Land & more in Pennsylvania – Connecticut’s Colony (Susquehannah Company) – An Overview!

Do you have ancestors who settled in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, where the Susquehanna River flows, in the area near and around Wilkes-Barre?

Today this area consists of several counties that were created, first, Luzerne in 1786 and then it was broken up creating Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wyoming which were carved out about 1810 to 1878.

The map below is a Google Map of today – 2018 – with a little bit cut off at the top and bottom for the County of Luzerne.

Trying to figure out the land of an ancestors in this area of Pennsylvania is not easy, especially if you have someone in the Certified Townships.

Because the records are not online, you have to travel to the archive and most of us don’t have that opportunity or the means.  I have been to Pennsylvania in 2008, but I really should go again now that I know so much more.

I will do my best to try to make sense out of everything but I am not the expert on Pennsylvania Land. Donna Bingham Munger, whom I personally met back in 2008 before I went to Pennsylvania, was the expert. She wrote many books and articles that I have collected and consulted. Here is an article in 1991 titled:

Six Steps to Susquehanna Company Settlers, by Donna Bingham Munger, The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Vol. XXXVII, 1991 No. 2, pg 125. This was written in 1991 before she compiled her 3 volume Connecticut’s Pennsylvania Colony, Proprietors, Settlers and Claimants. They were published in 2007. This article and several others I will cite should be consulted.

I am going to arrange the information into steps which will sort of follow Donna’s article above and add some of my own ideas. Use this to understand the posts I write posts about land and other experiences in Luzerne County for Philip Goss IV (1724 to 1799) and his children: Sarah Goss Seward wife of Enos Seward, Philip, Experience, Nathaniel, Comfort, David, Solomon, Mary and Ebenezer.

Step 1: Study the The Susquehannah Company papers to see if you can find you ancestor in the pages of the volumes:

This topic will be spread around in some posts on Philip Goss IV and his children so you do need to understand this source.

The area around Wilkes-Barre was settled by the Susquehanna(h) Company Settlers from 1753 to 1804 and most of the settlers were from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other areas.

Here is a link to my post on this blog: Enter the Susquehannah Company….1753, published December 3, 2017. This post describes the volumes of this 11 volume compilation of books and options for finding copies because I don’t think it is online at this time but that might change.

https://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/enter-the-susquannah-company-1753/

There is the book compilation and also the original records for the Susquahannah Company which are housed at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, Connecticut under Susquehannah Company Records, 1753-1802, Call #100506.  Reading the description I find: Liber A-I 1763-1802, Liber A, B, C, E and H, Liber I and Liber D is missing from the description.  You might want to make sure this is the best source, they might have more. The staff are very helpful and it is wonderful archive to visit.

Donna Bingham Munger’s Proprietors Book (see below under PROPRIETOR) has the following description of the Susquehannah Company Records.

This is a summary of the records only, not a complete report as Donna has printed.  It is also a mix of two sources the Proprietor Book and the article below which were years apart in publication. This gives a general idea of what is available.

  • Minute Book Vol. I Articles of Agreement & Minutes of Meetings, 1753-1774, 1782-1802 1753-1774, 1782-1802:  Orig ‘ CHS, PSA Compromise Commissioners Copy, Penna State Archives, Published Penna Archives 2nd series, Susq. Papers Vol. 18
  • Liber A Record of Deeds 1762-1773 – Original is missing 1862, Microfilmed as part of Liber I.
  • Liber B  Record of Deeds 1773-1778 with Index – Orig CHS 1-387, WHGS/LCHS, 1-195 Micofilm
  • Liber C Records of Deeds with Index 1778-1795 – Orig CHS A-D, 1-651, WHGS/LCHS 196-525, Microfilm
  • Liber D Records of Deeds 1795 to 1798, Orig CHS 1-180, Microfilm
  • Liber E Record of Deeds 1795-1801 – Orig CHS missing 1-557, WHGS, PSA, 526-802, Microfilm
  • Liber F Records of Deeds 1795-1802 dates can be earlier, Origl CHS 1-278,  WHGS, PSA 804-943 and also at the David Library of the American Revolution and maybe they have more.
  • Liber G Records of Conveyance 1766-1786, Orig CHS, Microfilm
  • Liber H Records of Deeds 1798-1803, Orig CHS 1-349, WHGS, PSA, 944-1118, Microfilm
  • Liber I Records of Deeds by John and Billa Franklin 1786-1799 dates can be earlier, Origl CHS 1-276, microfilm
  • Liber A Volume 2 Record of Conveyances 1754-1798 – Origl CHS, Microfilm

PSA – Pennsylvania State Archives, CHS – Connecticut Historical Society.

