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RG-17

RECORDS OF THE LAND OFFICE

Series Descriptions


 

VIII. Records of Island Programs

In recognition of the need for preserving a free right of passage on navigable rivers, islands were treated as a special category of land from the first days of the province. William Penn occasionally granted islands as a special award for services rendered, as when he granted Thomas Fairman an island in the Delaware River in 1701 in recognition for his service as a surveyor. By the middle of the eighteenth century, developing industries made islands especially valuable. In 1760 the proprietors issued a general warrant to survey for their own use all of the unsold islands in the Delaware, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and other rivers and creeks within the settled part of the province. The proprietors subsequently made special grants of these islands to purchasers who were willing to pay the highest price.

After the formation of the Commonwealth, islands transferred to private ownership were subject to view and appraisal and were usually sold at public auction and the records documenting the transfer were therefore filed separately in the Land Office. Islands in the rivers of the Purchase of 1784 were available for private purchase after 1795 and unsold islands were offered at public sale in Pittsburgh on July 16, 1798.

 

Islands Applications,

1757-1922.

(3 cartons)

LO 16.2-7 PLR 174

{series #17.159} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of application.

Loose warrant applications for islands. Information generally given is the name of the applicant, the total acreage of both the cleared or tillable land, the nearest distance from shore, the name of the person holding the nearest surveyed tract on shore, the name of the person responsible for any improvements, and the nature of such improvements. Islands surveyed under proprietary warrants are listed in the Proprietary Rights Index, 1683-1808 and undated {series #17.110}. Warrant, survey, and patent information for all islands can be located by using the warrant registers.

 

Applications for Islands

1791-1811.

(1 volume, Binding 163)

pp. 90, 175

{series #17.160} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of applicant.

Transcript of applications for islands giving the date of application, the name of the applicant, the acreage, and a brief description of the location. The first two pages contain a copy of the return of survey for the twenty-five islands in the Schuylkill River that were originally warranted to the proprietors in 1760 and surveyed in 1763.

 

Islands in the Susquehanna,

1793-1812.

(1 volume)

LO 25.36 PLR 175

{series #17.161} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of application.

A register of applications for island lying in the Susquehanna River. Information given is the date of application, name of applicant, acreage, and a description of the location.

 

Orders for Islands,

1793-1901.

(4 cartons)

LO 16.7-11

{Series #17.162} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of order.

Orders to view and appraise islands. Information given is date of the order, name of the applicant, county and township where applicant resided, county and river where island was located, name of the nearest property owner on shore, a description of the location, the names of the appraisers, the date the view and appraisal was conducted, and the date approved.

 

Islands in the Susquehanna River,

1797-1906.

(1 volume)

LO 25.37 PLR 175

{series #17.163} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally by both name of owner and by name of island.

The first 130 pages are a warrant register for islands covering the period 1797-1906 giving the date of the warrant, warrant number, name of warrantee, acreage, and location of the island. The balance is a warrant register for riverbeds providing similar information and covering the period 1848-1857.

 

Islands in the Rivers Delaware, Ohio, Allegheny, Schuylkill, Etc.,

1798-1903.

(1 volume)

LO 25.37 PLR 175

{series #17.164} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally by name of owner.

The first 113 pages of this volume are a warrant register for islands covering the period 1798-1899. Information given is the warrant date, warrant number, name of warrantee, number of acres, location, and terms of sale. The last section is a warrant register for riverbeds for the period 1848-1903 that provides similar types of information for the riverbeds.

 

IX. Records of Donation Lands in the Purchase of 1784

The General Assembly used the Purchase of 1784, or Last Purchase, as an opportunity to implement new land laws and procedures. Land located west of the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek was set aside for Depreciation and Donation lands while land east of these rivers was opened to settlement as soon as preemption applications for squatters already living in the area between Lycoming Creek and Pine Creek were settled. The initial sale of land in the eastern portion of the Last Purchase took place through the Northumberland Lottery. The southern portion of the northwestern land was offered for sale in 1785 as Depreciation Land to redeem certificates given to Pennsylvania's Revolutionary War soldiers to compensate them for having received pay in depreciated currency. Lying just to the north of the Depreciation Lands, the Donation Lands were set aside to provide tracts to donate to each Pennsylvania Line soldier and officer who served in Continental service to the end of the war. Donation land tracts occupied parts of the present day counties of Lawrence, Butler, Mercer, Venango, Crawford, Warren and Erie. The Donation Land records document the process by which these Donation lands were distributed to veterans of the Pennsylvania Line. For related records see also Donation Certificate Accounts, 1777-1809 {series #4.19}and Return Book of Pennsylvania Line Entitled to Donation Lands, undated {series #4.50} in the Records of the Office of Comptroller General.

 

Pennsylvania Line Entitled to Donation Land,

[ca. 1780-1794].

(1 volume)

LO 25.35 PLR 167

{series 17.165} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of claimant.

A list of the names of Pennsylvania Line veterans entitled to Donation lands giving their rank, regiment, number of acres to which they were entitled, and whether a lot was drawn. Occasional comments give the names and dates applications were made in the right of others, whether the veteran was killed in action, or other unusual circumstances.

 

Donation Lands Granted Pennsylvania Line,

[ca. 1780-1830].

(1 volume)

LO 25.35 PLR 166

{series 17.166} [Holdings]

Entries grouped alphabetically by first letter of last name.

A list of the names of Donation Land claimants giving their rank, regiment, lot number, and district where lot was located. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Muster Rolls (Actually Lists of Unpaid Militia fines for Absentee Soldiers),

1782-1834

(2 folders)

LO 21.2

{series #17.167} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Despite the title given to this series in Donna Munger's Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research, it primarily contains lists compiled by regimental captains of the names of absentee soldiers whose fines were not paid. Entries proving honorable service on Revolutionary War muster rolls were used to qualify applicants for Donation and Depreciation lands. Information generally given on the absentee militia fines lists is the date the list was compiled, the name of the captain who submitted the list, the name of the regiment, the name of the soldier who was absent, and the amount of the fine. Also present are letters submitted concerning conduct unbecoming an officer and similar items that were apparently filed with the Land Office to challenge or disqualify potential applicants.

 

Donation Claimant Papers,

[ca. 1785-1810].

(3 cartons)

LO 8.1-4 PLR 165

{series #17.168} [Holdings] [Images]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of claimant.

Patents and miscellaneous papers pertaining to Donation Land claims including deeds of conveyance, discharge certificates, power of attorney certificates, and application forms. Information given varies with type of document but usually gives name of claimant, location of tract, and date of application. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Donation Land Patents,

[ca. 1785-1810].

(1 carton)

LO 8.4 PLR 166

{series #17.169} [Holdings] [Images]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of the patentee.

Patents for Donation Land District 10, as well as a few other miscellaneous districts, that were surrendered to the Commonwealth in return for patents to land in other districts are included in this grouping. Information given is the date of the patent, name of patentee, tract number, county, acreage, and a description of the tract boundaries. Among these are several patents taken out in the name of land speculator and Pennsylvania Comptroller General John Nicholson, who was impeached for mishandling state funds. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger's Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research. The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Register of Donation Land Patenting Fees,

1786-1796.

(1 volume)

PLR 166

{series 17.170} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date fee was paid.

Account book kept by Donation Land Clerk James Trimble of fees received for surveying Donation tracts drawn under the Act of April 6, 1792. Information given is the date the fee was paid, name of the claimant, lot number, acreage, name of the person for whom drawn, and the amount paid. Also present is a priority list of the names of Donation Land applicants giving the priority of choice, name of the claimant, lot number drawn, district where located, and the acreage. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Lists of Donation Land Lots Lying in New York,

1791-1796.

(1 volume, Binding 135)

PLR 166

{series #17.171} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by date list was compiled.

Several lists giving the lot number and acreage of land that was subsequently found to actually be located within the boundaries of the state of New York. The first of these is a list of the lot numbers for which claimants were given a choice of equivalent land. Information given is the district number, lot number and name of claimant. The second is a list of the names of claimants together with their lot number and the acreage to which they were entitled. This is followed by transcripts of correspondence of the Surveyor General concerning the drawing of lots for replacement lands. The remaining lists generally give the name of the claimant, the acreage to which they were entitled, the district where located, the lot number drawn, and occasional notations revealing the name of the patentee and the date of patent. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion. A portion of one tract extended from Erie and Warren Counties into the state of New York.

 

Donation Land Book,

1791-1808.

(1 volume)

LO 25.35 PLR 167

{series 17.172} [Holdings]

Various arrangements.

Partially indexed internally by Donation District number.

Copies of supplements to the Act for distributing Donation Lands dated September 30, 1791 and April 6, 1792 are found in this book, along numerous lists of the names of applicants. Information generally given is name of the claimant, rank, lot number, and acreage. The indexed lists at the back of the volume are grouped by Donation District number and give the date of the patent, name of the claimant, lot number, name of the person to whom patented, and the amount paid. Another list is a record of patents granted giving name of patentee, acreage, patented, location of tract, district number, county where located, and date of the patent. The list for the second drawing of Donation Land held on September 10, 1788 gives the date of the patent, name of claimant, lot number, name of the person to whom patented, and the amount paid. A list of survey fees received gives the date of receipt, name of the person paying the fee, lot number, acreage, and the amount paid. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Claimants for Donation Lands

[ca. 1792-1799].

(1 volume)

LO 25.35 PLR 167

{series 17.173} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by first letter of surname.

Five lists providing information on Donation Land claimants and giving information on war casualties and on second, third, and fourth conveyances. Information given on the lists is as follows:

List #1 -- Name of claimant, rank, regiment, name of applicant, and date of application.

List #2 -- Name of soldier, rank, regiment, discharge number, name of person to whom tract was first conveyed, date of first conveyance, name of person to whom tract was next conveyed, date of second conveyance, and information on any interfering claims.

List #3 -- Name of claimant, rank, regiment, name of applicant, date of application, and "casualty" and comment categories that record such types of information as whether the soldier was killed, date of discharge, whether deserted, where a record was found, or whether proof of service was wanting.

List #4 -- Return of the names of those claimants whose lots fell within the boundaries of the state of New York, giving their respective ranks and the number of acres to which they were entitled.

List #5 -- Name, rank, regiment and acreage.

 

Donation Land Register,

[ca. 1794].

(1 volume, Binding 34)

LO 7-, Reel 3428 PLR 166

{series #17.174} [Holdings] [Images]

Tracts are grouped by Donation Land district.

Indexed internally alphabetically by surname of patentee.

Patent register and related lists concerning to the Donation Land program bound together with information concerning the Donation Land Lottery held on December 20, 1794. This is the current register in use for searching Donation Lands and contains the following:

 

Transmittals of Patents for Donation Lands,

1803-1809.

(1 folder)

PLR 165

{series #17.175} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of patent transmittal.

Transmittal forms that accompanied Donation Land patents sent to the governor for his signature. Information given is date, name of patentee, lot and district numbers, county where located, and number of acres patented. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Lists of Donation Lands for the Pennsylvania Line,

1813.

(1 volume)

LO 25.29 PLR 166

{series 17.176} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Indexed internally.

A list of donation tracts granted to officers and soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line in the Continental army. Information given is the name of patentee, district number, lot number, number of acres, and date tract was returned for patenting. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Applications for Donation Land Lots,

1813-1868.

(3 folders)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.177} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Applications for Donation lots. Information given in name of applicant, date of application, Donation Lot number, acreage and location of tract and occasionally a description of any improvements thereon erected. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.

 

Lists of Donation Land Claimants

undated.

(1 volume, Binding 136)

PLR 166

{series #17.178} [Holdings]

Various arrangements.

