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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Archives and History
Pennsylvania State Archives


RG-17

RECORDS OF THE LAND OFFICE

Series Descriptions


 

XIX. Secretary of the Land Office

William Penn's Secretary of Proprietary Affairs originally held primary responsibility for directing the operations of the Land Office. Usually also serving as one of the Commissioners of Property, the Secretary conducted the meetings of the Commissioners and kept the minutes. Requests for land were submitted to the Secretary who oversaw the warranting, surveying, and patenting of tracts and affixed the seal of the province before sending them to the Surveyor General. Upon receiving the surveys back from the Surveyor General, the Secretary drew up the patents and sent them to the Master of Rolls to be recorded. Under the Commonwealth, the Secretary of the Land Office played a less broad role than had the Secretary of Proprietary Affairs. The individual holding the new position of Secretary of the Land Office was originally elected by the Pennsylvania Assembly and merely collected fees for specified services. He no longer signed warrants as these were now submitted to the Vice President of the Supreme Executive Council. Under the Constitution of 1790, the Supreme Executive Council was abolished and the Governor was given broad powers of appointment, including the appointment of the Secretary of the Land Office. When the positions of Receiver General and Master of Rolls were abolished in 1809, the Governor delegated authority to affix the seal and sign warrants and patents to the Secretary of the Land Office. In 1843 the position of Secretary of the Land Office was abolished and the responsibilities were transferred to the Surveyor General.

A. Papers and Correspondence

 

An Account of the Land in Pennsylvania Granted by William Penn . . . To Several Purchasers Within the Kingdom of England,

1681.

(1 item)

LO 23.1 PLR PLR 12

{series #17.295} [Holdings]

Grouped by purchaser group and unarranged thereunder.

An eleven-page original draft or copy of a catalog (filed with Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1788] {series #17.297}, folder 2, item 4) containing the names from fifty-three original purchaser groups and accounting for the sale of all of the original one hundred shares Penn planned to sell in Pennsylvania. This document skips section XXXIII in numbering the purchaser groups and section XLIV is blank. The Free Society of Pennsylvania accounts for two purchaser groups who acquired ten thousand acres each. This catalog also contains Penn's reauthorization of the Commissioners of Property to supervise the layout of town lots according to three sets of instructions.

 

An Account of the Land in Pennsylvania Granted by William Penn . . . To Several Purchasers Within the Kingdom of England,

1682.

(1 item)

LO 12. P. 11-12

{series #17.296} [Holdings]

Grouped by purchaser group and unarranged thereunder.

A catalog containing the names of 259 purchaser groups divided into thirty-two sections and accounting for sixty-four of the original one hundred shares Penn planned to sell. This catalog is filed with Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1788] {series #17.297} and apparently arrived with the first shipload of passengers to Pennsylvania. Included are Penn's announcement of the appointment of the original Commissioners of Property and his instructions to allot 10,000 acres for a town in which the purchasers of every 5,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania were to be entitled to 100 acres in town lots. The catalog was copied into Patent Book AA-5 {series #17.142}, pp. 130-139 in 1763 from the original three pieces of parchment.

A copy of the third catalog of purchasers in England dated May 22, 1682 and entitled "Sales in England by William Penn of Lands in Pennsylvania" contains fifty-seven purchaser groups. This list will be found in RG-21, Records of the Proprietary Government, Miscellaneous Papers, 1664-1775 {series #21.9} (item 15, Reel 600, PLR 12). Some purchaser's names appear more than once on the latter list because they acquired additional shares. William Penn's business manager, Philip Ford, hand carried this copy to Surveyor General Thomas Holme in Pennsylvania. The handwritten notation on the manuscript reading "Left by Isaac Brown" refers to Isaac B. Brown, Secretary of Internal Affairs in 1895 and 1903-7. The catalog has been published in Pennsylvania Annals, 637-642 and Pennsylvania Archives, (1) 1:39-46.

 

Proprietary Papers,

[ca. 1682-1788].

(3 boxes)

LO 23.1

{series #17.297} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Individual folders are indexed internally.

Miscellaneous proprietary papers including expense accounts, bonds, minutes, surveys, warrants, patents, deeds, lot plans, letters, lists, and a register of returns providing a variety of different kinds of information. Among these are folders covering the following topics:

 

List of First Purchasers,

1682-1684.

(6 pages)

LO 25.3 PLR 12

{series #17.298} [Holdings]

Grouped by purchaser group.

The first six pages of Warrant Book No. 3 {series #17.63}(Binding 15) contain this official alphabetical list entitled "An Account of Lands in Pennsylvania Granted by William Penn to Several Purchasers in England, Scotland, Ireland." Information given is the purchaser's name, the amount of land purchased, and sometimes the general location of the purchase. The 1759 transcript will be found in Proprietary Warrants {series #17.65}(Binding 26) LO 25.5.

 

Hughes's List #1,

1682-1759.

(1 volume, Binding 63)

PLR 120

{series #17.299} [Holdings]

Entries concerning bound volumes are arranged sequentially by binding number and entries concerning loose papers are grouped by city or county and grouped thereunder alphabetically by first letter of surname of purchaser.

A bill passed on July 7, 1759 created a new Public Records Office staffed by a recorder appointed by the Pennsylvania Assembly to record all loose and bound public records. The bill empowered Recorder John Hughes to collect all minutes of property, warrants, surveys, charts, maps, and other papers; to enumerate the number of pages of text; to make an inventory, and to transcribe them all. By the time the bill was nullified by the Privy Council in 1760, most of the records in the Land Office had already been copied. This resulted in 25 books of transcripts from the Secretary's office, 41 books from the Surveyor General's office, one unbound paper book of warrants and returns generated during the time the act was in force, and the inventory of papers and books transcribed. In many cases, the 1759 transcripts are today more complete and in better condition than the surviving originals from which they were copied. With the exceptions of the inventories given below, descriptions for these transcripts will be found under the appropriate headings in the same sequence with those of the surviving originals. The book begun by John Hughes on Tuesday, July 17, 1759 contains the following lists:

 

Hughes's List #2,

1682-1759.

(1 volume, Binding 62)

PLR 120

{series #17.300} [Holdings]

Entries concerning bound volumes are arranged sequentially by binding number and entries concerning loose papers are grouped by city or county and grouped thereunder alphabetically by first letter of surname of purchaser.

A more complete inventory than the preceding list initiated by John Hughes. This version was completed by John Hughes and his clerks on July 2, 1760 and contains the following lists:

 

Minutes of the Provincial Council,

1683, 1692 and 1712.

(1 folder)

LO 24.4

{series #17.301} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of council meeting.

Fragments of rough minutes of the Provincial Council. Information varies but relates primarily to proposed legislation, laying out roads, and grants of land.

 

Warrants of Peter Grovendike,

1684.

(1 volume, Binding 152)

{series #17.302} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by surname of warrantee.

"A list of Warrants Renewed of Peter Grovendike by the Governor's Warrant bearing Date the 31st Day of the 5th Month 1684" that were taken out in the name of pre-Penn settlers between 1675 and 1684. Information given is name of warrantee, acreage warranted, and the date of the original warrant.

 

General Correspondence,

1687-1853.

(60 boxes)

LO 21.3

{series #17.303} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

General correspondence of the Secretary is filed together with some of the correspondence of the Surveyor General. Information given reveals the day-to-day operations of the Land Office and frequently references specific land transactions. The correspondence covering the period 1776-1853 has not been microfilmed.

 

Miscellaneous Records,

1689-1699.

(1 volume, Binding 39)

{series #17.304} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

The 1759 transcript of a continuation of Book F in the Secretary's office containing such miscellaneous records as patents, letters of indebtedness, conveyances, letters of exchange, letters of attorney, bills of lading, letters of guardianship, indentures, commissions, releases, and receipts. Among these are a copy of William Penn's 1694 commission appointing Robert Turner, Thomas Holme, Arthur Cook, Samuel Carpenter, John Goodson, Francis Rawles and Phineas Pemberton as Commissioners of Property.

 

London Company Papers,

1689, 1783.

(1 folder)

LO 21.1

{series #17.305} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Papers of the London Company that was originally formed by Tobias Collett, Michael Russell, Daniel Quare, and Henry Goldney with the intention of resettling English dissenters then living in Holland in the Delaware Bay area. This series contains three undated orders to survey large tracts for the London Company on the Delaware, on the Schuylkill, and "on the back of Newcastle" all signed by William Brigdale. A sheet bearing extensive sets of courses and distances is marked on the back "London Company, Jacob Cooper's Papers, Jan. 30, 1783." A letter from Thomas Woodward to Jacob Cooper dated January 31, 1783 makes inquiry concerning a tract of land on which a judgment was rendered for Thomas Sharp in a caveat against the land of a David Rankin. The inquiry asks whether this tract lay within the boundaries of a larger London Company tract called "Three Mile Square." According to a letter to Jacob Cooper dated January 9, 1783, this tract lay within Nottingham Township of Chester County. Finally, there is also a sheet containing information concerning the descent of title to tracts on land originally granted to Jacob Pellison, thence to Deputy Governor William Markham, and finally to Deputy Receiver General James Steel between 1689 and 1704.

 

Abstract of Lists of Warrants for the Province and Counties,

1706-1741, 1756.

(1 volume) PLR 73

{series #17.306} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by county and thereunder arranged chronologically.

A collection of lists of warrants and reports, some having reference to the 1735 lottery scheme, that can be accessed through the Land Office Map Collection, [ca.1682-1999] {series #17.522}. The lottery scheme of 1735 was designed to encourage the sale of vacant land within the then existing counties of Bucks, Chester, Philadelphia, and Lancaster before negotiating another purchase treaty with the Indians. Even with the inducement of reduced quitrents on lottery land, the required number of tickets was never sold and there is no record that the lottery was ever drawn. An unknown number of tickets nonetheless became the basis for a limited number of land sales encompassing 16,851 acres located primarily in Bucks County. As late as 1770, lottery tickets were still being used to secure warrants to land in Pennsylvania. The land claimed under the 1735 lottery scheme can be identified by a statement to that effect on the original warrant or survey and these records may be located through the regular warrant registers, though the registers will not mention the lottery scheme.

 

Bills of Sale,

1709.

(1 folder)

LO 24.1-4

{series #17.307}[Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Bills of sale, an inventory schedule, and related papers for the sale of real and personal property by Margaret Jones of Chester County to Isaac Waterman. Information given is recorded instrument signed by Margaret Jones authorizing the sale, the bill of sale, a schedule of the property sold and a note signed by Jacob Taylor confirming the existence of a warrant and a survey for 300 acres of land that was issued and completed in 1683.

 

James Logan's Correspondence,

1712-1715 and undated.

(1 folder)

LO 21.1 PLR 31

{series #17.308} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Letters received by Secretary of Proprietary Affairs James Logan concerning quitrents, requests for land, and petitions. Correspondents include Benjamin Chambers, Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bromeley, Isaac Taylor, James Crawford, William Burney, Samuel Hall, George Harlan, John Chapman, Elisha Gatchell, James Kenerick, and Thomas Hayward. Also present are a few statements for accounts Logan maintained on behalf of others and an undated list of the names of individuals having rights fully satisfied to various amounts of acreage as a result of a search made of the books for the names of the heirs of James Logan, deceased. See also James Logan's Account Papers {series #17.309}; General Correspondence, 1700-1722 {series #21.5} in the Records of the Proprietary Government (RG-21) for additional Logan papers.

 

James Logan's Account Papers,

1712-1733.

(3 folders)

LO 24.4

{series #17.309} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

James Logan's account book, 25 March 1712 andndash; 28 September 1723, and loose paper accounts for the proprietors and trustees kept by James Logan from 17 June 1712 - January 1733/4. Information given is amount brought forward from previous account tally, date of entry, a brief description and amount of each expenditure or source of income, and a running tally of the account. See also James Logan's Correspondence,1712-1715,undated {series #17.308}; General Correspondence, 1700-1722 {series #21.5} in the Records of the Proprietary Government (RG-21) for additional Logan papers.

 

Provincial Road Records,

1712-1773.

(2 folders)

LO 24.4

{series #17.311} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Drafts of surveys, orders of council, and returns of surveys for roads laid out during the provincial period. The type of information generally given is a description of the location of the road, the courses and distances, date laid out, and occasionally the names of adjoining property owners. A number of the earliest roads covered in this series lie within Philadelphia but also included are many outlying roads. These include a road laid out from the Delaware River to Buckingham Meeting House, the section of York Road to Mill Pond, a road from Philadelphia to Merion, a road from Vine Street in Philadelphia to Callowhill, Armetage Road, Bristol Road, Gulph Road, Rick Van Dike's Road, Sittleton's Road, a road from Wissahicken Road to the Lancaster Road, the Widow Venable's Road, a road from the falls of the Schuylkill to Fair Hill, a road from the ferry to Fair Hill, a road from Delaware opposite John Reading's Landing to Philadelphia, a road from White Marsh to Oxford Church, that portion of the York Road running from John Reading's Landing to Buckingham, and a portion of a road in York County.

 

Mortgages, Indentures, and Releases,

1716-1873.

(1 folder)

LO 24.4

{series #17.312} [Holdings]

No apparent arrangement.

Miscellaneous canceled mortgages, indentures and releases. Information typically given is name of mortgagee or grantee, date of instrument, date mortgage was canceled, location of tract, amount of mortgage, and a description of the boundaries of the tract.

 

Leases,

1722-1734.

(2 folders)

LO 24.4

{series #17.313} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of lease.

Leases granted on tracts for limited periods of time, usually one year. Information given is date of lease, name of the person granting the lease, name of the person leasing the tract, location of tract, and a description of the tract.

 

Indentures to William Penn's Heirs,

1732-1760.

(5 folders)

LO 24.4

{series #17.314} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Indentures of deeds and leases to William Penn's heirs. These are a 1732 deed from James Steel for interest in a copper mine in Lancaster County to Thomas Penn, a 1732 four-part indenture from Isaac Norris, Samuel Preston and James Logan for various tracts to William Penn's children by his second marriage, a 1734 lease by John Penn, et. al. granting Pennsbury Manor to William Penn for one year, and a 1760 lease of a 1,000 acre tract in Bucks County by James Steel to Thomas Penn.

 

William Allen's Papers,

1733-1753 and undated.