Following Connecticut Ancestors to Pennsylvania: Susquehanna Company Settlers, by Donna Bingham Munger, Volume CXXXIX April 1985 New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, page 112. Has an explanation of the Susquehannah Volumes and account books along with a table much like the one above and also the Westmoreland Records with explanation. American Ancestors (NEHGS) website has the Register volumes.

I also found some documents at the David Library of the American Revolution which is located north of Philadelphia in New Hope: Susquehanna Company Records 1753-1802.3 reels. Records of the Connecticut group of settlers and investors who colonized the contested northeastern portion of Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Originals are in the Connecticut Historical Society (Film 448). 

Pennsylvania Archives has Susquehanna Company Records 1754-1803 Manuscript Group 344:  The collection consists of positive photostatic copies of original deeds and conveyances, 1794-1803, and a reproduction of the typed summaries of deeds and conveyances that are deposited at the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (Luzerne Co. Historical Society). These summaries are abstracts from original record books of the Susquehanna Company, 1754-1798, that are located at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, Connecticut. Entries on the summaries give the name and residence of the grantee, the date of deed, the location of the grant, the consideration, and the page reference, that is, the page number placed on the copies of the original deeds… Apparently I looked these and was not impressed?

Pennsylvania Archives, John Franklin Papers, Manuscript Group 52 1754-1828. Papers of John Franklin (b. 1749, d. 1831), leader of the Connecticut settlement in Pennsylvania beginning in 1774 and a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, 1796, 1799-1803, 1805. These papers relate mainly to the long-standing controversy over land titles in northeastern Pennsylvania between settlers from Connecticut encouraged by Susquehannah Company and settlers who held land under Pennsylvania titles.

Step 2: Identify the township your ancestor was living in – The 15 & 17 Certified Townships as Pennsylvania determined them to be the following based on the Act of Compromise in 1799 and the several supplemental acts that followed, it was the Susquehannah Company that created them.

Susquehanna Map 1790 Library of Congress

There were at first 15 Certified Townships, then it became 17 Certified Townships: Wilkes-Barre, Plymouth, Kingston, Newport, Salem, Huntingdon (which became Huntington), Hanover, Exeter, Pittstown, Claverack (now in Bradford Co.), Springfield (now in Bradford Co.), Northmoreland (now in Wyoming Co.), Braintrim (now in Wyoming Co.), Providence (now in Lackawanna Co.), Putnam (now in Wyoming Co.), Ulster (now in Bradford Co.), and Bedford.

Be advised that Pennsylvania is an original 13 Colony and is therefore a “state land state” and you have to go to the State level to find land documents and/or the county.  Not like the BML Federal States like Ohio, Minnesota and everything to the west.

Step 3: Consult the Westmoreland Twp. and County, Litchfield Co., Connecticut records especially the deeds:

Go to my post to familiarize yourself with this governmental unit and how it factors in to the Wyoming Valley – titled: Westmoreland Town and County are created: The Connecticut Assembly annexes the Wyoming Valley to Litchfield County in Connecticut – January 1774, published January 7, 2018

https://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/westmoreland-town-and-county-are-created-the-connecticut-assembly-annexes-the-wyoming-valley-to-litchfield-county-in-connecticut-january-1774/

Pennsylvania Archive had Westmoreland Town/County Records in RG48 when I visited in 2008. As of 9/2018 I cannot located these records online so I can review their holdings. Here are my notes with a bit more detail.

Bonnie’s Notes about Westmoreland Records at the PA Archives

Here is what the Luzerne County Historical Society in Wilkes-Barre has, regarding the Westmoreland Records.  (It was formerly the Wyoming Hist. & Geological Soc.)

Roll 1 M107 – I looked at this roll in 2008 when I visited LCHS and found some of it hard to read.

  • Deed Book 1772-1778 Westmoreland Town Record (Ledger A), pp. 1-170
  • Probate Records Circa 1775/The Townbook, Westmoreland Town Book, pp. 607-1003

Roll 2 M-108 – I did not look at this in 2008 and regret not doing so.