Five lists of the names of land claimants bound together. The first list gives the claimant's rank and regiment, the acreage to which he was entitled, and whether a lot was drawn. The second list gives the date of the claim, name of the claimant, and occasional notations indicating whether the claim was just or doubtful or providing greater detail on such matters as the Nicholson lands. The third list gives the name of the claimant, the acreage claimed, and name of person to whom patented. The fourth is a unified list of Donation lots of 200 acres, both drawn and not drawn pursuant to an Act of the Assembly in the Surveyor General's office on September 7, 1802. These give the district number, lot number, either the number of acres drawn but not applied for or the number of acres to which a claimant was entitled but for which a lot was not drawn. The fifth list gives the name of the claimant, the lot number, either the number of acres drawn or the number of acres not drawn, and occasionally the dates of the return and patent. The Donation Land tracts actually surveyed are depicted by Map 6 appearing on page 164 of Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1991). The tracts lie within portions of the present-day counties of Warren, Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Lawrence, Butler, and Clarion.



Register of Donation Land Claimants Reported per John Nicholson,

1781-1795.

(1 volume)

L.O. 8.4

{#17.531} [Holdings] [Images]

Grouped alphabetically by surname of the claimant.

One volume containing the names of Donation Land claimants, a list which was put together by John Nicholson, former Pennsylvania comptroller general and land speculator. Information present includes: name of claimant, rank, regiment, number of acres drawn, and additional comments. Most of the names contained in this register appear in series 168, however there are additional names which do not, so it would be best to check both sources for individuals who put forth claims for Donation Land.



Miscellaneous Donation Land Documents, Lists and Related Files,

1786-1839.

(4 folders)

L.O. 8.4

{#17.532} [Holdings] [Images]


Unarranged.

Two different groupings of miscellaneous materials are combined in this series. First, various lists relative to the Donation Land program are present. These files include listings of claimants, listings of people who signed over claims to various individuals, listings of land tracts claimed, patented and surveyed, as well as numerous other types of lists. The second group of documents contains miscellaneous files, much like those included in series #17.168. Examples of these files include affidavits, applications, correspondence and a few patents.


X. Records of Depreciation Land Program

Land in that portion of the Purchase of 1784 located west of the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek was set aside for Depreciation and Donation lands. The southern portion of the northwestern land was offered for sale in 1785 as Depreciation Land to redeem certificates given to Pennsylvania Line soldiers to compensate them for having received pay in depreciated continental currency. Under an act passed by the General Assembly on December 18, 1780, three auditors were empowered to estimate in specie the value of all sums of continental money received by officers and soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line. Each officer and soldier was then given certificates good for reimbursement of the difference between the depreciated value of the currency and the value if paid in specie. These certificates were thereafter to be considered as equal to specie in payment of confiscated estates of those persons who were attainted of treason and also accepted by officers of the Land Office for the purchase of land. This act also provided for money collected from the sale of confiscated estates to be paid into the treasury and to be reserved for redemption of the certificates. Under an act passed on March 12, 1783, western lands were set aside for the specific purpose of redeeming or paying the certificates. When these tracts were surveyed and began to be sold at auction it was discovered that they only brought in about two shillings and one-half pence per acre instead of the expected six shillings per acre. For this reason, the Supreme Executive Council soon abandoned the plan of selling them at public auction. The remaining unsold tracts were finally opened to settlement and improvement under the provisions of the act of April 4, 1792, and subsequent acts for the sale of vacant lands passed in 1811 and 1813.

 

Journal for Depreciation Lands and Philadelphia and Beaver Town Lots,

1783-1796.

(1 volume)

LO 25.78 PLR 152

{series #17.179} [Holdings]

Grouped by location and thereunder arranged chronologically by date of entry.

A record of town lots sold under the Divesting Act of 1779, which allowed occupants of unpatented lots in Philadelphia, Reading, York, Carlisle, Easton, Bedford, Sunbury and Hannah's Town who had previously warranted their lots sufficient time to follow through on their warrants. Under the legislation, warrantees were given seven years to complete purchases on pre-1733 and ten years to complete purchases on post-1733 warrants. Occupants of proprietary town lots completed their titles by purchasing their lots outright from the wardens or justices of the peace and these records will be found in the county jurisdiction with the wardens or justices listed as grantors.

 

Depreciation Land Drafts,

1785-1789.

(15 folders)

{series #17.180} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by district number.

Original drafts of Depreciation districts constructed from surveys. Many drafts give details concerning the acreage and soil quality for each tract. The original draft of Alexander McClean's surveys of the first district is missing but a linen tracing survives and contains information recorded during the first survey. Also present is a very fragile schedule of lots to which access is restricted.

 

Depreciation Certificates Canceled, No. 1

undated.

(1 volume, Binding 137)

PLR 162

{series #17.181} [Holdings]

Arranged randomly.

A record of Depreciation Certificates redeemed and returned to the Office of the Register General. Information given is the certificate number, the name of the person making the payment, and the amount of principal paid. The location of the Depreciation Lands is depicted by Map 5 on page 160 in Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Rescources, Inc., 1991). The Depreciation Lands encompassed portions of the present-day counties of Beaver, Lawrence, Allegheny, Butler, and Armstrong.

 

Depreciation Land Ledger,

undated.

(1 volume)

LO 25.35 PLR 162

{series #17.182} [Holdings]

Grouped by district and arranged thereunder numerically by tract number.

Ledger documenting returns for tracts sold to redeem Depreciation Certificates. Information given is the sequentially assigned tract number, name of the purchaser, number of acres returned, amount paid, date returned, and name of person for whom returned. The location of the Depreciation Lands is depicted by Map 5 on page 160 in Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Rescources, Inc., 1991). The Depreciation Lands encompassed portions of the present-day counties of Beaver, Lawrence, Allegheny, Butler, and Armstrong.

 

Depreciation Ticket Book,

undated.

(1 volume)

LO 25.36 PLR 162

{series #17.183} [Holdings]

Grouped by district and arranged thereunder numerically by ticket number.

A record of tickets issued for the purchase of lands appropriated for the redemption of Depreciation Certificates. Information given is the sequentially assigned ticket number, the district number, name of purchaser, a confirmation that the ticket represents a warrant to accept a survey, and the date the warrant to accept was issued. The location of the Depreciation Lands is depicted by Map 5 on page 160 in Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Rescources, Inc., 1991). The Depreciation Lands encompassed portions of the present-day counties of Beaver, Lawrence, Allegheny, Butler, and Armstrong.

 

Depreciation Land Register,

undated.

(1 volume)

Reel 3429

{series #17.185} [Holdings] [Images]

Grouped by district and arranged thereunder numerically by assigned number.

A nineteenth-century working register of the sales of lands appropriated for the redemption of Depreciation Certificates. Information given is the name of the surveyor, survey district number, survey map number, a sequentially assigned tract number, name of the purchaser, number of acres and perches, date of patent, name of patentee, and the volume, book and page numbers for both the patent and the survey. The location of the Depreciation Lands is depicted by Map 5 on page 160 in Donna Bingham Munger, Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research (Wilmington: Scholarly Rescources, Inc., 1991). The Depreciation Lands encompassed portions of the present-day counties of Beaver, Lawrence, Allegheny, Butler, and Armstrong.

For related materials on the Depreciation Land program see also Depreciation Certificate Accounts, 1781-1792{series #4.17}; Specie Day Book and Waste Book, 1775-1790 {series #4.53}; Specie Journals, 1775-1790 {series #4.54}; Specie Ledger, 1775-1790 {series #4.55} and Specie Ledger Balance Books, 1775-1790 {series #4.56} in the Records of the Office of Comptroller General. These series include loose redeemed depreciation certificates and bound ledgers documenting the amount of interest incurred for soldiers who received depreciation pay giving the veteran's name, regiment and amount of interest.

 

XI. Records of Connecticut Claims

The area today occupied by the counties of Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, and Bradford was originally occupied by settlers under the auspices of the Connecticut-based Susquehanna Company that had purchased Indian rights to the land several years before Pennsylvania acquired the same land as part of the Purchase of 1768. Pennsylvania settlers were at first prevented from applying for any of this land, however, until after preemption claims by squatters were settled. Connecticut settlers therefore enjoyed two years in which to erect their own townships, subdivide them into lots, and establish permanent farms. During this period, Connecticut settlers, encouraged by a radical faction within the Susquehanna Company, competed with Philadelphia land speculators who attempted to follow normal Pennsylvania warranting and patenting procedures. This competition resulted in three conflicts known collectively as the Yankee-Pennamite Wars between 1769 and 1771. The Trenton Decree of 1782 nullified Connecticut's jurisdiction within the present boundaries of Pennsylvania but did not settle who owned individual tracts of land in the disputed region. In 1799 the Pennsylvania Assembly created a board of commissioners to examine Connecticut claims, determine their authenticity, and award title. After identifying qualified Connecticut settlers already living in seventeen of more than a projected 250 Connecticut townships, the commissioners issued certificates that provided for a re-survey and granted a patent provided the new assessed valuation was paid as the purchase price. These seventeen townships were thereafter regarded as "certified" by Pennsylvania's commissioners. The 1799 law also provided for pre-1782 warrantees and patentees from Pennsylvania to release their land to the Commonwealth in return for just reimbursement. In 1807 an amendment to the 1799 legislation addressed the matter of overlapping Connecticut and Pennsylvania claims by allowing Pennsylvania claimants just compensation for releasing lands to the Commonwealth they had warranted or patented after 1782.

 

Letters of Evidence for Hanover, Newport, Wilkes Barre, and Kingston

[ca. 1779-1799].

(1 volume, Binding 57)

LO 25.30 PLR 139

{series #17.186} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally by surname of claimant.

Transcripts of letters of evidence submitted by Connecticut claimants to the first board of commissioners for land affected by the Connecticut claims under the Compromise Act of 1799. Information given is the name of the claimant, acreage of tract, lot number, district number, name of person for whom lot was drawn, a summary of any depositions or letters of administration, and the date the tract was granted to the claimant or to another person.

 

Connecticut Settlement File of Supreme Executive Council,

1782-1819.

(1 carton, 1 box)

LO 24.27-32

{series #17.187} [Holdings]

Original arrangement.

Correspondence, minutes and title papers relating to the settlement of the Connecticut claims. Information given varies with type of document but generally includes names of claimants, locations and acreage of tracts, and disposition of claims.

 

Deeds of Release and Related Records for Connecticut Claims,

1787-1805.

(1 carton, 1 box)

{series #17.188} [Holdings]

LO 24.29-32, 24.1-38
LO 24.1-38 p. 223

Unarranged.

Deeds of release and related types of records for tracts subject to Connecticut Claims. Information generally given is name of person releasing their claim, date of release, and the acreage and location of tract. The first folder contains a copy of the act for adjusting the Connecticut claims in Luzerne County passed on September 14, 1787. Also includes miscellaneous Deeds to the Commonwealth relating to Luzerne County.

Copied Deeds of Release-Related Records to Connecticut Claims,

1787-1805.

(2 boxes)

LO 24.1-38 p. 223

{series #17.541}
[Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Loose copies of deeds of release between Pennsylvania claimants and the Commonwealth for land originally claimed by Connecticut covered by the provisions of the Compromise Law of 1799. The information given in the releases includes the name of the claimant, the location and size of the tract, a recitation of the descent of title, a description of the metes and bounds, the date of the release, and frequently the name of the tract.

Also see Luzerne County Release Books, 1799-1822. {#17.196}.

 

Minutes of Evidence Respecting Titles of Connecticut Claimants,

[ca. 1787-1802].

(3 volumes, Bindings 71, 72, 73)

LO 25.32 PLR 139

{series #17.189} [Holdings]

Grouped by township and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

Partially indexed internally by surname of claimant.

Minutes of evidence of the 1801 board of commissioners selected to settle conflicts over individual land ownership. The minutes consist primarily of abstracts of conveyances between Connecticut claimants recorded in the Luzerne County deed books for Claverick, Northmoreland, Bedford, Huntington, Exetor, Braintrim, Springfield, Salem, Plymouth, Pittstown, Providence, and Putnam Townships. Information given is the date of transfer, purchase price, volume and page where transfer was recorded, the name of the person from whom the land was transferred, name of the person to whom transferred, name of the township in which the tract was located, tract number, division number, acreage, and occasionally also the name of the person for whom the lot was originally drawn.

 

Book of Fifteen Townships (Connecticut Claimants),

[ca. 1793-1807].