(1 folder)

LO 21.1 PLR 67

{series #17.315} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Papers relating to several different accounts of Philadelphia merchant William Allen's landholdings in tracts rich in iron ore and timber and in the area immediately surrounding the city of Philadelphia. Chief justice of the provincial supreme court from 1751 to 1774, in 1724 Allen began investing a portion of his inheritance in warrant rights to 10,000 acres left to William Penn's grandson, William, and continued to speculate in land up until to the American Revolution. By 1730, Allen's papers were a distinct collection among the Land Office records. When the Land Office records were microfilmed in 1957, many of Allen's more than 180 warrants, surveys, and returns of survey were filed with the original surveys where they can be located through the Old Rights registers.

Among the items in this series are account papers for tracts sold by William Allen in the right of the younger William Penn, Thomas Penn, Letitia Aubrey, and others. Also present are accounts for Liberty land and land Allen acquired through the 1735 lottery scheme and Allen's field book showing courses and distances for various tracts.

 

Richard Peters' Charge on Lands,

1734-1741.

(1 volume)

{series #17.316} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of grant.

Record of lands granted by Proprietary Secretary Richard Peters. Information given is date the land was granted, name of person to whom granted, county where located, and price per acre.

 

Miscellaneous Land Records,

[ca. 1734-1856, undated].

(1 carton)

LO 24.1-38

{series #17.317} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous records left over from a series of 28 cartons of miscellaneous records that were processed into individual series. The microfilm rolls contain images of all of the records in the 28 cartons in the same arrangement as they were originally found. What remains in this carton of original documents includes random scraps of correspondence, various types of lists, stray account papers, and fragments of maps.

 

Miscellaneous Conveyances, Bonds, Leases, and Deed Polls

[ca. 1734-1818].

(1 box)

LO 24.3-38

{series #17.318} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous collection of various types of conveyances including bonds, leases, deeds, deed polls, letters of agreement, letters of obligation, letters of release, deeds polls and deeds relating particularly to Philadelphia city lots but also to tracts of land in the western and other parts of the state. Information generally given is name of person in favor of whom instrument was drawn, date of instrument, a description of the nature of tract and of the type of conveyance, the terms of conveyance if a lease and the amount of consideration and of quitrent if any, and sometimes a description of any dwellings or other building either already standing or to be constructed upon the tract. In some cases bonds and obligations to the John, Thomas and Richard Penn granted particular tracts to private individuals for a fixed period in exchange for their agreement to construct dwellings or other structures upon those tracts. These conveyances were previously scattered through 28 cartons of miscellaneous land records and were microfilmed as part of that series that no longer exists

 

Blunston Licenses, A Record of Licenses Granted to Sundry Persons to Settle and Take Up Land on the West Side of Susquehanna River,

[ca. 1736].

(1 folder)

LO 23.1 PLR 71

{series #17.319} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of license.

Indexed externally, alphabetically by surname of licensee in a staff-compiled list available in the Archives Search Room.

A loose register of licenses granted in lieu of warrants to settlers in Springettsbury Manor in present day York County and along the Conodoguinet Creek in present day Cumberland County and a list of licenses to settle granted to other "adventurers." This series is filed in folder 12 within the series Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1788] {17.297}. The practice of granting licenses to settle on land not yet purchased from the Indians created a new category of land. The licenses carried the promise that warrants would be granted as soon as the land was purchased from the Indians. As early as 1718, James Logan had informally granted permission to a group of Scots-Irish immigrants to settle in West Conestoga Township in what was then Chester County and Deputy Governor William Keith had also secretly given permission for a group of Germans from Schoharie, New York to settle in the Tulpehocken Valley of the present day Berks County in 1723. Despite such early informal arrangements, the Blunston Licenses were the first official licenses to be issued for land lying west of the Susquehanna River. William Penn's policy was to always deal fairly by purchasing all rights of the native owners of land. Under this policy, between the time of the execution of the September 17, 1718 deed that transferred the remaining interest of the Lenni Lenape to the Susquehanna watershed and the Iroquois deeds of October 11 and 25, 1736 that relinquished the last Iroquois claims to the same region, no Europeans were to be permitted to settle on any of the lands west of the Susquehanna River. By 1733, however, concern over occupation of the region west of the river by settlers from Maryland prompted Governor Thomas Penn to authorize Samuel Blunston to issue licenses for settlement west of the river. (For this authorization see the Cadwalader Papers, Box 28, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania).To protect proprietary interests in the border dispute with Maryland, he granted Samuel Blunston a commission to issue "licenses to settle" to German squatters and other "adventurers" in this region and these resemble warrants and contain much of the same type of information. Licenses or certificates were also granted to traders who assisted in military occupation of the frontier and in securing the western fur trade. Examples of these can be found in the gentlemen's tract applications in the East Side Applications Register, 1765-1769 {series #17.37}. Information given in the Blunston licenses is the date of the license, the name of the settler, the acreage licensed, and the location of the tract.

In all cases where settlement occurred by license, regular warrants could not be granted until the land had been purchased from the Indians. To locate a warrant issued on the basis of a license or certificate, consult the warrant register of the county with jurisdiction at the time. For example, most of the earliest warrants issued on the Blunston licenses will be found in the Lancaster County warrant register because Lancaster County had jurisdiction west of the Susquehanna River until York County was erected in 1749 and Cumberland County in 1750. For Blunston License tracts located within Springettsbury Manor in present day York County, see also the tract map and accompanying volume The Manor of Springettsbury, York County, "Its History and Early Settlers," York County Original Records, vol. 6, prepared by Neal Otto Hively, 1993. (Land Office Map 55-746)

A transcription of the Blunston Licenses originally published by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, March 1931 (volume 11, No. 2, pp. 180-185); (Volume 11, No. 3, 269-275) and (volume 12, No. 1, pp. 62-70) is available on the reference shelving in the microfilm research area. It ia accompanied by a surname index prepared by Cara McKay.

 

Correspondence Relating to Conestoga Manor Land,

1737-1765.

(1 folder)

LO 24.27-29

{series #17.320} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Correspondence concerned with the sale of tracts of land in Conestoga Manor located in the present Lancaster County. Information given varies among the letters. There are references to squatters occupying Conestoga Indian lands after the 1763 Conestoga Indian massacre and the occupation of a tract by Daniel McCormick as a reward for his service in arresting Thomas Cresap during the border dispute with Maryland known as "Cresap's War." Also of interest is a 1764 letter revealing crop rotation of hemp, barley, wheat, spelt, winter grain and Indian Corn on fields located near Blue Rock Ferry on the Susquehanna River. Among the names of those purchasing tracts in Conestoga Manor are Robert Beaty, George Adam Durstler, John Heer (Herr), Christian Heer(Herr), Rudy Herr, Samuel Herr, Michael Kauffman, M. Mather, John Mitchel, Abraham Miller, Jacob Miller, John Miller, Samuel Neilson, John Ross, M. Scott, Jacob Whistler, Jacob Whitman, Jacob Whitmore and John Whitmore.

 

Records of 1761 Land Lottery,

1737-1767.

(1 folder)

LO 24.27-29

{series #17.321} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous papers relating primarily to the land lottery scheme of 1761 but also other land lottery schemes. Information given varies with type of document but consists primarily of the historical details of lottery scheme procedures.

 

William Peters Family Papers,

1739-1754.

(1 box)

{series #17.322} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of papers.

Miscellaneous family papers of William Peters, Land Office Secretary from 1760-1769 and brother of Richard Peters who had served in that office from 1737. Information given varies with the type of document and includes account papers of William Stratham for 1748-1754, account papers for Daniel Ashley for 1739-1745, a 1750 account for Ralph Peters, an undated list of debts owed to several persons, and a 1743 estate inventory for "Sister Peters."

 

Tickets Issued by Richard Peters,

1740-1756.

(1 box)

LO 11.4-5

{series #17.323} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of ticket.

Tickets issued by Land Office Secretary Richard Peters authorizing the warranting and surveying of various tracts. Information given is date of ticket, acreage warranted, name of warrantee, location of tract, amount of consideration paid, and date from which quitrent was due.

 

List of Surveys in the Rejected File,

[ca. 1742-1812].

(1 volume, Binding 87)

{series #17.324} [Holdings] [Images]

Grouped by county and grouped thereunder alphabetically by surname of warrantee.

List of the names of warrantees for whom subsequent surveys were rejected. Information given is the name of warrantee, date of warrant, and the number of acres and perches surveyed.

 

Miscellaneous Tickets,

1736-1818.

(1 carton)

LO 24.14-20, 24-27, 29-32

{series #17.325} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Tickets for sundry tracts surveyed for various owners. Information given is location of tract, date of survey, acreage surveyed, name of person for whom surveyed, and names of owners of adjoining tracts.

 

Provincial Secretary's Record of Receipts,

1750-1756.

(3 folders)

{series #17.326} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

A record of tracts receipted by the Provincial Secretary. Information given is the name of the purchaser, acreage of the tract, location of the tract, date purchased and occasionally the name of the person for whom the tract was originally warranted.

 

Warrants to Affix Great Seal to Patents,

1753-1776.

(1 folder)

LO 24.4

{series #17.327} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of warrant.

Warrants issued by John, Thomas, or Richard Penn asking the Keeper of the Great Seal to affix the Great Seal to patents issued by the proprietors in the counties of Bedford, Berks, Cumberland, Lancaster, Northampton, Northumberland, and York and in the towns of Easton, Philadelphia, Reading, Sunbury and York. Information given is date of warrant, name of patentee, number of acres or lot number patented, and name of county or town where located.

 

Baynton and Wharton Papers,

[ca. 1757].

(1 folder)

LO 3.7 PLR 67

{series #17.328} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Shipping account papers, accounts of land holdings, random correspondence, and a late copy of an early land draft. The papers relate to the business operations and land holdings of Philadelphia merchants Peter Baynton and John Wharton who were heavily involved in the western fur trade. Information given varies with type of document.

 

Transcripts of Markham's Papers Received and Account, [ca. 1700],

[ca. 1759].

(1 volume, Binding 61)

LO 25.14

{series #17.329} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Transcript made in 1759 of Book #35 in the Surveyor General's office received from Deputy Governor William Markham relating to surveys of lands and lots located primarily in the three lower counties of Sussex, Kent, and Newcastle. Information given is whether entries were extracted from a patent or a return, the name of the person for whom the tract was returned, the acreage returned, the name of the patentee, name of county where located, and date of either the patent or return.

 

Miscellaneous Correspondence,

1774-1850.

(1 box)

LO 24.24-38

{series #17.330} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by date of correspondence..

Miscellaneous letters interspersed with occasional briefs of title relating to the warranting and patenting of land under the Commonwealth. Many letters concern Donation Lands and the lands owned by John Nicholson and Peter Baynton that were subject to Commonwealth liens. Information given varies with type of document.

 

Miscellaneous Northumberland Warrants,

1775-1870,

(1 folder)

LO 24.11-13

{series #17.331} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of warrant.

Miscellaneous warrants issued for tracts in Northumberland County. Information given is date of warrant, name of warrantee, acreage warranted, and the name of an adjoining property owner.

 

Transmittals of Warrants,

1781-1809.

(5 boxes) PLR 202

{series #17.332} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of warrant transmittal.

A collection of warrant transmittal forms signed by the Secretary of the Land Office to accompany warrants sent to the president of the Supreme Executive Council (1781-1790) or the Governor (1790-1809) for signing. The transmittal forms give the name of the purchaser, the amount paid, the acreage warranted, the township and county where located, the application number and date, and the applicant's name.

 

Abraham Coates Estate Papers,

1782.

(1 volume, Binding 142)

{series #17.333} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

A return of survey and partition agreement prepared by Philadelphia sheriff Isaac Griffitts of the Philadelphia lots and landed estates located in the northern Liberties of Philadelphia owned by Abraham Coates. The survey was made for the purpose of settling disputes between various litigants and the heirs of Coates's estate. (Liberty land had originally been laid out in 1683 to provide sufficient land in Philadelphia to ensure that every First Purchaser of country land in Pennsylvania could also receive 2% of their allotment in Philadelphia lots.) Also present is a similar partition agreement concerning the estate of a Thomas Cuthbert. Information given includes the names of litigants, tenants, and purchasers of the various tracts, locations of the tracts, sizes of the tracts, and dates the tracts were originally settled.

 

Waste Book Containing Sales by Auction of Depreciation Lands, City Lots, Reserved Tracts and Islands,

1785-1809.

(1 volume)

PLR 162

{series #17.334} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of sale.

Daybook of sales at auction that is identified as a Waste Book in Donna Munger's Pennsylvania Land Records: A History and Guide for Research and documents the sale of Depreciation Lands, city lots, reserve tracts, and islands. Information given is name of purchaser, depreciation lot number, number of acres auctioned, amount paid and the type of money used. There is a separate listing of depreciation certificates.

 

Fee Books of the Secretary of the Land Office,

1785-1838

(2 boxes)

LO 25.27, 25.53-54 PLR 188

{series #17.335} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Account books documenting fees received by the Secretary of the Land Office. Information given is a running tally of accounts documenting fees due and balances paid to the state treasurer.

 

Papers Relating to Roads and Rivers,

1791-1800.

(1 carton)

LO 21.2-3

{series #17.336} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Petitions, contracts, reports, and sketches for construction and improvement of roads and for the improvement of rivers for navigation. Information varies with the type of document but generally gives the date of the document, location of the road and or river, names of petitioners, names of government agents and contractors, and sometimes detailed courses and distances. For related road records see also Internal Improvements File, Consisting of Accounts and Papers Relating to Canal and Navigation Companies, Roads and Turnpikes, River Improvements, Public Buildings and Bridge Companies, 1777-1809 {series #4.24} in the Records of the Office of Comptroller General; the Road and Turnpike Accounts, 1809-1840, 1872 {series #2.34} in the Records of the Department of Auditor General; the Historical Reference Files of Joseph W. Hunter Relating to State Roads, Turnpikes and the National Road, 1806-1929 {series #12.7} and Miscellaneous Records Relating to Roads and Turnpikes, 1803-1930 {series #12.8} in the Records of the Department of Highways; and the several series of land acquisition records in Record Group 29, Records of the Turnpike Commission.

 

Register of the Lands of the Asylum Company

1793-1795,

(1 volume)

LO 24.1

{series #17.337} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by tract number.