  • Folder 1 – Westmoreland Records 1779-1788, court documents
  • Folder 2 – Westmoreland Records – court, list of lot holders, town minutes
  • Folder 3 Westmoreland Records – legal and probate papers 1772-1782
  • Folder 4 Westmoreland Records – court documents 1773-1783
  • Folder 5 Westmoreland Records – legal papers 1772-1782

Be advised that some of the original deeds may have been lost or destroyed, especially in 1778 in the Battle of Wyoming and at other times in this troubled area.

Here is the probate records at the FamilySearch website and other archives have copies:

The Wyoming Valley: probate records, Liber A January 6, 1777 to June 16, 1783, (Westmoreland in the County of Litchfield in the Colony of Connecticut. This is a reprint of done in 1923 of Vol. 18 of the Proceedings and Collections of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society magazine. This has an index in the back (Luzerne Co. Historical Society) digitized at this link:

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1985861?availability=Monterey%20California%20Family%20History%20Center

Why probate and estate files?  Because you need to know who inherited the land, and if there was a will. If not, then you need to know what records survived. Some estates files have heir-at-law statements or final accounts that can describe the heirs. There are court records/books documenting the process, then the actual case file. The next is to find deeds and especially a partition deed which deals with the decease’s land and who gets what. There can be several of these types of deeds and they are usually noted in the deed index book as the name of the decease with et. al.  Usually in the grantor index. They can be in the administrator/executors name?

Step 4:  Understand The Trenton Decree 1782 and what it meant to the settlers and the establishment of Luzerne County in 1786 which ended Westmoreland Town and County, CT. 

In 1782 the Trenton Decree decided in favor of Pennsylvania and Connecticut lost it’s right in to the area.

On September 25, 1786 Luzerne County was formed from part of Northumberland County.

Here is the link to the post I wrote about The Decree of Trenton 1782 titled: The Decree of Trenton 1782 – The Connecticut Settlers in the Wyoming Valley react…, published June 10, 2018. Tr

https://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/the-decree-of-trenton-1782-the-connecticut-settlers-in-the-wyoming-valley-react/

Step 5 consult Connecticut’s Pennsylvania Colony 1754-1810, by Donna Bingham Munger, 2007 Heritage Books. Volume I – PROPRIETORS:

This refers to the one of a three-volume compilation of Donna Bingham Munger’s regarding the Connecticut Settlers. I described these volumes in my post titled: Connecticut’s Pennsylvania Colony – Untangling the Land Records of the Susquehannah Co.., published December 18, 2017. I give a brief summary of what is contained in these volumes in my post, here is the link and I explain how to find copies of these books:  https://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/connecticuts-pennsylvania-colony-untangling-the-land-records-of-the-susquehannah-co/

Donna wrote an article: New England Moves West: Connecticut’s Pennsylvania Colony, by Donna Bingham Munger, Holiday 2007 New England Ancestors magazine pg. 21. In this she discusses how to use these books.

Let’s start with the PROPRIETOR book:

You want to find out if your ancestor was an original owner so you will look up your ancestor as grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer) in this volume. The Susquehannah Company sold whole and half shares to 1768 individuals called Proprietors. Many bought or inherited these shares from the original proprietor and others and created a chain of title. You will want to search for them as well.  Your ancestor might be a Drawer of lots and that is something to note.

The sources used in the PROPRIETOR book are the Susquehannah Company Papers the minute books and records and some of this was reprinted in the Pennsylvania Archives Book Volumes: Go to my post on these volumes titled: Pennsylvania Archives Series – 138 Volumes – For those with Ancestors in Pennsylvania, published December 24, 2017.  Fold3 has the complete set and you can search it. They are part of Ancestry.com so you could try the library version and link to Fold3?   https://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/pennsylvania-archives-series-138-volumes-for-those-with-ancestors-in-pennsylvania/

A Summary Source of the Pennsylvania Archive books: Documents relating to The Connecticut Settlement in the Wyoming Valley, Edited by Henry Egle, M.D. 1896. The version at Internet Archive is available but not the best quality. This covers the various Acts involved about land like the Compromise Act of 1799, letters from claimants, letters of the commissioners. I believe that Donna has a better discussion of this in her three books with sources. Again Fold 3 has the complete Pennsylvania Archive series.

Step 6 consult Connecticut’s Pennsylvania Colony 1754-1810, by Donna Bingham Munger, 2007 Heritage Books. Volume II – SETTLERS:

If your ancestor was not a Proprietor then maybe they were Settlers. Donna consulted depositions done by settlers, letters, petitions, lists of settlers, tax records, petitions to government for assistance and more, oaths of allegiance, declarations, and probate records and anything that identified the settlers who were in the Wyoming Valley between 1753 to 1800.