(1 volume, Binding 61)

LO 25.30 PLR 139

{series #17.190} [Holdings]

Grouped by township and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally by surname of claimant.

Transcripts of letters of evidence submitted by Connecticut claimants for land under the supplement of 1807 to the Compromise Act of 1799. Information given is the name of the claimant, acreage of tract, lot number, district number, name of person for whom lot was drawn, a summary of any depositions or letters of administration, and the date the tract was granted to the claimant or to another person.

 

Alphabetical List of Returns for Seventeen Townships,

[ca. 1799]

(1 folder).

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.191} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by first letter of surname of person for whom returned.

Information given is name of purchaser, township where located, acreage of tract, name of warrantee, date of survey, date of warrant, and date returned.

 

Schedule of Returns of Survey,

[ca. 1799].

(1 folder)

LO-24.29-32

{sereies # 17.192} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by return number.

Schedule of returns of survey of land released by the Commonwealth by Pennsylvania claimants and that were sent by the Surveyor General to the office of the commissioners appointed by the "Act for offering Compensation to the Pennsylvania Claimants of certain lands within the Seventeen Townships in the County of Luzerne, and other Purposes mentioned." Information given is claim number, name of warrantee or applicant, whether based on a warrant or application, application number, date of application, number of acres and perches in the tract, and name of person by whom released.

 

Abstracts of Releases of Connecticut Claims,

1799-1801.

(1 folder)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.193} [Holdings]

Arranged. sequentially by release number.

General abstracts of conveyances and releases for lands in Luzerne County under the title of the Commonwealth executed in pursuance of the Act of the General Assembly dated April 2, 1799. Information given is release number, name of grantor, place of grantor's residence, acreage and location of tract, date of release, county where located, and total acreage of all tracts released by each grantor.

 

Docket and List of Applicants in Seventeen Certified Townships,

1799-1803.

(1 folder)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.194} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Docket book for proceedings in contested claims of the Seventeen Townships of Luzerne County and book containing a list of the names of Connecticut applicants. The former gives the names of contesting claimants, the division and lot number, and date of the appeal. The latter volume gives application number and/or date of application, name of applicant and the name of the township where tract was located.

 

Miscellaneous Drafts of Surveys for Connecticut Claims,

1799-1819.

(1 folder)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.195} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous drafts of surveys for tracts involved in the Connecticut claims, many of which illustrate overlapping claims. Information generally given is dates of original and subsequent surveys, name of names of persons for whom surveyed, location and acreage of tract, and the metes and bounds of the tract. Interspersed among these drafts are various types of records relating to the surveys such as wills, lists of caveats, and deeds of release.

 

Luzerne County Release Books,

1799-1822.

(2 volumes, Bindings 1 and 3)

{series #17.196} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of claimant.

Copies of deeds of release between Pennsylvania claimants and the Commonwealth for land originally claimed by Connecticut that was covered by the provisions of the Compromise Law of 1799 that settled the Pennsylvania-Connecticut border dispute. Binding No. 1 covers the 1799-1801 period and Binding No. 3 covers the 1800-1822 period. The information given in the releases is the name of the claimant, the location and size of the tract, a recitation of the descent of title, a description of the metes and bounds, the date of the release, and frequently the name of the tract.

The master index of the names of original warrantees or applicants whose names appear in both volumes will be found in volume 3. This index gives the name of either the original warrantee or the applicant, the number of acres and perches warranted, the date of the warrant and the warrant number, the date of the application and the application number, the name of the person who released the tract, the book and page number where the release is recorded, and the book, volume, and page number of the survey.

 

Seventeen Townships: Claimant Papers,

[ca. 1799-1810, 1825].

(11 cartons)

LO 9.1-120

{series #17.197} [Holdings]

Grouped by certified township, then by type of material such as applications, claims, deeds, oaths of single title, and miscellaneous materials, within which they are arranged alphabetically by surname of claimant. An additional set of miscellaneous papers and deeds and survey files are arranged alphabetically by claimant at the end of the series.

Applications were filed pursuant to the Act of Assembly passed April 4, 1799 entitled "An Act for offering compensation to the Pennsylvania Claimants of certain lands within the Seventeen Townships in the County of Luzerne, and for other purposes therein mentioned." Under the provisions of this legislation, persons called Connecticut Settlers were given an opportunity between the date of passage of the Act and January 1, 1801 to apply to the Land Office for the land upon which they were seated. Information provided is name of applicant, quantity of land, the name of the township where the land was located, date of application, and names of the witnesses.

The claims files contain claimant papers and sworn statements made before justices of the peace attesting to having witnessed execution of deeds on particular parcels of land located within the Seventeen Certified Townships. The claimant papers generally provide the name of claimant, the township where the tract was located, date of deed, a brief description of the boundaries of the tract, and the acreage encompassed by the tract. The information generally provided in the sworn statements is date of the oath, name of deponent, date the deed was said to have been executed and by whom, lot number, township where the tract was located, name of the person by whom purchased, and name of the justice of the peace.

The deeds provide name of grantor, township where tract was located, acreage of tract, consideration paid, name of grantee, description of the location and boundaries of the tract, signature of the grantor, and the signatures of the witnesses.

The oaths of single title provide the date of the oath, name of the Connecticut Settler, date of settler's application, acreage of the tract, name of the township where the tract was located, and a sworn statement affirming "that he doth not claim title to the lands, or any of them submitted in the application under a joint right of Pennsylvania claimants, and of the Connecticut settlers, but that he holds the said lands exclusively under a Connecticut claim, right or title, and that he hath not directly or indirectly done, or caused to be done, any act or thing to destroy or conceal such joint title, with a view of coming within the provision of the aforesaid act." Each oath is signed by the settler and by the commissioner before whom the oath was sworn.

The miscellaneous papers include certificates to survey tracts, drafts of re-surveys, statements by members of committees assigned to investigate title to tracts within the township, and lists of the names of early proprietors living within the township. Information provided in the certificates is name of township, name of the person by whom the tract was taken up, name of the person by whom the tract was released to the Commonwealth, acreage of the tract, the class in which the land was rated, the amount paid for the tract, the date the certificate was issued, and the signatures of the commissioners. The survey drafts provide the name of the tract, name of township where located, acreage and number of perches, date of re-survey, name of the person for whom re-surveyed, signature of the surveyor, date of the original order to survey, and survey number. Statements from committee members assigned to investigate the original grants issued in the township, the names of the proprietors whose names appeared on those applications, and the names of actual settlers living in the township generally reveals whether an original survey for the township was located, the name of the person who did any actual surveys, and any conditions discovered concerning disruption of settlement during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Other related information recorded in earlier public records relating to the activities of the Susquehanna Company may also be included. Also present are lists of applications providing application number, name of warrantee, number of acres warranted, and name of person to whom the land was released, together with occasional additional notations. There are also some chain of title papers documenting transfers of land via deeds, agreements, and mortgages. Finally, there are lists of the names of proprietors living in the township as early as 1776, many of whom never formally applied for grants of land.

A series of 49 folders of separate miscellaneous files located behind all of the township files contain alphabetical lists of the names of proprietors living in each of the townships together with miscellaneous lists of claims, records of deed transfers, orphan court records, etc. An additional 6 folders marked General Deeds and Surveys contain deeds whereby grantors released their interests in tracts located in the Seventeen Certified Townships to subsequent claimants. Also present in these folders are copies of wills and probate records relating to these tracts. The surveys in these files frequently depict overlapping claims and connected tracts. The source materials in this series were used in preparing the twelve bound volumes entitled Seventeen Certified Townships, Surveys and Certification, undated {series #17.204}.

 

Names of Releasors to John and Richard Penn By Their Attorney Edmond Physick,

[ca. 1800].

(2 volumes, Bindings A and B) PLR 140

{series #17.198} [Holdings]

Arranged variously in many different sections, often alphabetically by surnames of releasors.

A listing of the names of landholders living within the seventeen certified townships covered by the Connecticut claims who released their land to the Commonwealth. Also included is John Franklin's map of Luzerne County showing the lines of the seventeen certified townships as accepted by John Shippen on October 13, 1800. The dates of warrants cover the period 1683-1799. The first three pages of Volume A contain a list of 211 names of warrantees grouped alphabetically by surname, giving for each the number appearing on the draft and the number of acres warranted. The balance of the volume contains tables giving the name of the person releasing claim, the corresponding number appearing in the General Index to Leases and Releases, undated {series #17.6}, the number assigned in the copied releases, the name of the warrantee, the name of the tract, the number of acres and perches, the names of any bodies of water near or on which the tract was located, the date of the warrant or the patent, and the name of the Connecticut township in which the tract was located. Volume B commences with an incomplete alphabetical list of releasors giving the name of the releasor, the name of the warrantee, and the number of acres. This is followed by an alphabetical list of the names of adjoining property owners; whether the name appears on a survey, patent or warrant; in what township the tract was located; the name of the person by whom released, and occasional notations indicating whether the title was defective. Finally, an alphabetical list at the back of the book gives the names of warrantees, the number of acres and perches warranted, the name of the township where the tract was located, the date of the warrant, and the date of the survey.

 

Abstracts of Deeds of Application for Connecticut Claims,

[ca. 1800].

(1 box)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.199} [Holdings]

Arranged thereunder by tract number.

Abstracts of the deeds of application, also labeled "Lists of Certificates," of the Connecticut claimants under the Act of the General Assembly of April 4, 1799. Information given is tract number, name of applicant, acreage claimed, township where located, date of application, date entered in the office, and the number of acres and perches entered. For Wilkes-Barre the acreage is broken down into categories called first, second, third, and fourth classes.

 

Letters of Pennsylvania Claimants,

1800-1804.

(2 volumes, Bindings 62, 59)

LO 25.30 PLR 140

{series #17.200} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of letter.

Indexed internally by surname of releasor.

Copies of letters exchanged between commissioners appointed to settle Connecticut claims and Pennsylvania landholders concerning the release of land. Information generally given is date of letter, name of claimant, location of tract, and the status of the claim.

 

Commissioners' Letters,

1801-1802.

(1 folder)

{series #17.201} [Holdings]

Copies of letters of Commissioners Thomas Cooper and John Steele and of Commissioner's Clerk Thomas Lloyd concerning the Connecticut claims.

 

Luzerne Certified Townships,

[ca. 1804-1810].

(18 folders)

{series #17.202} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by name of township.

A collection of maps of the region originally claimed by Connecticut that was acquired by Pennsylvania in the Purchase of 1768 and which subsequently became part of the counties of Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, and Bradford. Each map shows plots that were laid out under the Seventeen Certified Townships of Connecticut and gives the names of each lot's owner. The map for Claverack Township is missing.

 

Journal of Commissioners,

1810.

(1 volume, Binding 23)

LO 25.21 PLR 139

{series #17.203} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Minutes of hearings for settling Connecticut title claims in Bedford and Ulster Townships under the Act of March 19, 1810. Information given includes the names of the Connecticut and Pennsylvania claimants, acreage and location of the tract, dates of original Connecticut and Pennsylvania claims, and disposition of the claims.


Seventeen Certified Townships: Original (Loose) Surveys and Certifications, 1796-1805.

(9 flat file boxes)

LO 24.1-38 p. 223

{series #17.538} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed in Certified Townships: Luzerne County {series #17.205}.

Re-surveys of all lots granted to qualified Connecticut claimants in the Seventeen Certified Townships of Braintrum, Claverack, Exeter, Kingston, Huntington, Hanover, Bedford, Ulster, Springfield, Plymouth, Putnam, Newport, Northumberland, Providence, Salem, Pittston, and Wilkes Barre. Information given is name of tract owner, date of survey, and location of tract. The raw materials from which the information in these volumes was assembled will be found in Seventeen (17) Townships Claimant Papers [ca. 1799-1810, 1825] {series #17.197}].

Seventeen Certified Townships: Surveys and Certifications,

1895-1912.

(12 volumes)

LO 25.30-35 PLR 138

{series #17.204} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed in Certified Townships: Luzerne County {series #17.205}.