A copy of the land register of the French Asylum Company made out by John Nicholson for all of the tracts of land covered by two contracts or articles of association. The first of these contracts was made and executed on April 22, 1794 between Robert Morris of Philadelphia and others of the one part and John Nicholson on behalf of himself and his associates. The second was made on April 25, 1795 between John Nicholson of the one part and purchasers, owners, or holders of shares in the French Asylum Company of the other part. The purpose of the company was to establish an asylum in Pennsylvania for the French royal family and their allies during the French Revolution. The resulting settlement of "French Azilum" stood on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River between present day Wyalusing and Towanda and consisted of about fifty dwellings, several shops and inns, a chapel, a theater, a smithy, a bakery, and a distillery and was abandoned within a decade of settlement. A large portion of these lands were subsequently sold for direct and county taxes and under executions issued from the Circuit Court of the United States. Information given is the tract number, number of acres and perches warranted, name of warrantee, county where located, and the date of the warrant. For related materials see the Minutes of the Asylum Company at the Library of Congress and the Articles of Agreement of the Asylum Company at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

 

Westmoreland County Conveyances,

1794-1795.

(2 folders)

LO 24.11-14

{series #17.338} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Conveyances of rights to tracts of land located in Westmoreland County from original applicant to subsequent purchaser. Information given is name of original applicant, name of purchaser, amount paid by purchaser to the Land Office, and date of conveyance.

 

Reports of the Secretary of the Land Office,

1800-1804.

(1 folder)

LO 20.5 PLR 188

{series #17.339} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Reports of the Secretary of the Land Office addressed to the governor and to a commission of the state House of Representatives concerning the books and papers in the Land Office and the status of recording warrants, surveys, and patents since 1792.

 

Secretary of the Land Office Letter Books,

1800-1811, 1838-1839 and c. 1855

(2 volumes)

LO 25.31 PLR 188

{series #17.340} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of letter.

Copies of letters sent by the Secretary in the conduct of land office business. Letters transcribed in the first volume concern primarily the settlement of the Connecticut claims in the Seventeen Certified Townships of Luzerne County while the letters in the later volume from Deputy Secretary James Henderson are primarily routine responses to inquiries from purchasers concerning the status of patents to be issued. Also present in the second volume is a chronologically arranged list of the names of patentees who received grants under the terms of the Act of May 9, 1855 which revived and extended the provisions of the Act of April , 10, 1835 for graduating the land through December 1857. The revived and extended law was restricted to lands upon which settlers were actually resident, or to their heirs or alienees, and provided that not more than two patents could be granted to one party. Information found on this list is the name of the patentee, the date of the patent, the number of acres and perches in the tract, and the name of the county where the tract was located. For related Graduated Land materials see also Commissionedrs' Certificates, [ca. 1835] {series #17.235} and Miscellaneous Surveys and Graduated Land Certificates, 1835-1857 {series #17.236}.

 

Transmittals of Patents,

1803-1809.

(1 folder)

LO 24.29-38

{series #17.341} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of transmittal.

Transmittal forms for patents granted for Donation Lands. Information given is the date of transmittal, name of patentee, Donation Land lot number, Donation Land district number, and acreage patented.

 

Mortgage Books,

1805-1834.

(2 volumes)

LO 25.34-35

{series #17.342} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by mortgage number.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of mortgagee.

Register of lands mortgaged through the Commonwealth. Information given is mortgage number, name of mortgagee, number of acres and perches mortgaged, name of county where tract was located, the amount of the mortgage, and the date the mortgage was satisfied or canceled. For related records concerning mortgages see also Record Group 8, Records of the General Loan Office and State Treasurer.

 

Papers Relating to the Melish Maps,

1817-1826.

(2 Boxes)

LO 21.1, 21.4

{series #17.343} [Holdings] [Melish-Whiteside Maps - Series #17.534]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Reports, correspondence, and a letter book relating to the creation of county maps by geographer John Melish under the terms of the Act of Assembly of March 19, 1816. Among these are John Melish's original set of instructions for creating the maps and the article of agreement dated April 9, 1821 with Philadelphia engraver Benjamin Tanner for their publication. Completed in 1817 and 1818, these maps were based upon actual county surveys and delineate township boundaries, prominent geographical features, roads and distances, post offices, mills, factories, iron furnaces, iron forges, churches and a few houses. Deputy surveyors performed most of the work and a clerk in the Land Office, the first of whom was named John Whiteside, made office copies of these for the Surveyor General. Sometimes also called "Whiteside Maps," these maps were first published by Benjamin Tanner in 1822 and a corrected and updated second edition followed in 1826. The original maps were never returned to the Surveyor General, however, and today the State Archives owns only the copies and these associated papers. The maps will be found in the Land Office Map Collection, [ca.1680-1999] {series #17.522}. Information given varies with the type of document.

 

Unpatented Land Lists,

1820-1887.

(5 boxes) PLR 178

{series #17.344} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and thereunder chronologically by date.

Lists of warranted but unpatented lands lying in each of the counties. Information given is name of warrantee, date of warrant, and the township where the tract was located.

 

Unpatented Land Tickets,

1822-1827.

(3 boxes)

{series #17.345} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by county.

Tickets issued under the Act of March 22, 1820. Information given is the date of warrant, acreage, location of tract, name of the person to whom warranted, date of ticket, and names of then current occupiers or owners.

 

Indexes to Volumes in the Secretary's Office,

[ca. 1837-1838 and undated].

(5 volumes)

{series #17.346} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of indexed individual.

Indexes prepared for various volumes kept by the Secretary of the Land Office. Some of these may index volumes that no longer exist.

1838 (1 volume)

List of Papers Transferred to the State of Delaware,

1801.

(1 volume) Binding No. 141

{series #17.536} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and arranged numerically.

A list of 7,208 warrants, surveys and miscellaneous papers relating to lands located in the three lower counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex of Pennsylvania that were later transferred to the state of Delaware. The warrants transferred provide the name of the warrantee, warrant number, warrant date, quantity warranted, and date returned. The information in the surveys transferred provide the name of the warrantee and the acreage warranted. The miscellaneous papers include proprietary papers, papers relating to lands claimed by Maryland, papers concerning New Castle County originally kept by Deputy Receiver General and Collector of Quitrents James Steel, and papers concerning the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary dispute between the Penn family and Maryland proprietor Charles Calvert, Third Baron Baltimore.

List of Lands Transferred to the State of Delaware,

1801.

(1 volume) Binding No. 170

LO 25.36

{series #17.537} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by number assigned to each document.

Lists of 1,656 land records including patents, petitions, returns of survey, depositions, and miscellaneous papers pertaining to land that lay within the three lower counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex of Pennsylvania that later became the state of Delaware under the provisions of the Act passed February 19, 1801.

XX. Records of the Office of Receiver General

The Office of Receiver General was formally organized in 1689 when William Penn selected Deputy Governor John Blackwell to collect purchase money and quitrents on land. Prior to this time, the Commissioners of Property had delegated responsibility for collecting quitrents to James Harrison, William Penn's steward at Pennsbury Manor. 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.

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. Blackwell was no more successful in collecting quitrents than was Harrison and resigned several months after his appointment. Blackwell's original rent roll of 1689 is in the Logan Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Samuel Jennings was appointed Receiver General in 1690 and Benjamin Chambers served as his deputy for collecting rents in the city and county of Philadelphia. From 1699-1701, Penn consolidated the Land Office and appointed his Secretary of Proprietary Affairs, James Logan, to also serve as Receiver General. New legislation passed in 1705 specifying the times, places, and means of collecting quitrents codified quitrent collection procedures and resulted in the creation of rent rolls, daybooks, journals and ledgers that were used during the remainder of the proprietary period.

Under the law, the Receiver General or his deputy visited every county at a publicized time in March or April of each year. Notices were published in the Pennsylvania Gazette prior to the visit and the places of attendance were specified. The deputy receivers took small rent roll books compiled from records in the secretary's office with them in which they recorded quitrent collections. Upon their return to Philadelphia, the amounts collected were transferred into the daybooks of the Receiver General in chronological order along with other forms of receipts. These figures were also entered into journals and ledgers that served as the master account books of the office. The journals and ledgers give a fairly complete picture of proprietary land affairs, while the rent rolls and daybooks are good sources for locating property owners and renters. The position of Receiver General was abolished in 1809 and the duties were divided between the Secretary of the Land Office and the State Treasurer.

For additional copies of receipts of warrant and patent fees collected, see also Land Warrant and Patent Receipts, 1809-1885 {series #28.41} (34 cartons) in Records of the Treasury Department.

 

Abstracts of Lists of Warrants,

1706-1741.

(1 volume)

{series #17.347} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by date abstract was prepared.

Abstracts of the reports of monies collected from warrants issued for the taking up of lands in the province of Pennsylvania and the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex together with the annual quitrents arising from the same. Information given is date of abstract, the name of the county, the total acreage warranted, the consideration money collected, and the quitrent collected.

 

Day Books,

1720-1779, 1781-1809.

(6 cartons)

LO 25.37-51, 25.63 pp. 35, 195

{series #17.348} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry and for quitrents grouped by town.

Daybooks documenting the amounts collected by the Receiver General from land sales, quit rents, and other proprietary income. Information given is the name of the person from whom money was received, the name of the person to whom remitted and to what account credited, and the amount received.

 

Receiver General Certificates,

1744-1853 and undated.

(1 box)

LO 20.3-4 PLR 195

{series #17.349} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of receipt.

Certificates of receipt for payments made to the Receiver General on the purchase of land. Information given is the name of the payer, the amount paid, and the acreage and location of the tract.

 

Receiver General Receipts,

1745-1790.

(4 folders)

LO 24.1-38

{series #17.350} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Receipts for purchase of tracts of land removed from various collections of miscellaneous Land Office Records. Information generally given is date of receipt, name of purchaser, acreage and location of tract, and amount received.

 

List of Goods Sold or Cash Received,

March 15-June 29, 1774.

(1 volume)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.351} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Daybook of goods sold and the cash received from sales of office furniture. Information given is description of item sold, name of person to whom sold, and price paid.

 

Certificates of Indebtedness,

1780.

(1 box)

LO 20.3 PLR 195

{series #17.352} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by first letter of surname of certificate holder.

Certificates for repayment issued by the state of Pennsylvania to persons who supplied cattle, horses, or provisions to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War under the terms of the Acts of Assembly dated January 2, 1778 and June 1, 1780. These certificates could be used to pay for land and the certificates in this series were paid to the Receiver General. Information given is the name of the person to whom the certificate was issued, the amount for which the state of Pennsylvania was indebted, the reason for the indebtedness, and the signature of the commissioner issuing the certificate.

 

Miscellaneous Records of Depreciation and Nicholson Lands,

1781-1807.

(9 folders)

LO 24.29-38

{series #17.353} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Correspondence, lists of the names of warrantees, monthly calculation of fees collected, and related papers concerning Depreciation Lands, Philadelphia City lots, and the Reserved Tract opposite Pittsburgh. Some of these records also relate to lands owned by John Nicholson. Information given varies with type of document. Typically, district or lot numbers may be given together with the name of warrantee, number of acres warranted, amount paid or due, and a description of unusual circumstances associated with the tract or of the payment of fees.

 

Land Warrant and Patent Receipts,

1781-1809.

(8 cartons)

PLR 195

{series #17.354} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by receipt number.

Receipts certifying payment in full of the purchase money and interest on tracts of land granted through application to the proprietary government but not patented until the era of the Commonwealth. Receipts for Philadelphia City and barracks lots are also included. Information given is the name of the purchaser, the amount paid, the number of acres, the township where located, the name of the person for whom the land was surveyed, the date of the warrant or the application number, the date of the survey, and the date of the receipt. The other part consists of daily reports listing the names of persons who paid for land granted to them on warrants initiated under the Commonwealth. These reports accompanied the warrants that were submitted to the president of the Supreme Executive Council. Information provided is the name of the warrantee, the amount paid, the number of acres, the county where located, and the date of the warrant.

 

Miscellaneous Receiver General and Treasurer Receipts,

1782-1864.

(1 box)

LO 24.29-38

{series #17.355} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous receipts, lists of names of persons from whom monies were received, and related papers. Information generally given is name of person from whom money was received, number acres for which collected, amount collected, county where tract was located, and date of warrant.

 

New Loan Book of David Rittenhouse,

1783-1787.

(1 volume, Binding 130)

{series #17.356} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of interest payment.

A ledger of interest paid from April 1, 1787 on certificates that were issued by Secretary of the Treasury David Rittenhouse to finance the Revolutionary War. Information given is the date of the payment, certificate number, the amount owed, the name of the certificate holder, the amount of interest paid, the number of months for which the interest was paid, and the name of the person to whom paid.

 

Fee Book Blotters of the Receiver General,

1784-1955.

(13 volumes)

LO 25.52-57, 25.63 PLR 196

{series #17.357} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

A daily account of fees collected by the Receiver General until 1809 and thereafter by the various succeeding offices. Information given is the Surveyor General's voucher number, date fee was paid, a description of the nature of the payment, the nature of the purchase in which the land was located and the amount of the fee remitted. The term blotter was used until 1800, after which they were called Fee Books.

 

Certificates of Receipt of Purchase Money,

1786-1809.

(5 cartons)

{series #17.358} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of certificate.

Certificates proving payment of purchase money on tracts for which a patent was then being prepared. Information given is name of purchaser, total amount of principal and interest paid, township and county where tract was located, acreage surveyed, name of person by whom surveyed, date of warrant and date of the certificate.

 

List of Monies Received by Francis Johnston, Esq., Late Receiver General,

1790-1794.

(2 volumes)

PLR 196

{series #17.359} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date money was received.

A warrant payment book and a patent payment book each giving the name of the person making payment, the date of payment, the number of acres warranted or patented, and the amount received. In Frank Suran's Guide to the Record Groups in the Pennsylvania State Archives these volumes are listed separately as a "Patent Payment Book, 1790-1792" under the Office of Receiver General and a "Warrant Payment Book, 1790-1795" under the Office of Surveyor General.

 

Warrant Receipts for Settlement with John Penn,

1791-1792,

(1 folder)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.360} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Warrant receipts issued to John Ashley for payments made by the Commonwealth in settlement with John Penn for the value of lands seized from the Penn family. Information given is date of payment, amount of payment, where the payment fell in the sequence of payments authorized by the Supreme Executive Council on January 18, 1786, and the signatures of the Treasurer and those authorizing each payment.

 

Copies of Receiver General Reports,

1793.

(1 folder)

LO 24.32-34

{series #17.361} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Reports submitted by the Receiver General on the quantity of land sold for which purchase money had already been paid. These are primarily account papers providing the dates of payment and quantities of land sold in the Old Purchase and the New Purchase.

 

Receiver General Certificate Book,

1796-1805.

(1 folder)

{series #17.362}[Holdings]

Arranged sequentially by certificate number.