A good source for this information is Harvey’s History of Wilkes-Barre, the first 3 to 4 volumes of this book. It is online at Internet Archive for viewing and searching, just make sure you type in the volume number I, II, III etc. Oscar Jewell Harvey did at least the 1st two to three volumes before he passed away and Smith took over. I like his thoroughness. Harvey discusses the sources and where he found the information. I have referred to these volumes a lot in past posts.

For sources in this Settlers volume, again the Susquehannah Papers Books and the Pennsylvania Archive.

You will find the following source in various repositories like the Connecticut State Library, FamilySearch, DAR Library etc.

Donna mentions this source in the Settlers book. It is not deeds but more about the struggle to get the area established: Susquehanna Settlers 1755-1796, Western Lands 1783-1789 1st Series. One Volume and Index – 1910. FHL Two Microfilms #3622 Index and #3623 Vols. 1-2 1755-1819. There is also a 2nd Series. This is a summary of General Assembly Records pulled together and you will find: settler petitions, bill of losses, actual settler lists, families, history, and more.

This index covers the two hundred and seventeen documents which were selected about 1845 from the files of the General Assembly by Sylvester Judd … and arranged in a volume of Connecticut Archives since cited as Susquehanna settlers 1775-1796. The papers relate to the western lands claimed by Connecticut.–Prefatory note.; The indexing was done by Effie M. Prickett.”–Prefatory note.

Here is a link to the, index only, at the Connecticut State Library:  https://cslib.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p128501coll3/id/106/

There are other sources listed like the Zebulon Butler and Timothy Pickering and J. Trumbull papers Papers but a lot will be found in Harvey’s history listed above. These would be hard to find or consult if you didn’t go to the archive they are housed in.

You might want to review the posts I have written about Philip Goss IV and his migration and life in Pennsylvania. I have a table of contents at the following link. You will have to scroll down to that section of the posts of PA in the Table of Contents:

https://sgossfamily.wordpress.com/philip-goss-iv-and-his-wife-mary-kendall-1721-to-1821/

Please be advised these following sources are newer records that could be consulted and they may not contain Connecticut Claimant records.

Pennsylvania Probate Records 1683-1994 Family Search website. This set of documents includes Orphan’s Court, Continuance Dockets, Estates, and wills. I do not believe it is complete and I don’t believe the dates. I would look up at each category separately and scroll to the films and look at those individually.

Estates usually consist of: Wills if done by the individual, Letters of Administration, Inventories, Distributions and Accounting, Bonds, Guardianship. Estates usually consist of the court books with the listing of these groupings I have described, then a case file. So I am a bit frustrated with the above grouping.

Orphans Court docket 1787 to 1866, Index 1787 to 1874, at Family Search. I would scroll to the individual films below and study the index film, and search the other listed films next. I find that easier than browsing through a lot of records. These records may include probate, court and land records. Be advised it does say 1787 but I think that is not correct.

Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 at Ancestry.com. I would click on the Browsing section and choosing Luzerne you will see that it is like the records at FamilySearch but you can search in them easier and by name. Again the date of 1683 is misleading in my opinion and they start at 1787 or more like 1795.

Step 7 consult Connecticut’s Pennsylvania Colony 1754-1810, by Donna Bingham Munger, 2007 Heritage Books. Volume III Claimants: 

Now that you have determined if your ancestor(s) were a Proprietor or a Settler you can then go to the 3rd Volume titled CLAIMANTS.  They had to prove chain of title before 30 December 1782 the Trenton Decree (see above).  Unfortunately, the Claimants had to purchase their land again from Pennsylvania.

You will have to go through the book database page by page looking for your ancestor they can be either of these: Claimants, Drawer, Chain of title, Patentee.

