Wyoming 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. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania did not plat the tracts of the earliest landowners of Wyoming County.
Wyoming County was not created from Luzerne County until 1842. 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, Susquehanna, Lackawanna, and Luzerne in addition to Wyoming) 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 Wyoming 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), and in lieu of being able to bring you Township Warrantee Maps of the earliest settlers, we are posting completely free, downloadable township images Topographical map of Wyoming Co. Pennsylvania from Recent and Actual Surveys and Records, under the Superintendence of F. W. Beers (New York, 1869). 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. They are both online: the 1880 History of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties by W. W. Munsell, and the 1830 The History of Wyoming by Isaac Chapman (also known as A Sketch of the History of Wyoming).
Wyoming County, 1869
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 Wyoming County in perspective, here is an 1872 map of the surrounding area
1869 Township Residents
Towns and Boroughs
Braintrim (Braintrem) Township
North Branch Township
North Moreland Township