Record Book kept by the Receiver General pursuant to the Act of Assembly of March 9, 1796 to issue certificates to David Meade and others that could be used as credit to take out warrants for vacant land anywhere in the state or as payment toward former grants. Information given is the name of the persons to whom certificates were issued, date the certificate was issued, the value of each certificate, and the date the certificate was returned to the Receiver General. The names of certificate holders are David Meade, Robert Harris, William Maclay, Thomas Martin in right of Robert Martin, Thomas Billington, David Fowler, and Richard Salmon in right of John Salmon.

 

 

XXI. Records of the Surveyor General

When Thomas Holme was appointed Surveyor General in 1682 he began implementing William Penn's instructions for selling land in Pennsylvania. Originally, the Surveyor General worked closely with the Secretary of Proprietary Affairs and was responsible for surveying tracts and recording and forwarding warrants to survey to the deputy surveyors in the counties. When a survey was returned by a deputy surveyor, the Surveyor General certified the accuracy of the survey and prepared a return of survey report for the Secretary. New regulations governing the conduct of deputy surveyors were put into effect in 1701 to prevent tracts being surveyed for more land than had actually been warranted. These regulations required deputy surveyors to take an oath of office, post a bond, and follow specific procedures in carrying out their work. Under William Penn's heirs, the responsibilities of the Surveyor General were specified in appointment commissions issued by the proprietors that typically required him to keep all records, books, maps, and returns in his office in an orderly fashion and to make duplicates of all official documents. He was also required to maintain a separate file for proprietary lands. Deputy surveyors were also given formal commissions with specific instructions for their respective districts. When the Commonwealth was created in 1776 the Surveyor General was elected by the General Assembly for a five year term. The Constitution of 1790 gave the Governor the power to appoint the Surveyor General and the term was reduced to three years to coincide with that of the Governor. In 1850 the position became elective until it was abolished under the Constitution of 1873 and the Land Office became the Bureau of Land Records within the Department of Internal Affairs.

A Surveyor General-related series entitled Materials Relating to Capitol Buildings and Grounds, [1911-1917, 1956 and undated] (14 folders) is now part of the Land Office Map Collection, [ca. 1680-1999] {series #17.522}.

 

William Markham's Book,

1682-1689.

(Binding 17)

LO 25.3 PLR 31

{series #17.363} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by warrant number.

A register kept by Property Commissioner and Deputy Governor William Markham of 844 warrants and also containing arithmetic and geometric problems in surveying and instructions on how to survey a manor. Information given is the number of each warrant granted, the name of the grantee, the number of acres granted, whether purchased or rented, whether a new or old purchase, whether granted by the Governor or the Commissioners of Property, the county where located, date of grant, and occasional comments.

 

Deputy Surveyors' Order Book,

1682-1693.

(1 volume)

{series #17.364} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally alphabetically by surname of warrantee.

An order book documenting orders to survey that were issued by either William Penn or the Commissioners of Property. Information given is whether the order came from William Penn or the Commissioners, the name of warrantee, acreage to be surveyed, location of tract, and the date the survey was ordered. The 1759 transcript of this series will be found Binding 50 of Transcripts of Old Rights Warrants Issued, 1682-1732, 1759 {series #17.74} (LO 25.11).

 

General Correspondence,

1682-1873 and undated.

(3 boxes)

LO 21.3, 20.5 and RG-17 Reel 3982 pp. 33, 190

{series #17.365} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Correspondence concerned with the conducting of surveys and also including some copies of warrants and surveys. Information generally given is the date of the correspondence, name of correspondent, location and acreage of tract concerned, and occasionally names of adjoining tract owners. Correspondents include Secretaries of the Land Office James Logan, Richard Peters, William Penn, and James Tilghman and Surveyors General Jacob Taylor, Benjamin Eastburn, Nicholas Scull, and John Lukens.

 

Surveyor General Dossier,

[ca. 1689-1830]

(1 carton, 1 box)

LO 24.4-7

{series #17.366} [Holdings]

Arranged numerically by a sequentially assigned inventory number.

Loose surveys, orders to survey, warrants, vouchers, lists of unseated lands, and lists of surveys submitted by deputy surveyors to the Surveyor General. Also included are papers relating to the sale of office furniture and other items from the Surveyor General's office in Lancaster in 1812 when the state capitol was moved to Harrisburg. The sequential numbers appearing on the back of the documents run from 1 through 959 and appear to have been assigned at a relatively early date in the nineteenth century, though their meaning has since been lost. The surveys are probably original drafts submitted by deputy surveyors and represent tracts located in all parts of the state. Information varies with type of document but frequently gives date of survey, name of warrantee, location of tract, acreage of tract, and the metes and bounds of the tract.

 

Orders to Survey for Proprietors and Related Papers,

[ca. 1690-1774]

(2 folders)

LO 24.27-29

{series #17.367} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Orders to survey, indentures, returns of survey, and a few plat plans relating to the surveying of lands for proprietary manors and lots. Information generally given is date of order, location and acreage of tract, and sometimes a detailed description of the metes and bounds.

 

Journals,

1701-1710, 1712-1733, 1781-1955.

(46 volumes)

LO 25.57-78 pp. 37, 196

{series #17.368} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Master journals of accounts containing information from rent rolls and a condensed version of the Receiver General's daybooks giving the page in the daybook where the corresponding entry can be found. Originally, these were probably kept by the Receiver General until that position was abolished in 1809 and responsibility was then transferred to the Surveyor General until that office was abolished in 1874. Information given is the name of the person paying on the account, number of acres, township where located, and the amount paid.

 

Ledgers,

1701-1710, 1712-1732, 1781-1955.

(54 volumes)

LO 25.80-104 pp. 37, 196

{series #17.369} [Holdings]

Arranged sequentially by first appearance of a payer's name in a daybook for the time period of each volume.

Indexed internally alphabetically by surname of purchaser.

Master account books tracking multiple payments made by purchasers. Originally, these were probably kept by the Receiver General until that position was abolished in 1809 and responsibility was then transferred to the Surveyor General until that office was abolished in 1874. A block of space for each purchaser contains a list of all of the payments made during the period covered by the ledger. Prepared at the same time as the journals, the ledgers give the date of payment, the page number in the daybook where the corresponding information can be found, the account to which the payment was credited (such as interest on acreage, purchase price of land, or sundries), the page in the ledger where the amount paid was tabulated, the amount paid, the form of payment, and the name of the person by whom paid.

 

Surveyor General Copies of Warrants,

1702-1772.

(1 folder)

{series #17.370} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous Surveyor General copies of applications, warrants, and orders to survey. Information given is date of warrant, name of warrantee, location of tract, and a brief description of the tract.

 

Deputy Surveyors' Duplicate Commissions and Instructions,

1713-1848.

(3 cartons)

LO 19.1-4 PLR 192

{series #17.371} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Copies of commissions, instructions, and nominating letters sent to deputy surveyors. Information given is name of deputy surveyor, date of commission, name of surveying district, and the printed text of the instructions and of the oath taken by each deputy surveyor.

 

List of Deputy Surveyors,

1713-1850.

(2 volumes)

LO 25.29 PLR 33, 192

{series #17.372} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of commission.

Indexed in Deputy Surveyor Index, 1717-1850 {series #17.373}.

A complete list of the names of the deputy surveyors. Information given includes the name of the deputy surveyor, date commission was issued, the name of the original district, the district as altered, and remarks. The second volume labeled Deputy Surveyor List B is indexed internally by name of the deputy surveyor and contains lists of returns submitted by various deputy surveyors.


Oaths of Office for County Surveyors,
1850-1916.
(2 cartons, 1 box)

{series #17.529} [Holdings]


Grouped alphabetically by county.

Oaths of office swon by county surveyors. Information provided is name of surveyor, name of county served, date oath was sworn, names of witnesses, and of the clerk of court.

 

Deputy Surveyors' Index,

1713-1850.

(1 box)

{series #17.373} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of deputy surveyor.

Alphabetical index of deputy surveyors for Lists of Deputy Surveyors, 1713-1850 {series #17.372} giving the date when the surveyor was commissioned and the district.

 

Miscellaneous Survey Drafts and Returns,

1720-1830.

(1 carton)

LO 24.10-17, 24-32

{series #17.374} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous drafts of surveys, some of which are incomplete, for tracts across the state and also including the "three lower counties" comprising present-day Delaware and the town of Sunbury. Information typically given is name of person for whom survey was conducted, date of survey, date of warrant, acreage surveyed, a description of the metes and bounds, and names of owners of adjoining tracts.

 

Disputed Lands Papers,

[ca. 1730-1792].

(4 folders)

LO 24.14-17

{series #17.375} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Letters addressed to the Surveyor General and papers relating to disputed lands and including depositions, a 1730 account for Edward Shippen, and a letter signed by Conrad Weiser. Information varies with type of document but frequently gives the date Surveyor General was notified of the dispute, name of property owner involved in the dispute and location and description of tract. Also present are generally undated lists of surveys giving name of person for whom a tract was surveyed, number of acres surveyed, and either the township or name of adjacent creek on which tract was located.

 

Surveyor General Certificates,

1734-1872.

(1 carton, 1 box)

LO 20.4 PLR 190

{series #17.376} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of certificate.

Certificates sent by the Secretary of the Land Office to the Surveyor General to request the preparation of a return of survey. Information given is the name of the warrantee, date of the certificate, name of the person for whom the land was surveyed, number of acres surveyed, location of the tract, and the amount paid.

 

Miscellaneous Deputy Surveyor Records,

1735-1824.

(2 folders)

LO 24.1-38

{series #17.377} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous deputy surveyors' survey notes, copies of 1681 William Penn indentures, and related records. Information given varies with type of document. Among the items present are notes concerning the Act of Assembly passed February 1, 1790 granting Iroquois Chief Corn Planter three tracts on the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers amounting to 1500 acres. Also present is a list designating lands donated for the use of public schools under an Act of Assembly dated April 7, 1786.

 

Orders to Survey for Use of Proprietaries,

1746.

(1 volume, Binding 120)

LO 25.108 PLR 88

{series #17.378} [Holdings]

Grouped by county and arranged thereunder alphabetically by surname.

An incomplete register of warrants issued for the use of the proprietors commencing 14 January 1746 and originally labeled "Book 10." Information given is the name of the county, name of warrantee, acreage warranted, and date of warrant.

 

Letter Books of the Surveyor General,

1762-1764, 1810-1821.

(2 volumes)

Reel 467, LO 25.31 PLR 191

{series #17.379} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Copies of official incoming and outgoing correspondence. Information given is date of correspondence, name of correspondent, and the text found in the original letter.

 

Deputy and County Surveyors' Lists of Returns,

1762-1887.

(9 volumes)

LO 25.27-29 PLR 193

{series #17.380} [Holdings]

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

Indexed internally, alphabetically by surname of person for whom survey was returned.

Lists of the surveys that each deputy and or county surveyor returned to the surveyor general. Information given is the date of the return, the warrant number, the name of the warrantee, and the number of acres surveyed or name of county, name of surveyor, date of survey, name of person for whom survey was prepared.

 

Rough Drafts of Proprietary Surveys,

1767 and undated.

(3 folders)

LO 24.10-14, 24-27

{series #17.381} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Rough drafts of unidentified proprietary surveys belonging to the Penn family. Information given is generally insufficient to allow the tracts to be located.

 

Depositions,

1767-1823.

(1 folder)

LO 24.14-17

{series #17.382}[Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of deposition.

Depositions concerning disputed land and boundaries. Information typically given is the name of the person making the deposition, the date of the deposition, a description of the location of the tract, a description of the nature of the dispute, and the name of the person for whom the tract was warranted or patented.

 

Certificates of Acceptance of Surveys,

1770, 1774.

(6 folders)

LO 24.24-27

{series #17.383} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of acceptance.

Certificates issued after examination to confirm the accuracy of surveys. Information given is name of person for whom survey was conducted, acreage of tract, township and county where located, date of application, and application number.

 

Job Chillaway Papers for Wyalusing,

1772-1774.

(1 folder)

LO 24.24-27

{series #17.384} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Order to survey, survey draft, bonds, and mortgage for a 623-acre plantation including a dwelling house at Wyalusing on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in what was then Northumberland County. The survey order dated May 20, 1772 specified that the grant was to be completed only after the Wyalusing Indians had vacated the site. Also present is the petition of Job Chillaway, himself a Native American, asking for preference for an island in the Susquehanna River just to the north of his plantation containing fifty acres upon which he had already made improvements and cleared thirty acres for his use.

 

Purchase Vouchers,

1784-1949.

(59 cartons)

PLR 190

{series #17.385} [Holdings]

Grouped by purchases (Old Purchase and New Purchase) and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of voucher.

Purchase vouchers revealing the amount remaining to be paid after a survey was completed. The top portion of each voucher was completed in the Surveyor General's office. Information given is the date the voucher was prepared, the number of acres surveyed, the township and county where the tract was located, the name of the person for whom the land was surveyed, and the date of the warrant. Also sometimes given are the names of the owners of adjacent tracts. The bottom portion was completed in the Secretary's office and gives the amounts paid and outstanding. A numerical record of when payment was received is given in the Surveyor General Fee Books, 1789-1855. 1860-1870 {series #17.386}.

 

Surveyor General Fee Books,

1789-1855, 1860-1870.

(16 volumes)

LO 25.54-57. 25.63 PLR 191

{series #17.386} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Daily account of fees collected in the Surveyor General's office. Information given is the date, the amount collected, and a description of the nature of the fee.

 

Surveyor General Letter Book,

1790-1808.

(1 volume)

LO 23.1 PLR 190

{series #17.387} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Filed with Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1788] {series #17.297} (folder 11), this letter book contains office copies of several official reports. Information given frequently includes names of purchasers and references to circumstances affecting the surveying of their tracts.

 

Deputy Surveyors Assigned to Districts,

1791-1799.

(1 volume, Binding 167)

PLR 193

{series #17.388} [Holdings]

Grouped by purchase region

Indexed internally.

Lists of the names of deputy surveyors appointed in 1791 and 1792 to work in the region of the purchase of 1768 and earlier, and a separate list of the names of deputies together with a description of the eleven districts created in the western portion of the Purchase of 1784 after the Depreciation and Donation lands were surveyed. Information generally given is the district number, name of the deputy surveyor, the location and boundaries of the district, and the date the deputy surveyor was assigned to the district.

 

Deputy Surveyors' Account Ledger,

1799-1827.

(1 volume)

LO 25.27 PLR 193

{series #17.389} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally by surname of deputy surveyor.

A record of deputy surveyors' remittances of fees to the Surveyor General's office and payments on account. Information given is date fees were remitted and amount remitted.

 

Petitions for Appointment of Deputy Surveyors

[ca. 1800-ca. 1831].

