the towns. Amazingly, she has also transcribed the information found on the “Business Notices” pages which we are not posting. For example, one of the entries for Jackson Twp., Perry Co., reads thus: “Bower David, Proprietor Farmers’ and Drovers’ Hotel. Travelers will find this a desirable and pleasant Home. A limited number of boarders can be accommodated during the Summer. Location healthy and charges reasonable. Give Dave a Call. P.O. Blain.” Thus, if a township or town image is too dark to read certain names, you may be able to locate the name in her index and then scan the map for something that looks similar.
An excellent 1863 Map of the Counties of Perry, Juniata and Mifflin from actual surveys by and under the direction of G. M. Hopkins is posted through the Leventhal Map Collection at Boston Public Library. To see residents at that time, click on it and zoom in with your cursor’s wheel to see names and locations.
Click on the township of your choice below. Once the images are loaded, they can be enlarged by clicking on them. If an image doesn’t enlarge, right-click on it and choose “Open Image in New Tab.” When it is opened in a new tab, you will be able to zoom in. You can also save the images.
While the map in the Library of Congress, is in the public domain the images we have taken belong to us and are not to be used for commercial use. For those wishing to use them for personal use (including illustrating a family history you are working on), we give permission to use them, but we would appreciate attribution to Ancestor Tracks. It takes much time and effort to locate, process, edit, and post these and the many other county images we have posted, so we appreciate this courtesy.