PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records




Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Pennsylvania State Archives

Records of the Land Office

*Links to Images for Each Series*

The Donation Land program was used by the Commonwealth to induce men to stay in service during the Revolutionary War. Each Pennsylvania Line soldier and officer who served in the Continental forces until the end of the war was to receive a bounty, or donation, of a tract of land consisting of 200, 250, 350 or 500 acres, the size of the tract to be based upon his rank. The Donation Land area was located within the Purchase of 1784, immediately to the north of the Depreciation Lands and west of the Allegheny River, including parts of the counties of Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren. The land was divided into ten surveying districts, with 2,570 lots totalling over 550,000 acres of land eventually created by the Land Office. The tracts were distributed by a lottery system. After enough tracts were surveyed and numbered, their corresponding tract numbers were placed in one of four lottery wheels, one wheel for each tract size, and drawn periodically. For a full synopsis of the Donation Land program, please consult Donna Munger's Pennsylvania Land Records - A History and Guide for Research, pages 163-167. For related records see Return Book of Pennsylvania Line Entitled to Donation Lands, undated {series #4.50} in the Records of the Office of Comptroller General.

Please click on the links below to view one of the scanned Donation Land series:

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PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records