(2 cartons)

LO 24.11-14

{series #17.390} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by county.

Petitions submitted to the Surveyor General for appointment of deputy surveyors. Information given is date of petition, name of person on behalf of who petition was submitted, names and signatures of petitioners, and name of county to be served by appointee. Interspersed among these petitions is occasional correspondence to the Surveyor General that primarily concerns appointments of deputy surveyors but there are also some letters on contemporary political affairs.

 

Field Notes

[ca. 1825].

(3 folders)

LO 20.5 PLR 192

{series #17.391} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Deputy surveyors' field notes and calculations for surveys. Among the items are a field notebook containing tables giving such information as warrant number, name of warrantee, acreage warranted, the names of two adjoining property owners, and the name of the person by whom released. Other field notebooks and loose papers contain survey calculations, some of which are associated with warrant numbers.

 

County Surveyors' Election Returns and Oaths,

1850-[ca.1896].

(124 folders)

LO 19.6-9 PLR 192

{series #17.392} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by county.

Certificates of election results and signed oaths of office for county surveyors. Information given is the date of the election, the name of the candidate, vote tallies, signed oaths of office, and the signatures of court officers who certified the results.

 

Lists of County Surveyors

1850-1957.

(2 volumes)

LO 25.26-27 PLR 193

{series #17.393} [Holdings]

Grouped by county.

List of county surveyors giving the names of the surveyors, their dates of election, when the oaths were filed, and their post office addresses.

 

Records Relating to Commonwealth Boundaries,

1850-1987.

(13 boxes)

{series #17.394} [Holdings]

Grouped by state with which boundary dispute occurred and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Correspondence, reports, and miscellaneous papers relating to the settlement of the various boundary disputes between Pennsylvania and the states of Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, New York, and West Virginia. Information varies with type of document. For related records on Commonwealth boundaries see also Boundary Survey Accounts, 1782-1810 {series 4.5} in the Records of the Office of Comptroller General.

 

Oaths of Commissioners,

1853-1859.

(1 box)

LO 27.12 PLR 178

{series #17.395} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of oath.

Signed oaths sworn by county commissioners who acted as appraisers of unpatented land under the 1835 law to graduate the land. Information given is name of commissioner, date of oath, and county of residence.

 

List of Returns Returned to the County Surveyors for Correction,

1860-1926.

(1 volume)

{series #17.396} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date returned for correction.

Register of surveys returned to county surveyors for correction. Information given is name of county surveyor, name of warrantee, date of warrant, date returned for correction, date received and corrected, and remarks.

 

Minute Book of Agricultural Land,

[ca. 1862].

(1 volume)

LO 25.20-21

{series #17.397} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Minutes of the board of commissioners appointed to administer the sale of agricultural land scrip under the provisions of the Morrill Land Grant Act of July 2, 1862 to survey and sell federal land to fund "agricultural and mechanic art colleges." Information given is a transcript of the congressional act authorizing issuance of the scrip and a record of the sale of the said scrip. This includes the date the scrip was issued, the name of the person to whom issued, the tract number, and the price per acre. Such sales funded the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania that was formerly known as the Farmers' High School and is now The Pennsylvania State University.

 

Proof of Settlement Certificates,

1863-1864.

(1 folder)

LO 24.14-17, 24.24-27, 24.29-32

{series #17.398} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Applications and proof of settlement certificates for Donation Land lots. Information given is name of applicant, acreage and location of tract, names of owners of adjacent tracts, and signed deposition of two disinterested witnesses giving the name of original settler and date of original settlement. Most are for Butler, Fayette, Venango and Warren Counties.

 

Applications for Releases of Liens

[ca. 1864].

(44 folders)

LO 16.15-16 PLR 178

{series #17.399} [Holdings]

Grouped by county.

Applications for release from liens and accompanying connected drafts illustrating overlapping surveys. These applications were filed in response to the 1864 land lien law that required the Surveyor General to compile and transmit land lien dockets to the Prothonotary of each county in order to collect fees owed to the Commonwealth. The applications for releases contain connected drafts intended to resolve errors caused by overlapping surveys.

 

Lien Dockets,

1864-1868.

(4 volumes)

LO 1.5-8 PLR 179

{series #17.400} [Holdings]

Entries are grouped by county, thereunder by the first letter of the applicant's or warrantee's surname, then by the process used to patent the land and whether a survey was returned, and finally arranged chronologically within their category by date of entry. Within the four volumes, the counties are arranged by region with Philadelphia, Montgomery, Berks, Schuylkill, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Dauphin, Lebanon, Bucks, Northampton, Lehigh, Carbon, Monroe, Pike, and Wayne counties in volume one; Northumberland, Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, Lycoming, Sullivan, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford, Tioga, Potter, Clinton, Union, Centre, and Snyder counties in volume two; York, Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Perry, Juniata, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Cameron, Elk, McKean, and Forest counties in volume three; and Bedford, Fulton, Somerset, Fayette, Westmoreland, Washington, Greene, Allegheny, Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson, Clarion, Venango, Warren, Beaver, Butler, Mercer, Lawrence, Crawford, and Erie counties in volume four.

The land lien dockets consist of four volumes constructed between 1864 and 1868 that list principal and interest due to the Commonwealth for unpatented lands. Created under the Land Lien Law of 1864, as amended in 1868, the dockets were in use until officially closed in the first decade of the twentieth century. Entries are grouped by county, thereunder by the first letter of the applicant's or warrantee's surname, and then by the process used to patent the land and whether a survey was returned. Group headings include warrant; warrant (with) survey not returned; applications (east side, west side, new purchase applications, etc.); and applications (with) survey not returned. Additional group headings such as mortgages and excess surveys are evident along with region specific headings such as certified claims (Luzerne Co.), Virginia entries (southwest Pennsylvania), and actual settlement (northwest Pennsylvania). Information provided includes: warrant number, name of warrantee, warrant date, warrant quantity, township or location, quantity returned, quantity unpatented, rate percent of land, rate percent of interest, where the account was found, amount paid on the account, when paid, amount due, fees, aggregate amount due June 1, 1868, and remarks. If subsequently patented, the patent date and the name of patentee are also provided.

Releases Under Act of 15 April 1869,

1869-1875.

LO 36.1, (Bindings 82 and 83) PLR 179

{series #17.401} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally in Binding 82.

Transcripts of the Surveyor General's orders granting release from the lien against the purchase price entered in the official lien docket under the provisions of the Act of 15 April 1869. This land lien law required the Surveyor General to compile and transmit land lien dockets to the Prothonotary of each county in order to collect fees owed to the Commonwealth. Information given is the name of the person releasing claim, date of release, name of person to whom released, location and acreage of tract, and a description of the boundaries.

 

Surveyor General Letter Press Books,

1870-1875.

(6 volumes)

PLR 191

{series #17.402} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Copies of official correspondence sent by the surveyor general. Information given is date of correspondence, name of correspondent, and generally a description of the location and status of the parcel of land in question.

 

XXII. Records of the Board of Property

When William Penn was not in the colony, the Commissioners of Property were the only officials entrusted with the power to grant and sign warrants and patents. The Commissioners met to receive special requests for land or applications for warrants and to hear cases involving infractions of land procedures and regulations. Among the Commissioners, one was designated Secretary of Proprietary Affairs and this individual also served as Secretary of the Provincial Council and as Receiver General.

The first Commissioners of Property were appointed in October 1681 while they were still in England. When one of these, William Crispin, died on the voyage to Pennsylvania, Thomas Holme was appointed in his place in April 1682. Prior to this time, on April 10, 1681 Penn had appointed his cousin William Markham as his deputy "to Survey, Sett out, Rent, or Sell lands." When Penn arrived in Pennsylvania in October 1682 he assumed control of land affairs, signing his own warrants and settling disputes. Shortly after he returned to England, he appointed Thomas Lloyd, James Claypoole, and Robert Turner as Commissioners of Property but these commissioners at first kept no minute book of their actions. Instead, the extant records consist of warrants to survey signed by either William Penn or two of the commissioners but no requests to take up land or minutes of meetings.

In 1687, Penn replaced his Commissioners with another set of appointees who were governed by a specific set of instructions concerning the over-plus land allowance for roads and highways and surveying land for the proprietors. From this time, minute books were kept and these were inventoried and labeled in 1759 in compliance with the law to record warrants and surveys. At that time, the first minute book was lettered C, apparently to follow Patent Book A and Warrant Book B. Minute Books D, E, G, H, and I followed. Book F, which has since been identified as a Philadelphia County letter of attorney book, was correctly labeled a record book in the 1759 inventory.

At each meeting, the Commissioners of Property received requests from settlers for warrants to survey land, from settlers desiring to rent land, from renters asking to purchase land, and from servants and sponsors asking to take up their head right land. The Commissioners also handled land disputes among settlers. After William Penn's death, the Commissioners of Property acted on behalf of the mortgage trustees until the mortgage against the Penn estate was discharged.

In 1776 the Land Office ceased to function. In 1782 the Board of Property was created by the Commonwealth to carry out the functions formerly discharged by the Commissioners of Property under the proprietary government, such as settling land disputes arising from irregularities in issuing warrants and patents for which caveats had been filed. The Board consisted of the president or vice president of the Supreme Executive Council, a second council member appointed by the council, the Secretary of the Land Office, the Surveyor General, and the Receiver General. When the constitution of 1790 eliminated the Supreme Executive Council, the council positions were eliminated and replaced by the Master of the Rolls. In 1809 when the positions of Receiver General and Master of Rolls were abolished, the Secretary of the Commonwealth joined the Board. With the adoption of the Constitution of 1874, the Board was composed of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Internal Affairs. In 1966 the Department of Internal Affairs became the Department of Community Affairs and the enabling legislation restricted the Board's duties to an advisory rather than a legal function.

When the Department of Community Affairs was abolished and its functions merged with the Department of Commerce in 1996, staff support for the Board was transferred to the Office of the Chief Counsel within the new Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). In its present state, the Board is chaired by the Secretary of the Commonwealth and remains the legal entity responsible for settling land disputes between private individuals or corporations and the Commonwealth. It also continues to hear caveats against applications and appeals on applications that have been denied. The Secretary of Community and Economic Development and the General Counsel are the other two members of the Board. For additonal Board of Property records, see Board of Property Case Files, 1983-2000 {#71.1}.

Board of Property Petitions,

1682-1903 and undated.

(4 cartons)

LO 22.1-6 PLR 183

{series #17.403} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of petition.

Original petitions submitted either to the original Board of Commissioners or, after 1779, to the Board of Property. Information given is the name of the petitioner, the details of the request, and frequently the deputy surveyor's testimony and the decision rendered by the Board.

 

Board of Property Papers,

1682-1957.

(18 cartons, 1 box, 2 folios)

LO 22.6-34 PLR 184

{series #17.404} [Holdings]

Grouped chronologically by date of filing.

Petitions, depositions, certificates of payment and other papers relating to Board of Property cases. Information given varies with type of document. Documents in the last box were removed from a carton of miscellaneous Land Office records and have no apparent arrangement but generally cover the period 1741-1836. These were microfilmed as part of the larger series called Miscellaneous Papers on LO 24.1-38. (This series has since been processed into separate series and no longer exists.) The following items were not microfilmed: depositions in the folios filed in the case of Frank M. Zeller's application for an island in the Delaware River called "New Providence" located in Delaware County and testimony taken in the caveats of Charles N. Black and Francis H. Bohlin vs. American International Corporation, Frank Zeller vs. American International Corporation, and American International Corporation vs. Frank Zeller, all dated between ca. 1909 and 1923. For later records, see Case Files, 1947-1988. {#17.535}.

 

Minutes of the Commissioners of Property, Books C, D, E, F, G, H and I,

1685-1691.

(5 volumes, Bindings 14, 20, 21, 22, 23}

LO 25.2, 23.1, 25.4, 25.20 PLR 29.

{series #17.405} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Most volumes are indexed internally.

Minutes of the meetings of the Commissioners of Property. Early drafts of the minutes for 1691-1692 will be found in Proprietary Papers, [ca. 1682-1788] {series #17.297}, folders 3 and4. Information given is the names of persons seeking to purchase or rent tracts of land, location and acreage of the tracts, names of adjacent owners, and decisions rendered by the Commissioners. The 1759 transcript of Book C (1685-1687) and Book H (1712-1720) is available in Old Rights: Philadelphia, Chester, Bucks, New Castle, Kent and Sussex {series #17.74}(Binding 23, LO 25.5) and has also been published in Pennsylvania Archives (2) 19:3-21 and 503-673. Book D (1685-1691) has been published in Pennsylvania Archives (2) 19:22-64. The 1759 transcript Book F (1693) is in Records Miscellaneous, 1689-1699 {series #17.304}(Binding 39 LO 25.8) and was partially published in Pennsylvania Archives (2) 19:93-184. (This is not actually a minute book, but rather a book of deeds and other records and served as a letter of attorney volume for Philadelphia County. No minutes appear to have been recorded between October 12, 1692 and November 19, 1701.)

The 1759 transcript of Book G (1701-1709) has been published in Pennsylvania Archives (2) 19:185-502. Though both the original and the copy of Book G are stamped as Binding 20, they are two separate volumes. The original also includes minutes concerning Welsh Tract purchasers in Chester County and a listing of the names of First Purchasers and other grantees. For a transcript register of the Welsh Tract purchasers in Book G and the 1759 transcript of Book I see Warrant and Patent Registers, 1700-1728 {series 17.149} (Binding 22, LO 25.4). These have also been published in Pennsylvania Archives (2) 19:674-766.

 

Caveats,

1700-1910.

(7 cartons)

LO 13.1-11 PLR 184

{series #17.406} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of caveat.

Requests for refrain from granting warrants and patents to allow the person filing the caveat an opportunity to present his case. Information generally given is name of person for whom caveat was filed, name of the person acting as attorney, name of the person applying for the warrant, and the location and acreage of the tract in dispute

 

Board of Property Depositions,

1717-1867.

(5 cartons)

LO 18.1-7 PLR 184

{series #17.407} [Holdings]

Part is arranged chronologically by date of deposition.

Sworn depositions taken at Board of Property hearings concerning challenges arising in the granting of warrants and patents. Information generally given is the name of the person deposed, the date of the deposition, the name of the person requesting a warrant, the location and acreage of the tract, and the testimony of the person deposed.

 

Index to Caveat Books,

1748-1792.

(2 volumes, Bindings 1 and 8)

LO 25.14 and 25.16 PLR 185

{series #17.408} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by name of person filing caveat.