Copies of re-surveys of all lots granted to qualified Connecticut claimants in the Seventeen Certified Townships of Braintrim, Claverack, Exeter, Kingston, Huntington, Hanover, Bedford, Ulster, Springfield, Plymouth, Putnam, Newport, Northumberland, Providence, Salem, Pittston, and Wilkes Barre. Information given is name of tract owner, date of survey, and location of tract. The raw materials from which the information in these volumes was assembled will be found in Seventeen (17) Townships Claimant Papers [ca. 1799-1810, 1825] {series #17.197}.

 

Certified Townships: Luzerne County,

undated.

(1 volume)

LO 1.22 PLR 138

{series #17.205} [Holdings] [Images]

Grouped by township and arranged thereunder alphabetically by surname of patentee.

A register to surveys and patents for tracts lying within the Certified Townships of Luzerne County originally claimed by Connecticut settlers. Information given is lot number, the name of the person to whom granted, the number of acres and perches, the name of the person to whom patented, and the volume, book and page numbers where the patent and the copied survey are recorded.

 

 

Lists of Warrantees of Connecticut Claims,

undated.

(1 folder)

{series #17.207} [Holdings]

Various arrangements and generally grouped by township.

Lists of the names of Connecticut claimants. Information usually given is name of claimant, lot number, and location of tract. The warrantee lists give for each tract the name of original warrantee, acreage warranted, acreage surveyed, name of nearest body of water, and the name of an adjoining property owner.

 

Classification and Valuation for the Seventeen Certified Townships

undated.

(2 volumes, Bindings 70 and 60)

LO 25.30-32 PLR 139

{series #17.208} [Holdings]

Arranged by township and division.

Record of the classification and valuation placed on each tract in the Seventeen Certified Townships subject to Connecticut claims. Information given is name of the tract owner and valuation placed on each lot.

 

XII. Records of Virginia Claims

Virginia's governor Lord Dunmore asserted a claim to the region west of the Laurel Mountains and south of the Ohio River. Governor Dunmore claimed the region had been part of Augusta County since 1754 and it was further subdivided by Virginia into the counties of Monongalia, Yohogania, and Ohio in 1776 with each having its own surveyor and land office. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania established the region as Bedford County in 1771 and Westmoreland County in 1773. From 1770 to 1776 conflicting claims resulted in Lord Dunmore's War that was characterized by occasional skirmishing between Indians, European settlers, and colonial officers from Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Settlers in the region frequently warranted the same tract with both Virginia and Pennsylvania resulting in a dual set of land records. Under an agreement reached in 1779 to settle the boundary dispute, settlers holding Virginia certificates living north of the new boundary were entitled to Pennsylvania warrants. In 1784 the Pennsylvania Land Office acquired transcripts of Virginia grants, though few of these have survived. When settlers applied for a re-survey, Pennsylvania's deputy surveyor posted a public notice announcing the date when the re-survey would be made and, in cases of conflicting claims, the land was awarded to the claimant holding the earliest claim regardless of whether the right was acquired through Virginia or Pennsylvania.

 

Virginia Entries,

1779-1780.

(2 volumes)

LO 35.1 PLR 135

(series #17.209) [Holdings]

Grouped by deputy surveyor. Thereunder, one volume is arranged alphabetically by surname of purchaser and the other volume chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of purchaser.

Registers of entries and returns for the region of Pennsylvania covered by Virginia claims. The Pennsylvania returns may be located through the warrant registers. Information given in this series is the date of original entry, name of original settler, date of return, name of person for whom returned, number of acres, and a very brief description of the location. The chronological volume is labeled "New Purchase Index and Virginia Entries, Vol. 168-169" and contains occasional penciled notations giving the survey volume, book, and page number. A chronological listing of these Virginia claimants has been published in Pennsylvania Archives (3) 3:507-573.

 

Returns for Virginia Claimants,

1779-1920.

(1 folder)

LO 5.119 PLR 135

{series #17.210} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Printed copies of Virginia patents and handwritten depositions concerning tracts located west of the Laurel Mountains and south of the Ohio River. These include a copy of a patent for a tract of 2,832 acres then located in Augusta County that was granted to George Washington by King George III for services Colonel Washington rendered to Virginia during the French and Indian War. Information given is the name of the Virginia claimant, date of the patent, acreage of the tract, location of the tract, courses and distances, and the Virginia patent book and page number where recorded. The Pennsylvania returns may be located through the warrant registers for Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette, and Allegheny counties.

 

Lists of Virginia Lands Returned as Delinquent and Sold,

1816-1820.

(1 folder)

LO 24.34-38

{series #17.211} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and listed thereunder alphabetically by surname of tract owner.

Lists of lands and lots in Harrison, Pendleton, Rockbridge, and Shenandoah Counties of Virginia returned as delinquent for non-payment of taxes that was prepared by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and lists of such lots subsequently sold for arrears of taxes. These were afterwards redeemed under the provisions of the Act of Assembly passed February 20, 1817 and were redeemable by the original owners prior to January 1, 1832. The delinquent lists give the name of the owner, place of residence, acreage of tract, occasionally the location and distance and bearing from county court house, the years returned as delinquent, the amount of taxes for each year, and the total amount of tax due on each tract. The lists of lots sold gives for each tract the name of the delinquent owner, the acreage of the tract, name of the purchaser, place of residence of purchaser, location of tract, distance and bearing from county court house, the amount of taxes and damages paid by state to redeem the tract, and remarks that usually give the years for which the taxes were redeemed.

 

 

XIII. Records Relating to Vacant Land Law of 1792

After the individual Depreciation and Donation tracts had been surveyed in the Last Purchase of 1784, the remaining unwarranted land north and west of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, including the Erie Triangle, was opened for settlement in 1792. The new law required purchasers or their representatives to settle, improve, and cultivate vacant land before a patent could be granted. Squatters already living on the land who had made improvements applied directly to the deputy surveyor to make a survey instead of to the Land Office. The deputy surveyor kept a book of completed surveys available for public inspection and a connected draft of all survey plats was forwarded to the Land Office each February. Warrants to accept a survey were then issued to the applicants. Warrantees were required to submit proof of settlement certificates demonstrating five years of residency before patents were issued. Exceptions to the five-year rule were granted for warrantees who were prevented from occupying their land by enemies of the United States.

Speculators of the Pennsylvania Population Company and the Holland Land Company took advantage of this provision to buy up large numbers of warrants directly through the Land Office under fictitious names. Comptroller of the Commonwealth John Nicholson also purchased large numbers of warrants. In 1797 the Board of Property ruled that patents might be granted without settlement if a valid prevention certificate attested by two justices of the peace and signed by the deputy surveyor could be produced. Most of the resulting prevention certificates were submitted by land companies on behalf of individual settlers and were filed with the particular company's papers in the Land Office collection.

To eliminate collusion between speculators and deputy surveyors, from 1799 county survey districts were redrawn and new deputy surveyors were appointed. The Commonwealth Supreme Court also reversed the Board of Property decision and ruled that the warrantee must show actual proof of settlement within two years of the date that military prevention ceased. From 1804, squatters' applications were given the force of vacating warrants and no fees were required. From 1811, new legislation provided for the settlement of disputes between speculators and squatters that involved the filing of a deed poll in both the county deed office and the Land Office as evidence of such agreements. From 1814, actual settlers were given legal priority over speculators who were required to prove that they or their representatives were individually prevented from settling on the land by enemies of the United States during the two years after the date of the warrant.

 

Title Papers (Including Pre-Patent Deed Polls under 1811 Law),

1695-1836.

(6 cartons)

LO 12.1-8 PLR 174

{series #17.212} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by first letter of surname of patentee.

Original deeds between first and second owners and pre-patent deed polls from the original warrantee to the second owner. These deed polls were submitted in compliance with the 1811 law permitting both speculator and squatter to patent portions of the same warranted tract. Where a settler already occupied a 400-acre tract warranted to a speculator, a patent was granted to both settler and speculator if the speculator agreed to release to the settler 150 acres that included the settler's improvements. If the speculator had assisted the squatter in making a settlement, then only 50 acres need be released to the settler. In addition to the usual proof of settlement, a deed poll was filed with the county recorder of deeds as evidence of the agreement. Information given on the deeds and the deed polls is the name of the grantee, the name of the grantor, date of transfer, acreage, and location of the tract.

 

Population Land Company Prevention Certificates

[ca. 1792-1798].

(1 carton)

LO 10.2-3 PLR 144

{series #17.213} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of grantee.

Prevention certificates filed on behalf of both real and fictional warrantees for land purchased through the Population Land Company. This series consists of forty-two folders of prevention certificates filed under the 1792 law requiring that for every 400-acre tract the warrantee must occupy, clear and cultivate 10 acres within two years. The prevention certificates were secured in the name of both real and fictitious warrantees to document why they had been prevented from settling on the land within the requisite period by military activities of enemies of the United States. The certificates are sworn statements notarized by a justice of the peace. Information given is the grantee's name, number of acres warranted, date of warrant, surveying district, and names of adjoining property owners.

 

Proof of Settlement Certificates

[ca. 1792-1865].

(4 cartons)

LO 14.1-5 PLR 173

{series #17.214} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and arranged thereunder alphabetically by surname of patentee.

Proof of settlement certificates required for patenting land under the vacant land law of 1792. Information given is the patentee's original date of settlement (this may differ from the warrant date and the tract may lie in a different location from that specified on the warrant), the names of adjoining property owners, and a description of the tract. These certificates also sometimes provide descriptions of buildings erected, the state of cultivation of the land, and a description of other improvements.

 

Certificates of Exoneration,

[1765-1856 and undated].

(1 carton)

LO 20.1-3

{series #17.215} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of deposition.

Depositions documenting that a settler was driven off or prevented from settling his land by Indians. Information given is the name of the settler, the date the settler was driven off or prevented, the location of the tract, the date of the deposition, and the signature of the justice of the peace before whom the deposition was sworn.

 

Holland Land Company Prevention Certificates,

1798.

(1 carton, 1 box)

LO 10.1-2 PLR 144

{series #17.216} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of grantee.

Prevention certificates explaining why certain Holland Land Company purchasers could not settle on their tracts that were filed in accordance with the terms of the Vacant Land Law of 1792. Wilhelm Willinck, chief agent of the Holland Land Company that was formed in 1796 by investors from The Netherlands, bought over 1,100 warrants in his own name and subsequently purchased nearly as many more from other speculators. For this reason, the grantees' names appearing on these certificates are frequently fictitious. Information given is the grantee's name, number of acres granted, date of warrant, surveying district, and names of adjoining owners.

Deputy Surveyor's Certificates,

1756-1841 (bulk 1792-1795).

(1 carton)

LO 19.5-6

{series #17.533} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by name of the deputy surveyor.

Certificates issued by the Commonwealth's various surveyors, pursuant to an act of the General Assembly passed March 29, 1792. The certificates verified that warrants previously had been issued for land tracts on which later warrants also had been obtained. Names of the previous and later warrantee, dates those warrants were issued, amount of acreage, as well as the location of tract in question are included.

XIV. Records of Nicholson Lands

Comptroller General of Pennsylvania from 1782 to 1794, John Nicholson was one of the auditors for settling Depreciation accounts and used his power and influence with Surveyor General Daniel Broadhead to amass a paper fortune in Pennsylvania land. One of the founders and chief financial officer of the Population Land Company, Nicholson negotiated the purchase of 202,000 acres in the "Erie Triangle" from the federal government in 1792 while simultaneously applying for 390 warrants that blanketed the entire region. At the peak of his power he and his associates controlled more than 500,000 acres that they capitalized to form the Population Land Company. The managers of the company included Holland Land Company agent Theophile Cazenove, Fort Pitt Commander William Irvine, Philadelphia merchant George Mead, Deputy Surveyors Danial Leet and John Hoge, and Port of Philadelphia Revenue Inspector Walter Stewart. Major investors included Aaron Burr, Robert Morris, James Wilson and John Nicholson. After Nicholson was impeached in 1794 for diverting state funds, he resigned his post and expanded the scale of his land speculation. When he became overextended the Commonwealth placed a lien on his lands and he was sent to prison in 1799. Following his death in prison, the Commonwealth seized his papers and land titles and discharged the liens between 1806 and 1843, transferring the lands to private owners. For related John Nicholson materials see also the Sequestered John Nicholson Papers, 1765-1852 (Manuscript Group 96).