Here is an example of what is included in Donna’s Claimants Book only the information reads across the page not like I have it here:

Claimant: Enos & Sarah Seward – usually the last in the chain of title who sold the land. 
Date Acquired 4/2/1796
Drawer: Abiel Fellows – New England does these drawing of lots when an area is being developed and apparently they did it several times on the same lot???
Twp. Huntington
Div 1 – When looking on warrantee maps you need to read both lot # and division to find the lot. Take your time. See below for more information.
Lot 38
Acres 94A 38p  – p means perch
Chain of Title: Philip Goss, Philip Goss Heirs
Patentee E. Seward – see Patent book below for more details*
Source: CTL: 41; MEHun;209 – CTL means Certified Township Luzerne, Minutes of Evidence, Huntington (Connecticut Claimants Vol. 2 Binding 72, #25.32) 
Patent Book H6;453  – There is Patent Book P and H and they are online at the PA website. Do not let the dates listed throw you, they are the dates the patent was recorded.  Also be advised that only Patentees are listed. In this case Enos is the patentee but not in other cases, he might be in chain of title or claimant. Other family might be listed only as the drawer:  http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/di/r17PatentIndexes/r17-PatentIndexMainInterface.htm
Survey Book: 4:53; 3:162  (Survey’s are online at the PA website but not the ones for the Connecticut Claimants.) 

The sources for this book discuss various Acts passed from 1785 up to 1799:

  • 1. Act for Quieting the Disturbances at Wyoming…. Act in 1785,
  • 2. An Act for Ascertaining and Confirming to Certain Persons Called Connecticut Claimants….dated March 28, 1787
  • 3. An Act to prevent intrusions on lands within the counties of Northampton, Northumberland, and Luzerne dated April 11, 1795.

Finally in 1799 the Act for offering compensation to the Pennsylvania Claimants of certain lands within the Seventeen Townships in the county of Luzerne etc.. dated 4 April 1799 was passed and this set in motion the steps to get the land disputes resolved. It is referred to at the Compromise Act of 1799.

One of the major problems with the land in the 17 Certified Townships was overlapping Pennsylvania Claimants claiming the same lot or lots. This act of 1799 gave Claimants certificates for their land that they could use to purchase new tracts in good locations, sell the certificates or turn them in for cash.  When the Pennsylvania landholders were turning in their titles the Connecticut Claimants holding lots within the 17 townships presented their claims for validation.

Focusing on the Connecticut Claimants holding titles to land in the area they had to prove their right to the land:

  1.  They had to provide documentation that would prove chain of title from before the Decree of Trenton in 1782. If deeds were missing because they were lost or destroyed dispositions (memorials) were allowed by family and/or neighbors, extracts of wills or court proceedings needed to be presented and when property was partitioned a release or quite claim needed to be presented.
  2. If approved by the Commissioners the land would be re-surveyed and classified into four grades.
  3. A certificate would be given with a draft of the survey attached which became “certified township.”
  4. Then the certificate were presented at the land office.
  5. This would allow the Connecticut Claimants to purchase their land in 8 equal annual installments at a rate based upon its value.

The 1799 Compromise Act needed adjusting. The first set of Commissioners could not agree on how to proceed. In 1801 Thomas Cooper with other commissioners took over. Cooper evaluated the titles, while the others did the surveying. Cooper obtained some of the Susquehanna Co. documents that John Franklin would give him. Cooper also got the Westmoreland Records and made an index to find things.

The commissioners went from township to township to obtain applications and surveying lots.

A further Supplement to the act…done April 6, 1802 was passed in order to force the Pennsylvanian’s to release their claims. The another Act for Annexing Part of Luzerne Co., to the Co. of Lycoming Apr 3, 1804.

As the Commissioners validated claims and rates of the land they would publish their list of titles in the local newspaper in 1803 in the Luzerne Federalist and then in 1804 a second list of names and dates when certificates for each township was announced for pick up.

Connecticut Patents 1785-1810 FHL#986849 at FamilySearch. No Index or information on this film. Luzerne Co. the 17th Cert Twps. – Huntington in Westmoreland Co., Litchfield Colony of Connecticut etc.  It is in process of being digitized. A few films in the collection are active but not Huntington.

Don’t get hung up on Patents because a lot of land can end up with just about anyone as time goes by, Connecticut was in the area from 1769 to 1782 so you know they were buying and selling between each other. Patents are not necessarily the 1st person in the Connecticut Claims that owned the land so there has to be deeds between the people.  The problem is finding those deeds not everything is online at this time.

Step 8: Study and get familiar with the Pennsylvania State Archive website and holdings for Land Records for Connecticut Claimants. 

Here are some steps to follow to familiarize yourself with the Land Records:

Go to the Pennsylvania State Archives website – Land Records Overview: https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Archives/Research-Online/Pages/Land-Records-Overview.aspx

The Land Records at the Pennsylvania State Archive suggest a process of 5 basic documents, I would read up on them to get a feel for what they mean.

