Snyder 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, the state of Pennsylvania did not plat the original warrantees and patentees on Snyder County township maps.
The only way to find the date, book and page of the original warrant, survey, and patent for your ancestor is to do what the state draftsmen did to create their warrantee maps of other counties. They searched through the relevant county Warrant Register, and that of its parent counties, now posted 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, including the Survey Book and page number, you can access the free online surveys. You can also order copies of the original documents from the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg using their order form.
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. See our explanation of how land was transferred from the government to individual owners from the earliest days of settlement.
The area that became Snyder county was settled by Pennsylvania Germans from Lancaster and Berks Counties in the 1740s when it was loosely connected with Lancaster County. Parts of Union and Snyder were originally split between Berks County and Lancaster County (1750-1772) and then the two counties were absorbed into Northumberland County (1772-1813). Union County was created in 1813 and included Union and Snyder Counties; finally, Snyder became its own county in 1855. These dates are important, as the earliest land warrants were filed under the county as it existed at the time the warrant was issued.
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.
To aid Snyder County researchers, we are posting excellent downloadable images Atlas of Union & Snyder Counties, Pennsylvania published by Pomeroy & Beers in 1868.
We hope that these landowner maps will be a useful tools for locating your Snyder County families when coupled with the 1850-1880 censuses. They should also be an indispensable aid when used in conjunction with two county histories that mention many of the owners found in this 1868 atlas: Wagenseller’s 1920 Snyder County Annals (Volume I and Volume II) and Franklin Ellis’ 1886 History of the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Vol. I and Volume II).
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.
Click on this 1872 map to see Snyder in perspective with its surrounding counties.
1868 Township Maps
Adams Township (created in 1874 from Beaver Township)
Spring Township (created in 1885 from parts of Beaver, West Beaver & Adams Townships)
West Beaver Township
West Perry Township