 

John Nicholson Office Expense and Depreciation Accounts,

1762-1786.

(1 folder)

LO-24.32

{series #17.217} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of account.

Account papers of money received and paid for Depreciation pay for the army and for contingent office expenses during John Nicholson's tenure as auditor of the Depreciation accounts. For related records see also Depreciation Certificate Accounts, 1781-1792 {series #4.17} and A State of the Finances of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by John Nicholson, 1787 {series #4.58} in the Records of the Office of Comptroller General.

 

Articles of Impeachment,

1792.

(1 folder)

LO 24.1

{series #17.218} [Holdings]

 

A copy of the articles of impeachment against John Nicholson passed by the General Assembly and lists of questions to be asked of Nicholson during the impeachment trial. Also present is an estimate of the value of property of the state that had been placed under the control of John Nicholson prior to his impeachment.

 

John Nicholson Donation Lands Warrant Book,

1792-1794.

(1 volume)

{series #17.219} [Holdings]

Arranged sequentially by tract number.

Record book for warranting and surveying of Donation lands kept by John Nicholson. Information given is tract number, number of acres and perches surveyed, name of warrantee, county where located, and date warranted. Additional lists within the volume are grouped by county and are also arranged thereunder sequentially by tract number. Information on these lists is tract number, number of acres warranted, name of warrantee, a general description of location, and date warranted.

 

John Nicholson Correspondence,

1792-1797.

(3 folders)

LO 24.32-38

{series #17.220} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by date of document.

Correspondence of John Nicholson and others relating to the purchase of tracts, many of which became subject to the Commonwealth liens against the Nicholson estate. Information generally given is date of letter, name of purchaser, a description of location and acreage of tract, and a description of any special circumstances or obligations associated with the purchase. Interspersed among these are Nicholson account papers, receipts, and printed resolutions concerning legislation to fund Depreciation payments to Revolutionary War veterans and for funding the Delaware and Schuylkill Canal.

 

Nicholson Promissory Payment Book,

1793-1794.

(1 folder)

LO 24.34-38

series #17.221} [Holdings]

Arrangement sequentially by receipt number.

Promissory payment stub books kept by John Nicholson containing endorsed promissory slips taped to their corresponding stub after payments were received. Information given is receipt number, date of promise to pay, terms of payment, name of person making payment, amount paid, and the date the promissory note was returned with payment Also present is a Pennsylvania Land Company rental book containing a few entries. Information given on these is schedule and lot number, a brief description of improvements, and name of tenant.

 

Deed Polls for Nicholson Lands,

1793-1795.

(2 folders)

LO 24.32-34

{series #17.222} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of deed poll.

Deed polls for tracts of land in Northumberland and Luzerne Counties that eventually became subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas established to settle the claims against the estate of John Nicholson. Information given is name of applicant, acreage and location of tract, name of an owner of an adjacent tract, date of application, name of grantee, amount of consideration, and date of deed poll. Also present is a list of deed polls dated August 17, 1793 giving sequential deed poll number and name of grantee.

 

John Nicholson Papers,

1795-1856.

(2 cartons)

LO 24.32-38

{series #17.223} [Holdings]

The first three folders are arranged sequentially by an assigned number and the balance is unarranged.

The first three folders of this series contains the following items concerning the settlement of the Commonwealth liens against the estate of John Nicholson:

JN-1-1 Fragmentary list of the names of warrantees for tracts located in Northumberland County giving name of warrantee, location of tract and acreage of tract.

JN-1-2 Surveyor General Certificate dated March 4 1840 for a 5,602-acre tract belonging to John Nicholson that was identified on James Hunter's list of returns on July 15, 1794.

JN-1-3 Letter from Nicholson Court Judge Joseph B. Anthony to Surveyor General Jacob Salada dated August 23, 1839 asking for records in Salada's custody relating to the lands of John Nicholson and Peter Baynton.

JN-1-4 Letter to Nicholson Court Judge Joseph B. Anthony from William M. Cox dated 1841 containing a statement of time and expenditures involved in his acting as agent for collecting information on the Nicholson land case.

JN-1-5 Rough copy of an "Order or Process for the sale of tracts of land belonging to the estate of Peter Baynton" dated April 20, 1842.

JN-1-6 List of official copies of surveys provided by Surveyor General Jacob Sallade to Commissioner William Primrose.

JN-1-7 Instruction issued by Governor Joseph Hiester on February 12, 1821 for the sale of lands that were formerly the property of John Nicholson, deceased.

JN-1-8 Report to Governor David R. Porter dated July 1, 1842 from the commissioners appointed for the sale of the Nicholson land.

JN-2-1 Certificate for purchase of 436 acres and 107 perches of land in Huntingdon County by Robert T. Stewart held under warrant of Ellis Martin. (April 28, 1808)

JN-2-2 Canceled Mortgage of Nathaniel Bedford and Thomas Collins (July 14, 1817)

JN-2-3 Title Papers on which John Elliott of Carlisle obtained a deed for a 225-acre tract in Greencastle Township, Mifflin County on March 29, 1817.

JN-2-4 Commissioners' Certificate for the sale of 36 tracts to John Hastings and his conveyance of the same to James Trimble on April 19, 1808.

JN-2-5 Bond #69 of John Elliott to State Treasurer.

JN-2-6 Receipt for money paid by Thomas Grant and Daniel Smith for 150 acres in Luzerne County patented on April 26, 1808.

JN-2-7 Robert Reed's Certificate granting his interest in a tract of land near the line between Lycoming and Northumberland Counties to James Humes on January 19, 1808.

JN-2-8 Commissioner Certificate for bond given by John Bonberger for a tract in Cambria County on March 12, 1808.

JN-2-9 Commissioners' Certificate of payments made by Thomas Grant for two undivided third parts of three tracts located in Bald Eagle Township, Centre County on May 9, 1809.

JN-2-10 Commissioners' Certificate of payments by James Griffin for a tract located in Greenwood Township, Mifflin County on July 18, 1807.

JN-2-11 Release to Matthew Allison by Thomas Williamson and Archibald Stewart for a tract located in Bald Eagle Township, Centre County on December 5, 1817.

JN-2-12 Bond of James Hopkins to George Ross dated March 31, 1838.

JN-2-13 Connected draft of land sold to Matthew Allison by the Commissioners in Bald Eagle Township, Centre County dated February 18, 1818.

JN-2-14 Copy of John Nicholson Letter of Attorney granting Omer Talon power of attorney dated May 13, 1795.

JN-2-5 Printer's proofs of published list of the names of owners of lands involved in the Nicholson case. Information given is name of owner of record, acreage of tract and taxes owed.

JN-2-16 Broadside of the State Capitol Gazette andndash; Extra dated at Harrisburg, September 26, announcing the plans for adjusting the claims against the Nicholson estate.

JN-2-17 Supplement to the Aurora published on Wednesday, July 20, 1803 providing a listing of the tracts in the various counties involved in the Nicholson case.

JN-3-1 Preliminary draft of senate bill to settle estates of John Nicholson and Peter Baynton dated May 9, 1840.

JN-3-2 Petition of the citizens of Erie County to Joseph B. Anthony, Judge of the Nicholson Court.

JN-3-3 Four drafts of tracts surveyed for Sharp Delany, John Craig, Isaac Wigton, and Joshua Seely located in Northampton County.

JN-3-4 Draft illustrating the overlap of a survey for a large Nicholson tract with smaller tracts surveyed for James Allen and others.

The rest of the series consists of generally unprocessed records removed from a miscellaneous assortment of sources all relating to the settlement of the Commonwealth liens against the Nicholson estate.

 

Nicholson Lands: Commissioners' Returns of Sale,

1797-[ca. 1845].

(1 volume)

LO 25.118-119 PLR 145

{series #17.224} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally.

Returns of sale and miscellaneous records pertaining to the sale of Nicholson-owned lands through several different land companies and including extracts of the 1840s proceedings to settle the Commonwealth's case against John Nicholson's estate. Also present is a list of names grouped by county of individual tract owners and the acreage claimed by each.

 

Bonds to the Treasurer of Commonwealth,

1808-1842.

(1 folder)

LO 24.32-38

{series #17.225} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of bond.

Bonds between purchasers and the treasurer of the Commonwealth for purchase of lands formerly owned by John Nicholson against which the Commonwealth had placed a lien. Information given is name of purchaser, the amount of the bond, date of bond, and the amounts and dates of each payment due.

 

Minute Book of the Special Board Appointed by Act of April 11, 1825,

1831-1837.

(1 volume)

LO 24.34-38

{series #17.226} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Minutes of the Special Board appointed under the Act of April 11, 1825 to dispose of the lands in the estates of John Nicholson and Peter Baynton. Information generally given is date of entry, name of claimant and a brief description of the nature of the claim. After a series of chronological entries dated through 1837, the greater portion of the text is in shorthand.

 

Joseph B. Anthony Investigative Report on Nicholson Case,

1839.

(1 folder)

LO 24.34-38

{series #17.227} [Holdings]

1 item.

Report by Nicholson Court Judge Joseph B. Anthony to Governor David R. Porter concerning the findings of his investigation into the activities of John Nicholson and Peter Baynton. Dated November 14, 1839, this report was submitted in conformity to the first and ninth articles of the Act of the General Assembly dated July 2, 1839.

 

Minutes of the Board of Commissioners Constituted Under Act of April 16, 1840,

1840-1843.

(1 volume)

LO 25.119 PLR 145

{series #17.228} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Minute book of the meetings of the commissioners appointed to settle the ownership of the lands of John Nicholson that were subject to a lien by the Commonwealth. Information given is the complete text of the Act of April 16, 1840 and the minutes of the board of commissioners giving the date of the of each session, the names of the commissioners present, and a description of the business transacted. Mentioned in the minutes are the names of plaintiffs, descriptions and locations of tracts that were the subject to the liens, the names of persons for whom the tracts were surveyed, the dates of surveys, and where the surveys were recorded.

 

Deed Book for Nicholson Lands Sold Under Act of 1840,

1840-1843.

(1 volume)

LO 25.119 PLR 144

{series #17.229} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Deeds of conveyance from the Commonwealth to individuals under the Act of 1840 to settle the estates of former Pennsylvania Comptroller General John Nicholson and Philadelphia merchant Peter Baynton who had served as State Treasurer in 1797 and Adjutant General in 1799. Information given is the date of the conveyance, name of the grantee, acreage conveyed, and a description of the boundaries of the tract.

 

Minute Book of Nicholson's Court,

1841-1843.

(1 volume)

LO 25.118 PLR 145

{series #17.230} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of court session.

Minutes of the 1841 court proceedings to settle the estates of John Nicholson and Peter Baynton. Governor David R. Porter appointed Joseph B. Anthony to serve as judge of the Nicholson Court of Pleas. The minutes document the daily business of the court including the names of plaintiffs, dates of court sessions, locations of tracts of land subject to the court, and the names of the persons to whom the land was disposed.

 

Printed List of Warrantee Names of the Nicholson Court,

[ca. 1792-1841].

(5 volumes)

LO 24.34-38

{series #17.231} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of warrant.

A list of the names of warrantees documenting the warranting of land by John Nicholson commencing in 1792. The list was prepared as part of the proceedings to settle the liens placed against Nicholson's estate by the Commonwealth. Information given for each tract includes dates of application and warrant, name of warrantee, location of the tract, name of the person who paid the purchase money, and the number of acres and perches surveyed.

 

Correspondence of Nicholson Land Commissioners,

1842.

(1 box)

LO 24.34-38

{series #17.232} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Correspondence to and from the commissioners appointed to settle the liens against the estates of John Nicholson and Peter Baynton. Information given generally includes date of correspondence, names of purchasers, locations and acreage of tracts, and amount owed to the Commonwealth. Also present are copies of the terms of sale of the John Nicholson's and Peter Baynton's lands.