Binding 1 contains the index for books 1-7 covering the period 1748-1792 and binding 8 contains books 8 and 9. Information given is name of person filing caveat and book and page number where caveat is recorded.

 

Caveat Books,

1769-1940.

(13 volumes, Bindings 5-7, 9-19)

LO 25.14-20 pp. 185-186

{series #17.409} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of caveat.

A record of caveats filed with the Commissioners of Property and the succeeding Board of Property. Information given is the date of the caveat, name of the person filing the caveat, and the basis of the filing. Caveat Books 17 and 18 in Bindings 18 and 19 covering the period 1897 to 1940 have not been microfilmed.

 

Caveat Book,

1771-1784.

(1 volume, Binding 4)

LO 25.14-15 PLR 185

{series #17.410} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of caveat.

Indexed internally.

A record of caveats filed with the Commissioners of Property and the succeeding Board of Property. Information given is the date of the caveat, name of the person filing the caveat, and the basis of the filing. There are no entries for the period Dec. 2, 1776 andndash; July 30, 1781, when the Commissioners of Property ceased their activities until a new Board of Property was created.

 

Miscellaneous Loose Minutes and Related Papers,

1774-1838

(2 folders)

LO 24.29-32

{series #17.411} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Loose rough drafts of meetings of the Board of Property for the period 1786-1796 and a few accompanying warrants and related papers. Information generally given is date of meeting, names of contending parties, a description of tract and of the nature of the dispute, and the sometimes the decision of the Board.

 

Minute Books,

1765-1980.

(14 volumes, Bindings 1-14)

LO 24.21-22, 25.22-26 PLR 184

{series #17.412} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Property. Information given includes the names of persons seeking to purchase or rent tracts of land, location and acreage of the tracts, names of adjacent property owners, and decisions rendered by the Board. Volumes 11 through 14 covering the years 1859 to 1980 have not been microfilmed.

 

Court Summons and Miscellaneous Ejectment Records,

1783-1846.

(1 folder)

LO 24.27-29

{series #17.413} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Court summons, court judgments, ejectment papers, prothonotary letters, and miscellaneous lists relating to ejectment proceedings. Information given varies with type of document but generally includes name of owner, location of tract, date of legal proceeding, and nature of the proceeding.

 

Board of Property Docket,

1808-1952.

(2 volumes)

PLR 185

{series #17.414} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally.

Docket of Board of Property cases. Information given includes the names of the parties, the date of the caveat, the date of the citation, and the date when returnable.

 

Board of Property Register,

1809-1821.

(1 volume, Binding 145)

PLR 184

{series #17.415} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

A register giving the names of the parties, the name of the person in whose right the claim was made, the grounds upon which the claim was made, and a brief description of the nature of the case.

Case Files,
1947-1988.
(13 cartons)

{series #17.535} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Correspondence, pleadings, exhibits, transcripts, motions, memoranda of law, orders and opinions, maps, and research notes pertaining to cases brought before the Board of Property. Cases deal with land ownership and boundary disputes between private individuals and/or companies and agencies of the Commonwealth. Some cases deal with mineral, oil, and natural gas rights, including strip mining, as well as land maintance issues that directly affect bordering properties. For earlier records see Board of Property Papers, 1682-1957. {#17.404}. For later records see Board of Property Case Files, 1983-2000 {#71.1} within the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Department of Community and Economic Development (RG-71).

XXIII. Records of the Master of Rolls

As part of his duty to record the provincial laws and preserve public records, the Master of Rolls was also responsible for recording patents. The position of Master of Rolls was created in the "Laws Agreed Upon in England" in 1682 and confirmed later that same year in Chester, Pennsylvania. These laws required that all charters, gifts, grants, and conveyances of land, including deeds of lease and release, bills, bonds, and specialties, be recorded in a public enrollment office within two months if made inside the province, and within six months if made outside. Thomas Lloyd became the first Master of Rolls in 1684 and immediately created two separate record series, one for patents and one for all other types of legal records. For patents, the law was largely ignored, however, as few Original Purchasers who settled in Pennsylvania bothered to record their deeds of lease and release within the required six month time period. A new law intended to enforce registration that was passed in 1688 was also generally ignored and in 1693 yet another new law offering further inducements to record deeds was passed. Thereafter, legal office copies of deeds called "exemplifications" were held as valid in a court of law as were the original deeds. To further encourage the recording of deeds, by 1715 each county was required to maintain an office for recording deeds, mortgages, and conveyances. For Philadelphia, this office was given to the Master of the Rolls who continued to record deeds until 1777. The position of Master of Rolls was abolished in 1809 at which time the patent books were placed into the care of the Secretary of the Land Office while custody of other official state documents was transferred to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The exemplification volumes became part of the Philadelphia County deed records. For the period prior to 1715, these volumes contain records for both the three original Pennsylvania counties and the three Lower Counties that became the state of Delaware.

 

Letters of Attorney, D-2,

1684-1691.

(1 volume, Binding 4)

LO 25.124 PLR 38

{series #17.416} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally.

A record book containing transcripts of affidavits, agreements, awards, bills, bonds, certificates, letters of attorney, and similar legal records.

 

Minute Book F, No. 6,

1693-1695.

(1 volume)

LO 25.4 PLR 29, 39

{series #17.417} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

This is not actually a minute book, but rather a book of deeds, letters of attorney, and other records for Philadelphia County and, according to a comment appearing in Hughes List #2, 1682-1757 {series #17.300} (Binding 62), was kept in the Master of Rolls. This volume was misidentified as part of the Commissioners of Property minute book. No Commissioner of Property minutes appear to have been recorded during the period October 12, 1692 and November 19, 1701. Entries instead include deeds, letters of attorney, patents, letters, mortgages, and similar records. The 1759 transcript is in Minutes of Commissioners of Property, 1689-1692 {series #17.405} (Binding 21) LO 25.4 and Miscellaneous Records, 1689-1699 {series #17.304} (Binding 39) LO 25.8 and has been partially published in Pennsylvania Archives (2) 19:93-184.

 

Letters of Attorney, Bills, Bonds, Releases, D-2 (No. 4),

1697-1702.

(2 volumes, Bindings 78 and 24)

LO 25.21 PLR 39

{series #17.418} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally in Binding 24.

Transcripts of letters of attorney, assignments, bills, deeds, bonds, and releases. Although the entries were recorded beginning in 1697, some of the instruments were drawn as early as 1690. Information generally given is name for person for whom the instrument was drawn, name of person designated as attorney where applicable, date of instrument, and the location, acreage, and description of tract covered by the instrument.

 

Letters of Attorney

1698-1812.

(19 volumes)

LO 25.120-125, 127 PLR 30, 39, 197

{series #17.419} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by name of person or institution on behalf of whom letter was filed.

Transcripts of letters of attorney labeled as follows:

E-3, Vol. 5, 1698-1705.

D-3, No. 5, 1712-1727.

D-2, Vol. 2-8, 1727-1777.

Vol. 1-8, 1777-1812 for which there is no volume 6 but there are two volume 5s, one of which is labeled as "Power of Attorney."

No. 2, 1785-1789.

Information generally given is name of person on behalf of whom letter of attorney was filed, name of person designated as attorney, a description of the circumstances surrounding the filing, and the date of filing. Some volumes contain partial inventories of their contents.

 

Commission Books,

1733-1809.

(6 volumes)

LO 29.2 pp. 103, 197

{series #17.143} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by subject.

Primarily copies of commissions issued by the proprietary Commissioners of Property, and from 1777 on by the Board of Property, to office holders. Also included are agreements, patents, naturalizations, corporation charters, oaths of allegiance, and proclamations. The volumes labeled on their bindings as A-1 through A-4 record the actions of the Commissioners of Property under the proprietary government and have been published in Pennsylvania Archives (series 3) volumes 8, 9 and 10. Entries of particular historical interest from the proprietary era concern William'Penn's last will and testament, the action filed by Penn's widow, Hannah Callowhill Penn, against the executors of his estate, proclamations concerning the Pennsylvania-Maryland border dispute, the declaration of war against France, and a patent for land granted to John Harris.

The volumes labeled 1 and 2E2 record the actions of the Board of Property established by the Commonwealth in 1776. Volume 1 (1777-1800) also contains the names of persons who took the oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth giving the date of the oath, their occupation, their age, their place of birth, the names and occupations of their parents, and the place from which they had emigrated. Other proclamations concern a call to arms during the Revolutionary War, counterfeit money, food for George Washington's army, the enlistment of indentured servants, proclamations for apprehending such traitors as Benedict Arnold, the embargo, and the regulation of prices. Other types of entries worth noting include a notice of the election of Thomas Mifflin as governor of Pennsylvania and transcripts of speeches by George Washington addressed to the Indians. Of more local interest are announcements of lotteries held to benefit the Lower Dublin Academy, New Hanover Township in Montgomery County, the town of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia's Roman Catholic Church of St. Augustine, the German Episcopal Church of Greencastle, the Easton-Delaware Bridge, and the Perkiomen Creek Bridge. Volume 2E2 (1800-1809} contains numerous copies of charters for churches, library companies, turnpike companies, and private fraternal organizations.



Index to Treason Proclamations in Commission Book No. 1,

1785.

(1 volume)

{series #17.420}[Holdings]


Grouped alphabetically by first letter in name of account, and thereunder arranged chrono-numerically according to date of entry.

An index to "Commission Book No. 1" , the fifth in a series of six volumes entitled Commission Books, 1733-1809. (6 volumes) {#17.143}. This index book is fully entitled: "Index to Commission Book No. 1, enrolled in the Rolls Office for the State of Pennsylvania by Matthew Irwin, Master of Rolls on 16 August, 1785." In actuality, though, it is not an index to the entire contents of Commission Book No. 1, but only to a section thereof containing ten proclamations of the Supreme Executive Council ca. 1778. Each proclamation accuses ad of high treason by aiding and assisting the enemies of the state, and threaten the forfeiture of their lands and property. Data provided by each index entry is the name of the accused and the proclamation number in which their name appears. The proclamations commence on the 59th page of the Commission Book, and are bound in numerical order. Examples of persons accused of treason include Benedict Arnold, John Allen, Andrew Allen, William Allen, Jr., William Austin, Francis Armstrong, William Armstron, Aaron Ashbridge, William Andrews, James Allen, Isaac Aleen, John Adams, Peter Arthur, and Jonathan Adams. This index was originally part of an unascribed group of volumes known as "Unidentified Indexes". It is the descriptive staff's best estimate that this series pertains to RG-2, the Records of the Auditor General. However, due to the close relationship and related provenance of records of other early financial officials, it is conceivable that they may instead pertain to records of the Comptroller General (RG-4), Register General (RG-24), State Treasurer (RG-28) or Secretary of the Commonwealth (RG-26) or Commonwealth Land Office (RG-17).



XXIV. Department of Internal Affairs Era Records

The Department of Internal Affairs was created by the Constitution of 1873 that also resulted in the merger of the Office of Surveyor General with the Bureau of Statistics. It was directed to "discharge such duties relating to corporations, to the charitable institutions, the agricultural, manufacturing, mining, mineral, timber, and other material and business interest of the state as may be directed by law." The Secretary of Internal Affairs was elected to four-year terms. The Bureau of Land Records within the Department processed applications for patents and recorded, indexed and filed deeds and related records for land owned or acquired by the Commonwealth. Bureau staff also researched the answers to questions from the general public concerning ownership of tracts of land in Pennsylvania and the historical background of the activities of the Land Office. The drafting of warrantee township tract maps was authorized under the Act of June 13, 1907 and required that free blue print reproductions of the resulting maps be provided to the county commissioners and to the recorders of deeds for each county. An Act of April 4, 1919 made the Secretary of Internal Affairs responsible for the records relating to property owned by the Commonwealth and the Public Lands Act of July 9, 1959 codified statutes pertaining to Commonwealth-owned lands. During the period in which the Land Office functions were located in the Department of Internal Affairs, records were created both by the continuing warranting and patenting of land and also by the creation of histories and finding aids to access older records.

 

Day Book,

1874-1877.

(1 volume)

{series #17.421} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Daybook recording collection of fees by the Land Office after the position of Surveyor General was abolished in 1874. Information given is name of person from whom fee was collected, nature of the fee, and the amount collected.

 

Record Book of Magnetic Declination,

1887-1888.

(1 volume)

{series #17.422} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Record book of magnetic declination readings taken three times daily at Harrisburg commencing on September 4, 1888 through December 19, 1889. Since magnetic north was used in determining the metes and bounds of tracts of land, these observations were made to record the rate of shift of the magnetic north pole over time. Information given is date and time of observation, magnetic declination observed, temperature, weather conditions, and name of person who recorded observation.

 

Cash Book,

1887-1899.

(1 volume)

{series #17.423} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Cash account book documenting collection of purchase money and fees by the Land Office after the position of Surveyor General was abolished in 1874. Information given for each date is the amount of purchase money, amount of patent fees, amount of warrant fees, amount of miscellaneous fees, and the total collected. For additional materials relating to the collection of fees by the Land Office see also Cash Received for Land and Land Office Fees, 1809-1815, 1829-1916 (5 volumes) {series 28.14} in the Records of the Department of the Treasury.

 

Record Books of Surveys Removed for Copying,

1895-1897.

(3 volumes)

{series #17.424} [Holdings]

Grouped alphabetically by surname of warrantee.

Record books of surveys removed from files to be copied into books under the provisions of the Act of the General Assembly of February 16, 1833. Information given is package number, name of warrantee, location of tract, and acreage surveyed.

 

Returns of Receipts for Purchase Money and Fees,

1900-1923.

(4 folders)

{series #17.425} [Holdings]

Separated into typed Treasury copies and internal handwritten returns and arranged thereunder chronologically by month of return.

Monthly returns certified by the Secretary of Internal Affairs of purchase money and fees collected for records copied in the Land Office and sent to the Treasury Department. Information given is date of return, names of persons remitting fees and amount remitted by each.

 

Log of Drafts of Surveys Removed from File for Copying,

1903.

(1 volume)

{series #17.426} [Holdings]

Arranged sequentially by survey number.

Log of the drafts of surveys for unpatented tracts taken out of the file for copying in July, 1903. Information given is name of warrantee, date of warrant, and date of survey.

 

Applications for Patents for Erie Water Lots,

1905.

(1 folder)

{series #17.427} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of application.

Applications made for patents for Erie waterfront lots under provisions of Section 7 of the Act of May 26, 1897 and subsequent acts of the Assembly. Information given is date of application, name of applicant, lot number or numbers, location of lot or lots, name of person by whom originally laid out and surveyed under the Act of January 23, 1838, and a statement of the descent of title from that time.

