Susquehanna County - Early Landowners
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. Researchers of the first settlers of this area will be thrilled to know that the Pennsylvania State Archives has posted digital versions of Warrantee Maps showing the original owners of land tracts within the county. Scroll below the 1858 map images for links to these invaluable maps.
Susquehanna County was created from Luzerne County in 1810. Originally, the area that became Susquehanna County was in Northampton County (1752-1772), then Northumberland (1772-1786) and then Luzerne became its own county (which then included Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna, and Luzerne in addition to Susquehanna) in 1786. These dates are important because warrants, wills, deeds, etc. were filed in the county as it existed at that time.
Also, the entire northern 1/3 of Pennsylvania was disputed by Connecticut and by Native Americans. Indians finally gave up their claims to Susquehanna County and a huge swath of Pennsylvania through the “New Purchase” of 1768. Those who purchased under the New Purchase had their land applications entered into the New Purchase Register.
To learn about the Pennsylvania Land Acquisition process that England set up to distribute colonial land (which basically continues today), as well as the boundary disputes (between Pennsylvania and Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and Pennsylvania and Connecticut), Revolutionary War Donation and Depreciation land, and land opened through treaties with Indians, see our Land Acquisition page.
In addition to the New Purchase Register, the draftsmen at the Pennsylvania Land Office used the Warrant and Patent Registers to create the Warrantee Maps. They searched each county and parent county, then each alphabetical section chronologically, in the 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) which can now be downloaded and saved to your computer. (Free images are also posted on the Pennsylvania State Archives website where each page of each county’s ledger is a separate pdf file). The Warrant Registers give the Survey Book and page number onto which the loose survey was copied. The Pennsylvania State Archives has posted the online survey books where you can access the surveys once you know the Survey Book and page number from the Warrant Register (both front and back side of each survey have been digitized). Using the information from the Warrant Registers, you can order copies of the original documents from the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg using their order form.
The draftsmen also searched 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, the entire alphabetical section must be searched (which may be as little as one page to as many as 50) so as not to 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.
As we have done for numerous Pennsylvania counties (hover over each county on the PA map to see what we have uploaded), we are posting free, downloadable township images from the Map of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. From Actual Survey by G. M. Hopkins, C. E. (Philadelphia: Lee & Marsh Publishers, 1858). We hope that you will find this atlas a useful tool for when coupled with the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 census and published county histories: Emily Blackman’s 1873 History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania; Rhamanthus Stocker’s 1887 Centennial History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania; and DuBois & Pike’s 1888 The Centennial of Susquehanna County.
Susquehanna County, 1858
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.
To put Susquehanna County in perspective, here is an 1872 map of the surrounding area
1858 Township Residents
Towns and Boroughs
Forest Lake Township
Great Bend Township
New Milford Township
Silver Lake Township
Original Owners of Land in Susquehanna County
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 may 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.