 

Agreements,

1842-1843.

(1 box)

LO 24.11-14

{series #17.233} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of agreement.

Agreements made by the commissioners appointed to settle the estate of John Nicholson under the Act of April 16, 1840 between the Commonwealth and purchasers of Nicholson tracts. Information given is date of agreement, name of purchaser, county of residence, a description of the tract, the amount of the Commonwealth lien, the amount and terms of payment to the Commonwealth, and the signatures of the commissioners confirming that title to the tract would be conveyed upon final payment.

 

Docket Books of Suits in Court,

Undated.

(1 folder)

LO 24.34-38

{series #17.234} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally alphabetically by surname of claimant.

Docket books for suits heard before the Nicholson Court of Common Pleas. Information generally given is name of attorney, date suit was heard, costs, whether the suit was concerned with notes or bonds, dates when note or bond was due and when issued, name of the plaintiff, and remarks. Also present is a small Stock Book containing entries relating to the Population Land Company, North American Land Company, Territorial Land Company, Pennsylvania Land Company, Carolina Land Company, Georgia Land Company, Kentucky Land Company, and Company of Aggregate Fund. Finally there is an index of subject matter found in a newspaper entitled the Supporter or Daily Repast.

 

XV. Graduated Land Certificates

Certificates of appraisal were issued under the Act of April 10, 1835 to graduate the land on which money was then due to the Commonwealth. This act required each of the counties to establish boards of appraisers to appraise land on which purchase money was due at fair cash value per acre and then to classify the land into one of four graduated categories according to that value. The owners were then required to pay to the Commonwealth the original purchase price plus an interest payment of 6%, 4.5%, 3% or 0% depending upon the category into which the land was graduated. Additional material on the Graduated Land Program will be found in Secretary of the Land Office Letter Books, 1800-1811, 1838-1839 and [ca. 1855] {series #17.240}.

 

Commissioners' Certificates

[ca. 1835].

(7 cartons)

LO 27.1-12 PLR 178

{series #17.235} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of graduation.

Certificates of appraisal issued by commissioners appointed under the Act of April 10, 1835 to graduate the land on which money was due to the Commonwealth. This act required the counties to establish boards of appraisers to appraise land on which purchase money was due at fair cash value per acre and then to classify the land into one of four graduated categories according to that value. The owners were then required to pay to the Commonwealth the original purchase price plus an interest payment of 6%, 4.5%, 3% or 0% depending upon the category into which the land was graduated. Information given is the name of the township, the number of acres, the date of the warrant, the name of the warrantee, the classification of the land, and the date of the appraisal.

 

Miscellaneous Surveys and Graduated Land Certificates,

1831-1857.

(4 folders)

LO 24.27-29

{series #17.236} [Holdings]

No apparent arrangement.

Miscellaneous Graduated Land Certificates and a few associated surveys. Information typically given is the name of the township, the number of acres, the date of the warrant, the name of the warrantee, names of appraisers, the classification of the land, and the date of the appraisal.

XVI. Records of Town Lots

William Penn provided instructions for laying out Philadelphia lots in 1682. Bedford, Carlisle, Sunbury, Easton, Reading, and York were laid out as proprietary towns and the six towns of Allegheny, Beaver, Erie, Franklin, Waterford, and Warren were laid out under the Commonwealth. In each case, the land generally was laid out as town lots, out lots, and reserved lots arranged in a rectilinear fashion around a central town square. Town lots were usually sold at public auction at which a certificate of sale was completed but no warrant issued. Patents were issued, however, after the full purchase price was paid and the names of patentees will be found in the regular patent registers.

 

A. Philadelphia Lots

Original Surveys for Philadelphia City Lots and Proprietary Tracts,

1678-1800.

(Refiled among 152 cartons)

LO 5.115-119, 6.1-190 pp. 21, 26, 50, 115

{series #17.237} [Holdings]

Arranged sequentially as entered in copied survey volumes.

Many original warrants and returns of survey for Philadelphia city lots and proprietary tracts have been copied and re-filed with the Original (Loose) Surveys, 1662-Present. {series #17.112}. These are now arranged and numbered by the volume, book, and page of the copied survey. The copied surveys for Philadelphia lots are primarily found in volumes D-65 though D-114 Copied Surveys, 1682-1912 {series #17.114}. Philadelphia lot surveys not yet re-filed will be found in Miscellaneous Survey Papers for Philadelphia City Lots, 1717-1828, undated. {series #17.241}. The type of information generally provided includes the names of original lot purchasers, names of those for whom survey was prepared, and the boundaries and locations of lots or tracts.

 

Lotts of the 4 Streets, Philadelphia City Lots,

1682.

(1 item)

LO 21.1

{series #17.238} [Holdings]

A certificate consisting of the Drawing of Original Purchasers Lots filed in the Philadelphia City Lots folders of Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1700] {series #17.297}. This certificate is on two sheets of paper dated "19th of the 7th month [September] 1682" and signed by Commissioners of Property William Markham, Thomas Holme, William Haig, and Griffith Jones. The transcript is in Warrants and Surveys 2 available at the Philadelphia City Archives and on microfilm LO 25.128.

 

Philadelphia City Lots,

1682-1781.

(5 folders)

LO 21.1 PLR 91

{series #17.239} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Surveyor General's copies of returns of survey sent to the Secretary of the Land Office. Information given is the name of the warrantee, date of warrant, chain of title, location and description of survey, number of acres, and date survey was returned.

 

Philadelphia City Lots, No. 31,

1683-1740.

(1 volume, Binding 165)

PLR 92

{series #17.240} [Holdings]

Grouped by street and thereunder numerically by lot number.

Lists of the names of owners of Philadelphia lots that was assigned the number 21 on John Hughes's 1759 inventory of records in the Secretary's office. Information given is the name of the original warrantee or renter, street location, number of feet of street frontage, name of the then current occupant, date the lot was laid out, and the date the lot was patented.

 

Miscellaneous Survey Papers for Philadelphia City Lots,

1717-1828, undated.

(1 box)

LO 24.10-11

{series #17.241} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Surveys for lots in Philadelphia also interspersed with occasional petitions, orders to survey, loose returns of survey, and related papers. Information frequently given includes dates of warrant, patent, or survey; name of person for whom surveyed; a diagram showing the boundaries of the lots; and sometimes more detailed information on the location or the descent of title to the tract.

 

Regulations for Philadelphia Lots,

1727-1765.

(1 folder)

LO 24.4, 24.10-11

{series #17.242} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Proposals and regulation papers for laying out lots and streets in Philadelphia. Information generally given is date of proposal, names of those requesting the layout, the name of the street, a description of the layout, and occasionally a diagram illustrating the layout.

 

Philadelphia Dock Records

1728-1790.

(1 box)

LO 24.10-11

{series #17.243} [Holdings]

No apparent arrangement.

Drafts, warrants, patents and petitions for Philadelphia docks. Information given is diagrams illustrating the layout of Philadelphia docks, dates docks were laid out, names of warrantees and patentees, signatures of petitioners, and letters sometimes revealing additional details.

 

Benjamin Eastburn's Plan of Philadelphia,

[ca. 1737-1741]

(1 item)

PLR 91

{series #17.244} [Holdings]

A map on linen showing all lots surveyed up to that time. Information found includes the depth and width of each lot and a few of the owners' names.

 

Plans of Philadelphia Lots Sold at Auction,

1781-1782.

(1 box)

LO 24.10-11, 24.27-29

{series #17.245} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Plans of Philadelphia lots that were sold at auction in 1781-1782. Information given is location and size of each lot.

 

List of Sales of Philadelphia Lots,

1781-1788.

(1 volume, Binding 92)

PLR 152

{series #17.246} [Holdings]

Grouped by ward and thereunder by street and lot number.

A record of lots sold in Philadelphia during the early years of the Commonwealth. Information given is the lot number, name of the purchaser, the amount paid, and date of sale.

 

Philadelphia City Lots: Miscellaneous Papers and Returns of Survey,

1781-1797.

(1 box)

LO 21.1-4 p.152

{series #17.247} [Holdings]

Various arrangements.

Under the Divesting Law of 1779 the Commonwealth assumed ownership of all unsold lots in Philadelphia and the other Proprietary Towns. The unsold Philadelphia lots were offered for sale at public auctions held in 1781, 1782, 1786, and 1797. Warrants were not issued for these lots but patents were issued after the owners paid the purchase price and the names of these owners can be found through the regular patent registers. Philadelphia lots sold by the Commonwealth after 1797 were passed by deed poll and these were recorded in county records with the Commonwealth as grantor. This series contains a set of records documenting sale and ownership of lots in Philadelphia and related tracts during both the Proprietary and Commonwealth eras:

 

Journal for Depreciation Lands, Philadelphia and Beaver Town Lots,

November 21, 1783-March 3, 1796.

(1 volume)

LO 25.78 PLR 152

{series #17.248} [Holdings]

Grouped by location and thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

A record of town lots sold under the Divesting Act of 1779 which allowed occupants of unpatented lots in Philadelphia, Reading, York, Carlisle, Easton, Bedford, Sunbury and "Hannah's Town" additional time to complete their patents. Those holding pre-1733 warrants were given seven years to complete their patents and those holding post-1733 warrants were given ten years to complete their patents. Occupants of proprietary town lots completed their titles by purchasing their lots from the wardens or justices of the peace and these records will be found in the county jurisdiction with the wardens or justices listed as grantors.

 

Directions of Reference in the City Draft of Philadelphia Lotts,

1698, undated.

(1 folder and 1 volume, Binding 61)

LO 21.1, 25.14

{series #17.249} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by lot number.

List of the lots as they are numbered on Thomas Holmes's map, A Portraiture of the City of Philadelphia in . . . America. The loose copy in the folder is not complete. Information given is the name of each lot owner and the lot number. Also present is an alphabetical list of names of out lot purchasers giving name of purchaser, quantity purchased, acreage of city lot, name of person to whom lot was granted, and the dates of warrant, survey, and return of survey. A transcript is found in Warrants and Surveys 2 at the Philadelphia City Archives and on microfilm LO 25.128.

 

B. Proprietary Towns

 

Proprietary Town Plans and Surveys,

[ca. 1762-1767]

(16 folders)

LO 24.11-27

{series #17.250} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by town.

Plans and survey books for the proprietary towns of Bedford, Carlisle, Easton, Reading, Sunbury and York. Information given includes names of original lot owners. For Easton there is also information on buildings constructed after the town was established. For Bedford there is only a register of the names of lot owners but no town plan.

 

Proprietary Town Papers,

[ca. 1762-1776, undated].

(9 folders)

LO 11.4 PLR 89

{series #17.251} [Holdings]

Grouped by town.

Lists of the names of applicants, instructions for surveying lots, and town plans for the proprietary towns of Bedford, Carlisle, Sunbury, Easton, Pittsburgh, Reading, and York and also for the town of Indiana that was planned to be a proprietary town but was surveyed too late. The type of information given includes the names of applicants, size and location of their lots, and the date the plans were laid out.

 

A Ground Plan of Reading in the 1750s: First Purchasers Lots as Shown by Land Office Records,

undated.

(1 item)

PLR 89

{series #17.252} [Holdings]

Connected warrantee tract map for lots of first purchasers in Reading. Information given is name of warrantee, acres and perches warranted, date warranted, date surveyed, date patented, name of patentee, tract name and the volume, book, and page numbers where the warrant and the patent were recorded.

 

C. Commonwealth Towns

Sunbury, Franklin, Warren and Beaver Town Lots and Franklin, Warren and Waterford Reserve Tracts,

1772-1776, 1794-1857.

(1 volume)

PLR 169

{series #17.253} [Holdings]

Grouped by town and thereunder arranged numerically by lot number.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of patentee.

Patent register for town lots and reserve tracts. Information given is lot number, name of purchaser, price paid, date of purchase, date of patent, name of patentee, and volume, book and page number where patent is recorded.