 

Logs of Applications for Patents,

1909-1962.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.428} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally by surname of applicant.

Logs of applications for patents for vacant land. The type of information provided is the name (and sometimes the address) of applicant, location of tract, acreage of tract, date of application, date notice was sent, date proof on notice was received, date fees were received, date warrant was issued, date patent was issued, and the book and page where the patent is recorded. Also generally given are the amounts of purchase money, interest, warrant fees, and patent fees.

 

Applications for Release of Liens and Mortgages,

1911-1946.

(1 folder)

{series #17.429} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of application.

Applications made for releases from liens and mortgages under the Act of the General Assembly passed April 29, 1911. Information given is date of application, name of patentee, number of acres and perches in tract, township and county where tract was located, book and page number where patent was recorded, and the name of lien or mortgage holder.

 

Orders for Patent Copies,

1919-1934.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.430} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Registers of requests received by the Department of Internal Affairs for copies of patents for the period January 1919-October 1934. Information given is date request was received, name of patentee, and name and address of person requesting the copy.

 

Field Notebooks,

[ca. 1920-1945, undated].

(2 boxes)

{series #17.523} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Miscellaneous field notebooks for various counties. The type of information provided includes rough drafts of surveys, names of warrantees, field calculations, and occasional township maps.

 

Copies of Surveys of Tracts Purchased by Game Commission,

1921-1935.

(1 folder)

{series #17.431} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of purchase.

Copies of survey drafts and related records for tracts of land purchased by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Information given is name of warrantee, warrant number, date of survey, acreage and location of tract, a copy of the draft illustrating the metes and bounds, and the date the tract was transferred to the Commonwealth.

 

Copies of Surveys of Tracts Purchased by Department of Forests and Waters,

1931-1932.

(1 folder)

{series #17.432} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of purchase.

Copies of surveys of tracts of land advertised to be purchased by the Department of Forests and Waters for forest preserves. Information given is name of warrantee, warrant number, number of acres and perches, date of original survey, draft showing metes and bounds of tract, where survey is recorded, and date purchased by the Department of Forests and Waters.

 

Records Inventory of Land Office Bureau,

1932-1934.

(1 folio)

{series #17.433} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document.

Inventory and internal reports on the holdings and activities of the Land Office Bureau. Information contained varies with type of document but generally provides a survey of the administrative activities and workload of the Bureau during the period.

 

Water and Power Resources Board Permits,

1932-1937.

(1 folder)

{series #17.434} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of permit.

Permits issued by the Water and Power Resources Board under Section 1608 of the Administrative Code for the construction and regulation of dams on streams and bodies of water either wholly or partly within the Commonwealth. Information given is name of entity to whom permit was granted, purpose of permit, location of construction, and date of permit.

 

Public Service Commission Permits,

1934.

(1 folder)

{series #17.435} [Holdings]

Permits issued under the Act of the General Assembly of December 22, 1933 vesting title to projects for building public improvements such as bridges and tunnels with the Commonwealth. Information given is date of permit, entity to whom permit was granted, purpose of permit, and location of improvement.

 

Department of Internal Affairs Bulletins and Publications,

1936-1968.

(3 boxes)

{series #17.436} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by issue date but not inclusive.

Monthly bulletins devoted to the activities of the several bureaus of the Department of Internal Affairs. Many articles are devoted to the Bureau of Land Records. Also present is a copy of the Pennsylvania Board of Canal Commissioners' Records Descriptive Index by Bureau of Land Records Research Associate Hubertis M. Cummings, Incorporation Dates for Pennsylvania Municipalities by JoAnne Hottenstein and Sibyl Welch (1965), and two updated copies of Bulletin No. 36, The Administrative Code of 1929 (1962 and 1964).

 

R. J. Houpt Reference File,

[ca. 1950-1968, undated].

(2 cartons)

{series #17.437} [Holdings]

Grouped by topic.

Reference file maintained by R.J. Houpt, who was responsible for fielding reference questions received by the Land Office. Subject folders exist for the following topics:

 

Manuscript Material for Mason and Dixon Booklet,

[1960-1962, undated].

(1 carton)

{series #17.438} [Holdings]

Arranged by topical groupings.

Manuscript materials assembled for the publication of the booklet describing the history of the Mason and Dixon Line. Materials found includes copies of survey drafts, photocopies of various source materials, and successive drafts of the manuscript.

 

Hubertis Cummings' Biographical File on Surveyor Generals,

[ca. 1961 and undated].

(1 carton)

{series #17.439} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by surname of Surveyor General.

Biographical research file assembled by Department of Internal Affairs Research Associate Hubertis Cummings for the purpose of writing biographical sketches of Pennsylvania's surveyor generals.

 

Evidence of Land Acquisition or Disposition,

1965-1968.

(5 folders)

{series #17.524} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of land transfer.

Transmittal forms for land disposition and records of eminent domain condemnations for land acquisition. The transmittal forms generally provide such information as location and acreage of the property, the date of the instrument, where recorded, the date of the legislative act authorizing the disposition, the signature of the Department of Justice agent, and the date the transmittal was received in the Land Office. The transmittals concern properties disposed of by the Bureau of Property and Supply for the Department of Justice, Historical and Museum Commission, and General Services Administration. The eminent domain records generally give the tax map number of the parcel being acquired, the name of the former owner, filed number, date filed, acreage acquired, and the cost of the acquisition. The acquisitions concern tracts in Cornplanter and Cherrytree Townships of Venango County that are now part of Oil Creek Gorge State Park.

 

Land Office Historical Data Card Index Cards

[undated]

(2 card boxes)

{series #17.526} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Alphabetical index card subject file of information found in Land Office records and in Smith's Laws of Pennsylvania. The type of information provided includes the book and page number where surveys, commissions, deeds, legislation, or other types of land related information will be found. Subject categories include abolition of slavery, academies or schools, appointments and commissions, articles of agreement, bankruptcies, boroughs, boundaies, charters, churches, constitutions, counties, deeds, divesting act, donation lands, ferry licenses, Benjamin Franklin, furnace lands, genealogy, John Harris, Indian affairs, islands, land office procedures, letters of attorney, library companies, lottery scheme, manors, manumission of slaves, maps, marriage agreements, military, monthly bulletinsmortgages, naturalizations, oaths of allegiance, pardons, patents not indexed in patent registers, Penn family, Philadelphia lots, powers of attorney, proclamations, releases, returns, Revolutionary War pension acts, towns and cities, townships, traitors, turnpike and road companies, Walking Purchase, George Washington, and wills. This indexing project was never finished and coverage of all of these subject areas must therefore be regarded as incomplete.

 

XXV. Records of the Board of Canal Commissioners

The Board of Canal Commissioners was created under the Canal Acts of 24 March 1824, 11 April 1825 and 25 February 1826. The first of these authorized Governor John Andrew Shulze to appoint three commissioners to lay out a route from the Great Valley of Chester and Lancaster counties along the most suitable set of natural waterways westward to Pittsburgh. The second authorized the Governor to appoint five Canal Commissioners to explore at least seven possible routes for a waterway from the eastern and western waters of the state to Lake Erie. The last of the acts authorized the Board of Canal Commissioners to award contracts and begin building the Pennsylvania Canal at three different places. The first section was along the Susquehanna River from Swatara Creek to the Juniata River, the second along the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh to the Kiskiminetas River, and the third was down French Creek to connect by feeder with Conneaut Lake. Under the Act of 10 April 1826 the number of Commissioners was increased to nine. An Act of 18 April 1843 reduced the number of Canal Commissioners to three and made the positions elective by direct vote of the people rather than gubernatorial appointments. In 1857 and 1858 the waterways and adjunct railroads of the Pennsylvania Canal were sold by the Commonwealth.

When the Board of Canal Commissioners was abolished in 1859 its records were transferred first to the Department of Auditor General, and then in 1885 to the Department of Internal Affairs. In 1959, Research Associate Hubertis M. Cummings of the Bureau of Land Records in the Department of Internal Affairs prepared a finding aid entitled Pennsylvania Board of Canal Commissioners' Records with Allied Records of Canal Companies Chartered by the Commonwealth Descriptive Index. This remains the definitive work on these records and their relationship with records of other early corporate canal ventures. These related materials include the records of the Delaware and Schuylkill Canal, the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Canal, the Conewago Canal, the Union Canal, the Conestoga Navigation Company, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, the Allegheny Portage Railroad and the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal. Also of interest are the papers of James Dunlop Harris (1797-1842) of Bellefonte, a canal engineer who served on the Western and West Branch Divisions and on the North Branch Extension. Included in the container listings are references to the numbering/indentification system created by Cummings which he used in the finding aid. The references look like this example: "(W2-b. 41, 24)," with the number appearing after the comma signifying the page number where this reference appears in the finding aid. Most of the Canal Commissioner records have been microfilmed but not as part of the Land Office filming project. They bear the same type of four digit roll numbers as all other state government microfilm records in the Archives collection. For related materials in the Pennsylvania State Archives see also Canal and Navigation Company Accounts, 1818-1852, 1872 {series #2.5} in the Records of the Auditor General, Harris Family Papers, 1768-1849 (Manuscript Group 67), Schuylkill Navigation Company Records, 1815-1951 (Manuscript Group 110), Susquehanna Canal Company Records, 1835-1897 (Manuscript Group 122), Hubertis M. Cummings Collection, 1929-1957 (Manuscript Group 163), Historical Society of Berks County Deposit of Union Canal Company of Pennsylvania Papers, 1792-1885 (Manuscript Group 174), Lehigh Valley Railroad Company Records, 1849-1962 and undated (Manuscript Group 274), Penn Central Railroad Collection, [ca. 1853-1938] (Manuscript Group 286), Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company Deposit, 1832-1968 (Manuscript Group 300), Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company Records, 1792-1978 (Manuscript Group 311), and Delaware and Hudson Railway Company Collection, 1887-1959 (Manuscript Group 401).

 

Accounts and Receipts of the Harrisburg and Pittsburgh Railroad Company,

1840-1842, 1845.

(1 box)

{series #17.440} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of account or receipt.

Engineer's account papers and receipts for worked performed. Typical information given is date of paper or receipt, name of person to whom payment was made, the nature of the expense, the date received, and the signature of the recipient.

 

Canal Survey Accounts,

1816-1818, 1823-1830.

(1 box)

Roll #3617-3618

{series #17.441} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Account papers documenting payments made to surveyors for canal survey work. Accounts cover survey work done by Charles Treziyulny for a New-York Pennsylvania canal through Tioga County, 1816-1818, and by other surveyors for the section of canal between Lake Erie and French Creek, the section of canal between the Juniata River and Harrisburg, and the section of the canal on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. Information generally given is name of person to whom payment was made, date of payment, and amount of payment. For related materials see also the Treziyulny Family Papers, 1758-1921 {Manuscript Group 128}.

 

Collectors' and Supervisor' Reports,

1830-1850.

(5 boxes)

Roll #3630-3637

{series #17.442} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

A record of tolls collected and repair and maintenance costs at the various canal ports. Information given includes names of toll collectors and supervisors, amounts of tolls collected, estimates of costs for repair and maintenance and sometimes the types of merchandise being shipped.

 

Collector's Register of Allegheny Portage Railroad Cargo and Passengers,

1836.

(1 volume)

{series #17.443} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Register of cargoes kept by Collector John Walker carried west on the Allegheny Portage Railroad from Hollidaysburg to Johnstown between April 5 and June 24, 1836. Information given is the declarations of car masters as to the number of passengers, their baggage, and the lading for groceries, hardware, and liquor. Also provides the names of the transportation companies served by the car masters.

 

Collector's Register of Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad Cargo and Passengers,

1838.

(1 volume)

Roll #3630-3637

{series #17.444} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Register of cargoes kept by Collector Henry Benedict for passengers and cargoes carried on the Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad. Information given is a brief description of type of cargo, destination of cargo, weight of cargo in pounds, number of miles to be transported, and the amount of fare collected.

 

Composite Map of the Old Allegheny Portage Railroad, New Allegheny Portage Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad,

1854, 1902.

(1 folder)

{series #17.445} [Holdings]

Composite map illustrating the both the old and new Allegheny Portage Railroad line and the Pennsylvania Railroad line as these routes converged to become a single line between Johnstown and Hollidaysburg.

 

Damage Claim Records,

1826-1861.

(4 boxes)

Roll #3625-3629

{series #17.446} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically.

Indexed internally alphabetically by surname of claimant.

Appraisers' reports, claim summaries, claim dockets, and releases for damage claims filed for the various divisions of the Pennsylvania Canal. Information varies with type of document but generally gives the name of claimant, date of claim, a description of the nature of the claim, and either the amount of damage claimed or the appraisers' estimate of damage.

 

Engineering Records,

1825-1852.

(2 boxes)

Roll #3622-3624

{series #17.447} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically.

Engineering field books, a contract book, calculations, estimates, recommendations, and surveys for construction of various portions of the Pennsylvania Canal. The type of information given varies wit type of document. Among the items present are Instructions for Engineers, 1825-1829; Recommendations for Work and Contracts, 1826; Calculations of Sections, ca. 1830; a Book of Contracts, 1840; Surveys of Property, 1842-1847; Field Books for construction of the East and West Reservoirs and the South Branch Juniata Reservoir, and Estimates for Construction of the Proposed, But Never Built, Harrisburg-Pittsburgh Railroad.

 

Erie Extension Canal Map,

[undated].

(1 folder)

{series #17.448} [Holdings]

Copy of map of Erie Extension Canal showing the Western Division Mainline, the French Creek Feeder, the Allegheny Portage Railroad Mainline, the Beaver Division Canal, and the Erie Extension, Shenango and Canneaut Lake lines and Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad Mainline.

 

General Correspondence, Reports, and Surveys, and Related Records

1816-1860.

(4 boxes)

Roll #3624-3625

{series #17.449} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Indexed internally by surname of correspondent.

Routine correspondence, reports and surveys relating to the activities of the Board of Canal Commissioners. Information varies with type of document.

 

General File,

1823-1854.

(2 boxes)

Roll #3624

{series #17.450} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Acts and resolutions, commissions, and general correspondence relating to the Pennsylvania Canal. Among the materials are gubernatorial correspondence, lists of the names of officers, petitions for closing the canal on Sundays, damage claim records releases and reports issued by the Commissioners.

 

Indenture for the Sale of the Schuylkill Bridge and Inclined Plane to the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad,

1850.

(1 folder)

{series #17.451} [Holdings]

One item.