 

Day Book of Sales by Auction,

1785-1809.

(1 volume)

LO 25.50 PLR 170

{series #17.254} [Holdings]

Entries arranged chronologically by date of sale.

Account of sales of Depreciation Lands, city lots, reserve tracts in towns, and islands that were sold at auction. Information given is the name of the purchaser, lot or tract number or the location of the island, and the amount paid.

 

Journal of Depreciation Lands, and Philadelphia and Beaver Town Lots,

1785-1896.

(1 volume)

LO 25.78 PLR 170

{series #17.255} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

An account journal of the Receiver General of lands for which monies were collected, including depreciation certificates. Information given is the date entered in the journal, name of purchaser, lot or tract number, acreage, purchase price per acre, and the amount paid.

 

Ledger of Depreciation Lands, and Philadelphia and Beaver Lots,

1785-1897.

(1 volume)

LO 25.36 PLR 152, 162

{series #17.256} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Ledger of the sale of Depreciation Lands and Philadelphia and Beaver town lots. Information given is date of patent, name of patentee, location of lot, lot number, and amount paid.

 

Miscellaneous Records Relating to Town and Out Lots

[ca. 1752-1864].

(4 cartons)

LO 11.1-4, 11.6 PLR 169
LO 24.1-38 p. 223

{series #17.257} [Holdings]

Grouped loosely into the categories of town and out lots, reserved lots, bonds, lot plans and miscellaneous materials.

Notes, tickets, lists, bonds, lot plans, sales statements and receipts for lots in Erie, Franklin, Warren, and Waterford giving such information as the purchaser's name, lot number, and terms of sale. Several miscellaneous folders contain lists of the names of purchasers at each sale and manuscripts containing historical background information and town plans.

 

Allegheny Town and Out Lots,

1788-1797, 1806.

(1 volume)

LO 25.36 PLR 169

{series #17.258} [Holdings]

Arranged more or less chronologically by date of receipt.

Copies of certificates of receipt documenting the sale of lots in the reserved tract across the river from Pittsburgh. Information given is the name of the purchaser, the date of receipt, the total amount received, the individual lot numbers, and a breakdown of the purchase price for each individual lot.

 

In and Out Lots on the Reserved Tract Opposite Pittsburgh,

1791.

(1 volume)

PLR 169

{series #17.259} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by lot number.

Compiled by William Clark, a clerk in the receiver general's office, this volume contains descriptions and locations of town and out lots in Allegheny Town that was located on the Reserve Tract across the river from Pittsburgh. Only a few names of purchasers are given.

 

Beaver Town Lots,

1793, 1805, 1814, 1834, 1848.

(1 volume)

LO 25.36 PLR 170

{series #17.260} [Holdings]

Arranged more or less chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally.

Certificates of sale for Beaver town lots, copies of laws and commissions pertaining to the sale of the lots, and Daniel Leet's original survey plan for the town of Beaver. Information provided is the lot number, name of purchaser, amount paid, name of patentee, and date of patent.

 

Miscellaneous Records Relating to Erie Lots,

1796-1808.

(2 folders)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.261} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Certificates of payment, conveyances, deeds, receipts, and lists of sales of Erie town lots. Information given varies with type of document but generally includes name of purchaser, date of purchase, lot number, and amount paid.

 

Erie Lots, Reserve Tracts and Water Lots,

1796-1815.

(1 volume)

PLR 169

{series #17.262} [Holdings]

Grouped by geographical section and thereunder numerically by lot number.

Patent register for Erie lots and reserve tracts. Information given is lot number, name of purchaser, price paid, date of sale, name of patentee, date of return, and the volume book and page number where patent is recorded.

 

Erie, Franklin, Warren and Waterford Town and Out Lots,

1797-1809.

(1 volume)

PLR 169

{series #17.263} [Holdings]

Grouped by town and arranged thereunder numerically by lot number.

Indexed internally.

Patentee lists and lot surveys bound as a single volume. The lot surveys do not give purchasers' names but the indexed list of the names of patentees gives the name of patentee, name of purchaser, lot number, and a description of the lot. The last several pages contain unnumbered lists of lots grouped by town giving rate and valuation information.

 

Books of Entries of Patents Issued for In and Out Lots: Erie, Warren, Waterford and Franklin,

[ca. 1800-1803].

(2 volumes)

LO 25.37 PLR 170

 

{series #17.264} [Holdings]

Grouped by town and thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

Rough drafts of patents issued for lots located in and near the towns of Erie, Warren, Waterford, and Franklin. Information given is lot number, street location, lot dimensions, name of the purchaser, purchaser's county of residence, price paid, and date of patent. The second volume is also grouped by town and appears to contain lists of lot numbers not correlated to any other data.

 

Erie Lots,

1801-1810.

(1 volume)

LO 25.36 PLR 169

{series #17.265} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by lot number.

Journal for Erie town lots. Information given is name of purchaser, lot number, and the amount paid.

 

Journals for Erie, Franklin, Warren and Waterford Lots,

1801-1920.

(7 volumes)

LO 25.79 PLR 170

{series #17.266} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Account journals started by the Receiver General to which additions were made by his successors documenting the sale of lots. Information given is the name of purchaser, lot number, and the amount paid. The time periods covered for each town are as follows:

 

Ledgers for Erie, Franklin, Warren and Waterford Lots

1801-1923.

(4 volumes)

LO 25.104-105 PLR 170

{series #17.267} [Holdings]

Grouped by town and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally.

Master account ledgers for lots in the towns of Erie, Franklin, Warren, and Waterford that were prepared from journal entries giving the credits and debits on each purchaser's account. Information given is the name of purchaser, lot number, and the amount paid.

The time periods covered for each town are as follows:

 

Irregular Lots in Warren, Franklin and Erie

undated.

(1 volume)

LO 25.37 PLR 170

{series #17.268} [Holdings]

Grouped by town.

Connected surveys of irregular lots laid out in the towns of Erie, Franklin, and Warren. Information given is the name of the streets on which the lots were located, a diagram of the irregular tracts, and the courses and distances of each lot.

 

XVII. Rent Rolls

Quitrents were nominal ground rents imposed by William Penn on all land, whether purchased or rented, for the purpose of providing his family with a steady income. Their origin dates back to the medieval period when they were intended to release the individual who paid the rent from rendering feudal services to their manorial lord. Although the quitrent assessed on a tract of land in Pennsylvania was calculated from the time the return of survey was completed, the money was not collected until the land was patented. For this reason, many settlers delayed completing the patenting process. Prior to 1689 the commissioners of property delegated responsibility for collecting quitrents to James Harrison, William Penn's steward at Pennsbury Manor. Though from 1685 the quitrents were required by Penn to be paid in either currency or sterling, Harrison and his ten under-stewards were each compensated for their services in collecting the rents with ten bushels of English wheat annually.

Unable to collect any appreciable amount of these quitrents, in 1689 Penn appointed Deputy Governor John Blackwell as Pennsylvania's first Receiver General and instructed Blackwell to assign the task of collecting quitrents to county sheriffs. Though Deputy Governor Blackwell attempted to construct a rational rent roll system, he encountered great resistance from those who were unwilling to pay the rents and resigned his position within a matter of months. After his departure, Receiver General Samuel Jennings, and after him Receiver General Robert Turner, enjoyed only moderate success over the succeeding ten years in collecting quitrents inside Philadelphia. During his second stay in the Province from 1699-1701, William Penn appointed Secretary of Proprietary Affairs James Logan to also assume the responsibilities of the receiver generalship. In 1705 new legislation created a uniform procedure for collecting quitrents. The Receiver General or his deputy was to pay an annual visit to every county at a publicized time in March or April and record in small rent roll books the quitrents they collected. After the rents collected in the field were recorded, these books were carried to the Land Office in Philadelphia where the entries were copied, along with other forms of receipt, into daybooks kept by the Receiver General. The same information was also entered into the journals and ledgers that served as the master account books for the Land Office.

Deputy receivers tended to enjoy some moderate success in collecting quitrents only in the more populated areas. From 1714, Logan appointed James Steel as manager of the Land Office and deputy receiver general for quitrents. After Penn's death in 1718, the difficulties of collecting quitrents continued to plague his heirs. Title to land was imperfect unless the quitrents were paid, however, and any new buyer automatically became responsible for quitrents that were in arrears even though the buyer had no way of knowing what the actual amount might be. The government hesitated to enforce its right to dispossess because, in the absence of a comprehensive system of tracking and enforcement, the Land Office was always at a disadvantage in trying to establish how much quitrent was still due on a given parcel. Continuing discontent on the part of settlers resulted in the abolition of quitrents under the Divesting Act of 1779.

Rent Rolls,

1683-1776.

(22 volumes)

LO 32.1-32.4, Reel 468 PLR 36

{series #17.269} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and township and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally alphabetically by surname of payer.

Also sometimes called Quit Rent Rolls, these are the master rent roll books kept in the receiver general's office for the counties of Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Northampton, Philadelphia, and York. Information given is the name of the payer, the date residency began, the acreage, the number of years for which payment was due, and the amount collected. For Philadelphia lots, the name of the street and number of feet of frontage is given instead of the acreage. Not all listings are complete.

 

Philadelphia Rent Roll,

1689.

(1 volume)

LO 23.1, PLR 36

{series #17.270} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Incomplete copy of rent roll kept by Deputy Governor John Blackwell that is filed in the "Philadelphia City Lots" folder in Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1799] {series #17.297}. Information given is the lot number, name of purchaser, size of the tract, the number of years for which the rent was to be collected, the amount of rent due, and the date and amount of rent actually collected. The original of this rent roll is in the Logan Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

 

Extract of a Rent Roll for Ye City of Philadelphia,

[ca. 1703].

(1 volume)

LO 21.1 PLR 36

{series #17.271} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Rent roll extract probably prepared by James Logan. Information given is name of purchaser, lot size, annual rent due, and the name of the then current owner. The roll is filed in the "Philadelphia City Lots" folder in Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1799] {series #17.297}.

 

Steel's Rent Roll for Philadelphia,

1731.

(1 volume, Binding 6b)

LO 25.1 PLR 22, 36

{series #17.273} [Holdings]

Grouped by township

A rent roll prepared by James Steel for both the city and county of Philadelphia. Information given is the name of the owner of the tract, the acreage assessed, the assessed quitrent, the number of years of unpaid quitrent accrued up to 1731, and the total amount of quitrent then due.

 

James Logan's Rent Roll Extracts,

1748.

(1 folder)

LO 24.4

{series #17.274} [Holdings]

Grouped by township.

Extract of the rent roll for the "Welsh Tract" and a computation of the quantity of land in the county of Philadelphia and the annual quitrents due. The "Welsh Tract" consisted of 40,000 acres covered by a warrant dated March 13, 1684 for the benefit of settlers from Wales. It was laid out in several different locations and covered many townships in Chester County. The rent roll for the Welsh Tract gives the name of the person responsible for paying the quitrent, the acreage of the tract, the rent assessed, the acreage returned, the quantity of "over plus" land on the tract, and the valuation. The Philadelphia roll is based upon the first surveys. Information generally provided is the name of the township, the quantity of land in the township on which rent was due, the amount of "old" rent that was assessed in wheat, the amount of the new rent assessed at a penny per acre, the total amount of rent due, the yearly rent at 12 cents per acre, the quantity at one penny per acre, the yearly rental at 12 cents per acre, and the total quantity of land in the township.

 

XVIII. Deeds

Deeds held by the Land Office are primarily for land acquired by the Commonwealth from private owners for such public uses as arsenals, prisons, schools, turnpikes, state hospitals, reservoirs, historical parks, forestry reserves, game lands, the executive mansion, and Capitol buildings. There is also a miscellaneous group of executed, unexecuted, incomplete and mutilated deeds dating back to the proprietary era. As early as 1816, David Mead sold land to the Commonwealth for the Meadville Arsenal and in 1821 and 1822 land was acquired from private owners in Philadelphia to erect the Eastern State Penitentiary. After having sold nearly all of the land in Pennsylvania, in 1887 the Commonwealth also began systematically re-acquiring land in order to create state forestry reserves. The Public Land Law of 1905, together with the amendments of 1909, required a preliminary survey for any new tracts to be granted and placed responsibility for proving that land applied for was actually vacant upon the Commonwealth. The new legislation also gave the Department of the Interior the right to preempt such new tracts for forest reservation or forest culture.

Original deeds were filed using a variety of different filing systems over the years and their current arrangement reflects this fact. Never fully processed, they are currently grouped by agency, grouped thereunder by county code (1 for Adams through 67 for York), and arranged thereunder numerically by a sequentially assigned number in the order in which they were received by the Land Office. The most recently acquired deeds, however are not grouped by agency or county and are merely filed sequentially in the order in which they were received. Though Forestry Reserve and Game Commission deeds were treated as if they were distinct series in Donna Munger's Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research, some of these actually are intermingled in cartons with other Commonwealth deeds but are indexed separately. For original Indian deeds see Basic Documents of Pennsylvania Including Proprietary Charters and Deeds, Indian Deeds, and State Constitutions, 1681-1937 {series#26.2} in the Records of the Department of State.

A. Original Deeds

 

Miscellaneous Deeds

1694-1834

(4 cartons)

LO 24.3, 24.9-10, 24.20-21, 24.27-32

{series #17.275} [Holdings]

Unarranged except for carton of laminated deeds that is grouped alphabetically by surname of grantee.

Executed, unexecuted, incomplete, and mutilated deeds. One carton of laminated deeds arranged by name of grantee covers tracts owned by Aaron Burr, Caleb and Owen Foulke, W. Parker, Richard Peters, and James Wilson. Information given is date of deed, names of grantor and grantee, location of tract, acreage of tract, amount paid, and a description of the boundaries.

 

Unrecorded Deeds,

[ca. 1700-1800].

(1 carton)

LO 24.3, 24.9-10

{series #17.276} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Unrecorded deeds for tracts located throughout the state. Information given is date of deed, names of grantor and grantee, location of tract, acreage of tract, amount paid, and a description of the boundaries of the tract.

 

Copies of Recorded Deeds,

1714-1794,

(3 folders)

LO 24.3, 24.9-10

{series #17.277} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Copies of deeds recorded in the recorder's offices of various counties. Information given is date of deed, names of grantor and grantee, location of tract, acreage of tract, amount paid, and a description of the boundaries of the tract.

 

Miscellaneous Deed Polls,

1789-1839.

(6 folders)

LO 24.20-21, 24.27-38

{series #17.278 [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous deed polls (a type of deed made by only one party) in which grantors released their interest in tracts for which they had previously made applications. Information generally given is name of grantor, acreage of tract, location of tract, date of application, amount of consideration paid, name of person by whom paid, and signatures of witnesses.

 

Commonwealth Deeds,

1816-Present.

(135 cartons)

LO 2.71-142 PLR 213

{series #17.279} [Holdings]

Grouped originally by agency, grouped thereunder by county, and then arranged numerically by sequentially assigned file number. The most recent deeds received are arranged sequentially by date of receipt.

Indexed externally, alphabetically by surname of grantor in Master Register of Commonwealth Deeds, 1919-1957 {series #17.291}. For later deeds, check the printed Select-o-Matic index the Grantor Name Register for Commonwealth Deeds, 1957-Present, Series 17.292, the handwritten agency log books, or the electronic database index to obtain the agency sequence number assigned when they were receved at the State Archives.

Original deeds owned by the Commonwealth for lands other than forest and game lands. Information given is name of grantor, date of conveyance, acreage and location of the tract, a description of the metes and bounnds, and names of owners of adjoining tracts. Surveys and other types of title papers are also frequently present. The categorical groupings in this series are: Armories, Arsenals, Aviation, Bridges, Capitol Park, Executive Mansion, Fish Hatcheries, Flood Control and Reclamation, Mount Gretna Military Camp, Monuments, Normal Schools, Old Capitol Ground, Parks, Penitentiaries, Training Schools, Pymatuning Reservoir, Highways, Historical Parks, Homes for Deaf Children, Hospitals, Independence Mall, Industrial Home for Women, Hospitals for the Insane, Quarantine Stations, Reformatories, Soldiers and Sailors Homes, Soldiers' Orphans School, State Police Barracks, Tuberculosis Sanitoria, and Turnpikes.

 

State Forestry Reserve Deeds and Title Papers,

1887-present.

(41 cartons)

LO 2.1-63 PLR 213

{series #17.280} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and arranged thereunder numerically by file number.

Indexed externally, alphabetically by surname of grantor in the State Forestry Reserve Index, [ca. 1957] {series #17.290}.

Original deeds to the Commonwealth for state forestry land. After having sold nearly all of the land in Pennsylvania, in 1887 the Commonwealth began re-acquiring land in order to create state forestry reserves. Information given is name of grantor, date of conveyance, acreage and location of the tract, a description of the metes and bounds, and names of owners of adjoining tracts.

 

Game Commission Deeds

[ca. 1887-Present].

(39 cartons)

LO 2.64-70 PLR 213

{series #17.281} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and arranged thereunder numerically by file number.

Indexed externally in the Deed Register of the State Forestry Reserve Property in the Department of Internal Affairs Under Act of 1919, 1919-present {series #17.288}.

Original deeds for lands purchased by the Commonwealth for use as state game lands. Information given is name of grantor, date of conveyance, the county book and page number where the conveyance was recorded, acreage and location of the tract, a description of the metes and bounds, names of owners of adjoining tracts, the name of the previous owner and the book and page where the previous deed was recorded.

 

B. Deed Books

Release Book B, No. 3,

[ca. 1704-1706].

(1 volume, Binding 81)

LO 25.34 PLR 41

{series #17.282} [Holdings]

Arranged more or less chronologically by date of entry.

This series does not actually contain releases, but rather transcripts of deeds between second and third parties or further along the chain of title. Information given is date of indenture, name of grantor, name of grantee, acreage of tract, location of tract, and a description of the boundaries.

 

Book of Deeds Recorded,

[ca. 1821-1904].

(1 volume)

{series #17.283} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by name of state agency or institution and arranged thereunder alphabetically by surname of grantor.

Transcripts of deeds for lands purchased by the Commonwealth from private owners. Information is date of instrument, name of grantor, description of the boundaries, and the volume, book, and page number where the previous deed transfer was recorded in the local county courthouse.

 

Deed Books for State Institutions,

1822-1917.

(3 volumes)

{series #17.284} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Transcripts of deeds for land purchased by the Commonwealth for the state institutions. Information is the name of the grantor, name of institution for which purchased, location of the tract, county or township in which the tract was located, type of instrument, date of the instrument, date of acknowledgment, and the book and page number where recorded at the county courthouse. Also given is the amount paid, a detailed description of the boundaries of the property, acreage of the tract, the name of the previous owner, date of previous conveyance, and the book and page where the previous conveyance was recorded at the county courthouse. Book A contains deeds dated 1879-1906, Book B covers the period 1848-1917, and Book C contains conveyances dated 1822-1917.

 

Record of Deeds for Penal and Charitable Institutions,

[ca. 1897].

(3 volumes)

{series #17.285} [Holdings]

Grouped by institution and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of deed.

Indexed internally by surname of grantor.

Transcripts of deeds for tracts of land sold to the Commonwealth for the use of penal and charitable institutions together with abstracts of insurance policies. Information given is the name of the institution, name of grantor, date of conveyance, acreage conveyed, location of tract, a description of the boundaries, and the county volume, book and page number where the deed was recorded. Information on insurance policies gives the name of the institution, name of the insurance company, policy number, a brief description of the coverage, the amount of coverage, the amount of the premium, and the effective date of the policy.

 

State Forestry Reserve Deeds

1900-present.

(4 volumes)

LO 1.11-14. P. 214

{series #17.286} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of conveyance.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of grantor.

Transcripts of original deeds of conveyance to the Commonwealth lands for forestry reserves. Information provided is the name of the grantor; location of the tract, county or township where located, type of instrument, date of the instrument, date of acknowledgment, county book and page number where conveyance was recorded, the amount paid, a description of the boundaries, acreage, name of the previous owner, date of previous conveyance, and the book and page number where the previous conveyance was recorded.

 

Capitol Park Deed Book A,

1912-1921.

(1 volume)

{series #17.287} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of conveyance.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of grantor.

Transcripts of deeds for land acquired by the Commonwealth for the Capitol Park complex. Information given is the name of the grantor, location of the tract, county or township in which the tract was located, type of instrument, date of the instrument, date of acknowledgment, county book and page number where recorded, consideration paid, a detailed description of the boundaries of the property, acreage of the tract, the name of the previous owner, date of previous conveyance, and the book and page where the previous conveyance was recorded.

 

C. Deed Registers

Deed Register For Game Preserves Under Act of 1919

[1919-1964].

(31 volumes)

LO 1.11 PLR 214

{series #17.288} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by county and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of instrument.

Register to deeds for land acquired by the Game Commission through 1957. Information given is the Land Office file number, location of the tract, type of instrument, date, names of grantor and grantee, and the county deed book and page number.

 

Deed Register of the State Forestry Reserve Property in the Department of Internal Affairs Under Act of 1919,

1919-present.

(1 volume)

{series #17.289} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by county and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of instrument.

Register of deeds that transferred lands to the Commonwealth for use as state forestry reserve tracts. Information given is Land Office file number, location of tract, type of instrument (deed, sheriff's deed, copy of survey, or option), date of instrument, name of grantor, where recorded, and where filed in the department.

 

State Forestry Reserve Index,

1919-present.

(4 volumes)

LO 1.11-14 PLR 214

{series #17.290} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by county and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of instrument.

An index to deeds for land acquired by the Commonwealth for forestry reserves. Information given is the Land Office file number, location of the tract, type of instrument, date, names of grantor and grantee, and the county deed book and page number where recorded. Records are microfilmed through 1957.

 

Master Register of Commonwealth Deeds

1821-present.

(2 volumes, 1 carton)

LO 1.10-11 PLR 214

{series #17.291} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of property such as insane hospitals, capitol park extension, tuberculosis sanitoria, quarantine stations, bridges, military camps, military reservations, reservoirs, etc., and arranged thereunder numerically by file number.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of grantor.

Register of Commonwealth deeds. Information given is file number, location of the tract, type of instrument, name of grantor, name of grantee, date, county deed book and page number where recorded, and where filed in the department. These volumes are microfilmed through 1957. For later deeds, additional indexes are available to Archives staff. These include a printed verstion of the Select-O-Matic Index that is grouped alphabetically by the surname of the grantor and the accession logbooks where deeds are grouped by name of the agency, then by county, then alphabetically by the surname of the grantor, and then sequentially by a sequentially assigned number. The Select-O-Matic index is also listed separately as the Grantor Name Register for Commonwealth Deeds, 1957-Present, Series 17.292. Finally, from about 1997 a database has been used to log in all new deeds and contains the same kind of information as the agency logbooks where deeds are logged in when they are first received at the State Archives.

 

Grantor Name Register for Commonwealth Deeds,

1957-Present.

(4 flat boxes)

{series #17.292} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by name of grantor.

Register of grantor names for Commonwealth deeds acquired since 1957, formerly also known as the Select-O-Matic Deed Index. Information given is name of grantor, county where tract is located, date of instrument, file number, department, and acreage.

 

Grantor Name Register for General State Authority Deeds,

1957-Present.

(1 flat Box)

{series #17.293} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by name of grantor.

Register of grantors for properties used for public buildings and state universities. Information given is name of grantor, county where located, date of instrument, file number, name of department, and acreage.

 

Grantor List,

[undated].

(1 volume, Binding 144)

{series#17.294} [Holdings]

Grouped by Book (A,B,C,D,F,G,H) where recorded and arranged thereunder sequentially by assigned number.

A record of the names of grantors and grantees for land transfers between private parties appearing in the records of the Land Office. Information given is a sequentially assigned number, the name of the grantor, name of grantee, and county where the tract was located.


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