Original indenture signed by President Morris Longstreth transferring ownership of the Schuylkill Bridge and Inclined Plane to the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. Information given is date of indenture, a description of the property transferred, and names of corporate officers.

 

Map Books,

[1810-1881, undated].

(52 folders)

{series #17.452} [Holdings]

Arranged sequentially by map book number.

Indexed internally.

Map books prepared by engineers at the request of the Commissioners for the purpose of illustrating routes for the various divisions of the canal system or to illustrate the final layout after construction. Few of these show routes as they were finally laid out and operated and are primarily preliminary plans. In addition to providing overall layouts for how the finished canals were intended to look, they also contain numerous drawings of dams, raft chutes, feeders, reservoirs, locks, lock gates, lock houses, aqueducts, towing path bridges, and waste weirs illustrating how the system was intended to work.

 

Minute Books of the Board of Canal Commissioners,

1825-1859.

(7 boxes)

Roll #3608-3613

{series #17.453} [Holdings]

 

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Canal Commissioners. Information givin is date of meeting, names of those who were present, and a description of the business transacted.

 

Minute Books and Minutes (Rough Copies),

1844-1858.

(2 boxes)

Roll #3613-3615

{series #17.454} [Holdings]

 

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Canal Commissioners. Information giving is date of meeting, names of those who were present, and a description of the business transacted.

 

Miscellaneous Accounts,

1826-1858.

(7 Boxes)

Roll #3637-3646

{series #17.455} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Reports and correspondence by various engineers concerning surveys for construction of railroads and the activities of forwarding and transfer companies. Prominent among the forwarders is John Dougherty of Hollidaysburg and John Elgar, inventors of section boats used for carriage over the Allegheny Portage Railroad.

 

Ohio River Survey Book,

1882.

(1 volume)

{series #17.456} [Holdings]

One item.

Map of the Ohio River reduced from surveys conducted by Lieutenant Sanders, 1837-1838; C.A. Fuller, 1844; and W.M. Roberts, 1867-1868 and made by C. Moser under direction of Major W.F. Merrill of the Corps of Engineers.

 

Pennsylvania Canal and Railroad Valuation Book,

1827-1859.

(1 volume)

{series #17.457} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Book used for assessing valuation of the various divisions of the Pennsylvania Canal and its associated railroads. Information given is the date of estimate, a description of the components, and the estimate of valuation.

 

Pennsylvania Railroad Maps for the Western, Juniata, Eastern, Susquehanna and West Branch Divisions,

[undated].

(3 folders)

{series #17.458} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Pennsylvania blueprint maps of the Eastern Division, Susquehanna Division, Western Division, Wiconisco Canal, West Branch Division and Juniata Division. The maps provide detailed plan of the layout of each of these canals after their acquisition of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

 

Record of Costs for the West Branch Division, Tangascootack Extension,

1836-1838.

(1 volume)

{series #17.459} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

A record of costs associated with the operation of the Tangascootack Extension of the West Branch Canal. Information given is a brief description of the nature of the cost, amount of cost, and date of entry.

 

Record of the Amount of Repairs and Damages on the Pennsylvania Railroad,

1836-1838.

(1 volume)

{series #17.460} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Monthly record of repairs and damages for the Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad under Supervisor William Russell and the Allegheny Portage Railroad under Supervisors Mark Graham and A. McConnell. Information given is a breakdown of monthly expenses paid for repairing adjusting blocks, bridges, culverts, masonry, and side drains.

 

Record of the Amount of Repairs and Damages on the Pennsylvania Canal,

1836-1838.

(1 volume)

{series #17.461} [Holdings]

Grouped by canal division and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of entry.

A monthly record of repairs made to the Pennsylvania Canal. Information given is name of supervisor, canal division, and a breakdown of the amount expended each month for repair of breaches, canal banks, locks and lock gates, bridges and aqueducts, and dams.

 

Reports and Field Notes of the Pennsylvania Canal Company,

1867-1912.

(2 boxes)

{series #17.462} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

General correspondence and reports of the privately operated Pennsylvania Canal Company. Information given varies with type of document.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Records of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Canal Department,

1857, 1863, 1865-1867.

(1 folder)

{series #17.463} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of record.

Reports and business records documenting the routine activities of the Canal Department within the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Information given varies with type of document.

 

Reports and Resolutions,

1819-1858.

(2 boxes)

Roll #3615-3616

{series #17.464} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Reports and resolutions issued by the Board of Canal Commissioners. Also present is an 1819 volume containing maps of the Ohio River. Information given constitutes an administrative history of the Board.

 

Research and Statistical Reports,

1826-1827, 1835.

(2 boxes)

{series #17.465} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Research reports of the Canal Commissioners and accompanying statistical charts submitted to the Senate in 1827 for the construction of the forty miles of the Susquehanna Division and of the 600 miles of canal and nearly 120 miles of adjunct railroads completed across the state by 1835. Primarily reports of estimates of expenses and expenses actually paid for the construction and operation of the canal system and a record of the resolutions adopted at the meetings of the Board of Canal Commissioners. Contains descriptions of the terrain and obstructions that had to be overcome. Also presented are two published copies of architect and engineer William Strickland's Reports on Canals, Railways, Roads and Other Subjects Made to the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Internal Improvement (Philadelphia, 1826).

 

Warrants,

1826-1839.

(1 box)

Roll #3647

{series #17.466} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of warrant.

Warrants for transferring money from the Commonwealth's Internal Improvement Fund to the Treasurer of the Board of Canal Commissioners for the purpose of constructing the Pennsylvania Canal. Information given is date of warrant, names of Commissioners of Internal Improvements Fund, name of Treasurer of Board of Canal Commissioners, and the amount of money transferred (usually $50,000).

 

Allegheny Portage Railroad

 

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1830-1860.

(35 boxes)

{series #17.467} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Allegheny Portage Railroad. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1851-1855.

(6 volumes)

{series #17.468} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts let for construction of the Allegheny Portage Railroad. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1831-1868.

(10 volumes)

{series #17.469} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1829-1857.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.470} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report or document.

Reports and related materials relating to the construction and operations of the Allegheny Portage Railroad. Materials provide information on appointments, bids, boats, cars, castings, damage claims, complaints, contracts, engines, free tickets, horse power, proposals, railroad tracks, ropes, wires, spark arrestors and tolls.

 

Beaver Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1831-1846.

(4 boxes)

{series #17.471} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Beaver Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1831-1834.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.472} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded for construction of the Beaver Division. These include contracts for digging the canal construction of, dams, lock houses, fences, bridges, weirs, lock weirs, and waste weirs. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1829-1843.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.473} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1829-1843.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.474} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report or document.

Reports, correspondence, and petitions from citizens related to the construction and operations of the Beaver Division. Information relates primarily to the location and construction of the Division.

 

Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1827-1860.

(84 boxes)

{series #17.475} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1829-1851.

(7 volumes)

Roll #3441-3444

{series #17.476} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded for construction of the Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1832-1857.

(18 volumes)

Roll #3445-3453

{series #17.477} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the railroad. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1827-1858.

(11 volumes)

Roll #3454-3459

{series #17.478} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report or document.

Reports and correspondence related to the construction and operations of the Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad. Materials relate to locating the railroad line and letting contracts for purchasing railroad iron, stone sills, laying tracks, constructing bridges and the Philadelphia Waterworks. Also present are materials relating to railroad cars and engines, engine houses, machine shops, tolls, water supply, weigh masters, inspection of cargoes, appointments, bonds of employees, collectors, damage claims, and the Belmont and Columbia inclined planes.

 

Delaware Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1826-1860.

(24 boxes)

{series #17.479} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Delaware Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1828-1855.

(2 volumes)

Roll #3433-3434

{series #17.480} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded for the digging of the canal and construction of aqueducts, bridges, locks, guard locks, and waste weirs for the Delaware Division. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1827-1856.

(4 volumes)

Roll #3434-3437

{series #17.481} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Minute Books,

1826-1858.

(2 volumes)

Roll #3432-3433

{series #17.482} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Minutes of meeting relating to the construction and daily operation of the Delaware Division. Information given is date of meeting, names of those present, and a description of the business transacted.

 

Proceedings Regarding Connection to Lehigh Canal,

1829-1856.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.483} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meetings.

Proceedings of meetings relating to the construction and daily operation of the connection of the Delaware Division to the Lehigh Canal. Information given is date of meeting, names of those present, and a description of the business transacted.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1827-1856.

(7 volumes)

Roll #3437-3440

{series #17.484} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report or document.

Reports and correspondence relating to the construction and operations of the Delaware Division. Materials relate to activities of toll collectors, regulation of boats and locks, appointments, coal shipments, weigh scales, and drawbacks.

 

Eastern Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1827-1859.

(22 boxes)

{series #17.485} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Eastern Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1826-1858.

(5 volumes)

Roll #3470-3472

{series #17.486} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts let for construction of aqueducts, bridges, culverts, dams, fences, lock houses, toll houses, wharves, docks, and basins for the Eastern Division and routine maintenance thereto. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1826-1858.

(4 volumes)

Roll #3472-3474

{series #17.487} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1826-1858.

(5 volumes)

Roll #3474-3475

{series #17.488} [Holdings]

Reports and correspondence related to the construction and daily operation of the Eastern Division. Includes correspondence relating to proposed routes for connections to Pittsburgh, proposals for replacement of the burned bridge at Clark's Ferry, and estimates for proposed changes to a canal lock at Harrisburg. Information given is date of meeting, names of those present, and a description of the business transacted.

 

Erie Extension Canal

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1836-1844.

(5 boxes)

{series #17.489} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Erie Extension. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1836-1847.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.490} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded to dig, embank, puddle and construct the Erie Extension. Included are contracts for aqueducts, bridges, dams, locks, and weirs for the Shenango and Conneaut lines. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1836-1847.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.491} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1836-1847.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.492} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Reports, petitions, and correspondence relating to the construction and daily operations of the Erie Extension canal.

 

French Creek Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1826-1846.

(9 boxes)

{series #17.493} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the French Creek Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1833-1848.

(3 volumes)

Roll #3605-3606

{series #17.494} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded for construction of the French Creek Division. Contracts cover construction of aqueducts, bridges, culverts, dams, locks, lock houses, and roads. Includes articles of agreement that property owners remove certain structures and rebuild them on their own land. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1833-1848.

(5 volumes)

Roll #3603-3607

{series #17.495} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1826-1848.

(3 volumes)

Roll #3607

{series #17.496} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Reports, petitions, and correspondence relating to construction of the French Creek feeder line. Information given varies with type of document.

Gettysburg Railroad

Contracts,

1833-1838.

(1 volume)

{series #17.497} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts let for construction of culverts, fences, and sections for the Commonwealth-initiated but never completed Gettysburg Railroad. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1833-1836.

(1 volume)

{series #17.498} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered to lands and buildings from construction of the railroad. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1836-1847.

(2 boxes)

{series #17.499} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Work estimates, receipts, and related materials concerning construction of the never-completed Gettysburg Railroad. Information varies with type of document.

Juniata Division

 

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1827-1857.

(48 boxes)

{series #17.500} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Juniata Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1828-1860.

(8 volumes)

{series #17.501} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded for construction of and repairs made to the Juniata Division. Contracts concern construction of aqueducts, bridges, culverts, dams, towpaths, fences, locks, lock houses, weirs, sections and turnpike roads. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1828-1860.

(10 volumes)

{series #17.502} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1824-1858.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.503} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Reports and correspondence of Canal Commissioners, engineers, superintendents, supervisors, and contractors concerning construction and routine operations of the Juniata Division. Information given varies with type of document.

 

North Branch Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1828-1854.

(18 boxes)

{series #17.504} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the North Branch Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1828-1858.

(12 volumes)

{series #17.505} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded for construction of the North Branch Division. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1828-1858.

(6 volumes)

{series #17.506} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1828-1858.

(9 volumes)

{series #17.507} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Reports, petitions, and correspondence relating to the construction and routine operation of the North Branch Division canal. Information given varies with type of document.

 

Susquehanna Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1827-1858.

(21 boxes)

{series #17.508} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Susquehanna Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1827-1858.

(4 volumes)

{series #17.509} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contacts awarded to dig, embank, puddle and construct the Susquehanna Division canal according to the plans drawn by Engineer Simeon Guilford. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1829-1855.

(2 volumes)

{series #17.510} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1828-1858.

(4 volumes)

{series #17.511} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Reports and correspondence relating to construction and routine operations of the Susquehanna Division canal. Information given varies with type of document.

 

West Branch Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1829-1858.

(21 boxes)

{series #17.512} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the West Branch Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1828-1857.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.513} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts awarded for construction of the West Branch Division. Contracts cover digging of canal and construction of aqueducts, culverts, locks, lock houses, roads, landings, and towpaths. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1829-1857.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.514} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1829-1857.

(4 volumes)

{series #17.515} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Reports and correspondence relating to construction and routine operations of the West Branch Division canal. Information given varies with type of document.

 

Western Division

Check Rolls, Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1826-1857.

(24 boxes)

{series #17.516} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Check rolls, work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Western Division. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.

 

Contracts,

1826-1859.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.517} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of contract.

Contracts let for construction of the Western Division including the Western Reservoir and Allegheny Feeder. Contracts cover construction of aqueducts, culverts, dams, fences, locks, lock houses, and for tunnels through the Conemaugh and Kiskiminetas and through Grant's Hill at Pittsburgh. Information given is date of contract, name of contractor, amount of contract and a description of the work to be performed.

 

Damage Claims,

1826-1859.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.518} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of claim.

Damage claims filed by property owners for losses suffered as a result of construction and operation of the canal. Information given is name of claimant, date of claim, amount of damages claimed, and nature of damages.

 

Reports and Miscellaneous Documents,

1825-1859.

(7 volumes)

{series #17.519} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Reports and correspondence concerning the location, construction, and routine operation of the Western Division Canal. Information given concerns appointments, accidents, damage claims, contracts, costs, dams, engineers, resignations, tolls, wages, and water supply.

 

Wiconisco Canal

Engineers Accounts, Check Rolls, Daybook, Correspondence and Damage Claims,

1837-1841.

(3 folders & 1 volume)

{series #17.520} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

The correspondence is indexed internally by surname of correspondent.

Engineer's accounts, check rolls, daybook correspondence and damage claims relating to the Wiconisco Canal. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment,

 

Work Estimates, Receipts and Miscellaneous Accounts,

1838-1846.

(3 folders)

{series #17.521} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of document and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Work estimates, receipts, and miscellaneous account papers relating to the Wiconisco Canal. Typical information given is name of person to whom payments were made, date of payment, and reason for payment.


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