  1. Application – request of a warrant to have a survey done
  2. Warrant – certificate authorizing a survey of a tract of land
  3. Survey – sketch of boundaries of a tract of land, acreage
  4. Return – similar to a patent but sent by the Surveyor General to Secretary of Land Office
  5. Patent – final official deed from the State/Federal government conveying clear title and rights to the private owner.

Deeds are between people where one is selling land to another – grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer).

The Connecticut Claimants are a bit more involved because they have to prove their ownership of a tract of land. Be advised that what is online is a guide and summary. I believe there is more detail at the actual archive in Harrisburg.

Continue to scroll down the website to the very bottom and click the link for RG-17 Records of the Land Office.  Or put RG-17 etc. into Google and see what comes up.

http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/rg17.htm

Once at the RG-17 Records of the Land Office page scroll down to XI Records of the Connecticut Claims, click on that link to go to this summary. Just click on this to open it or click this link:   http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/rg17.htm#RecordsofConnecticutClaims

Summary of the Connecticut Claims Land Records at the Pennsylvania State Archive website

Click on the title IX Records of Connecticut Claims and it opens to a long scroll with more detail of these records in the summary above.  You will see Film Numbers, binding #, series #’s and the Holdings are highlighted which takes you to microfilm listings.

Only one grouping is digitized and on the website for viewing:  continue to scroll to Certified Townships: Luzerne County, LO 1.22 PLR 138 (series #17.205) Holdings and Images:

http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/di/r17-205CertifiedTwpLuzerne/r17-205CertTwpLuzMainInterface.htm

Scroll to Huntingdon (Huntington eventually) or choose the township you want.

This index of the pages online of the registers will give the following information:

  • lot #
  • to whom granted
  • acres, perches
  • To whom Patented
  • Where recorded – Vol., No. of Vol. page
  • Copied Surveys, Book and Page.

Somebody copied a whole bunch of pages from the original records into this nice book as a list/index and the archives put it up on PA website.  This is what they looked like originally:

Book of 15 Townships Original page

This information is essentially the same information that Donna gives in her Claimant Book. She however explains it all in the first pages of her book giving background, history and the sources and their condition

Warrants – The ones online at the Pennsylvania Archive website are newer and you might find a family member. I found a few things of interest but not much. The older warrants are in the Connecticut Claimant records which are not online.

Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications 1733-1952 at Ancestry.com has a lot more information then the other category they have titled Pennsylvania, Land Warrants, 1733-1987. If I have a deed or Claimant information I can usually figure by the acreage what they are referring to. This is similar to the online Warrants that are at the Pennsylvania State Archives website.

Warrantee Maps:  RG-17 Records of the Land Office, Warrantee Township Maps (series #17.522 – Click on Forest to Perry Counties and find Luzerne then scroll to Fairmount or Huntington or the township of your choice.  You will see  a map of Huntington with writing all around.  Look for your family member and note the information and see if you can find their lot on the map. You can download the map and study it at your leisure. Be aware that finding the division and lot can be a little challenging, so be patent.

http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/di/r17-522WarranteeTwpMaps/r17-522WaranteeTwpMapMainInterface.htm

Step 9 Take a look at the Deeds online at Family Search and see what you can find for your ancestor.  If you can’t find the deed you are looking for you will have to go to the Claimant records at the PA Archives, the Westmoreland Records, even the Susquehannah Records to see if you can find them.  You might have to look for a dispensation (letter, testimony) from a family member(s) explaining the land history.

Deeds, 1787-1901, index to deeds, 1780-1907 Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania. You can scroll down and look at the Grantor index, then Grantee index, then with the name, volume and page you can locate the deed at the FamilySearch website.  Be advised that this does not always have a deed you may be looking for.

If you use the deeds online at FamilySearch try this: Go to the Grantor or Grantee Index. Click on an index film letter say G or S (you should do both grantor and grantee).  The first part of the film is a table of contents of the surnames – Over on the side is a plus – minus and grid and single for choices.  I click grid and get a whole bunch of small images. If the volume is say D-F you will have 3 volumes so let the grid fill out till you find a book image for the letter you want usually indicating a volume, not always. Then I start clicking single ones till I find what I am looking for and use the Image back and forth to get to my target.  I find the page number for the name like Ferree.  Write that down then go to the Images and find that page which are further down in the grid using the Images up in the north corner scroll through.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/228810?availability=Family%20History%20Library

In summary, I hope this helps.  Like I said it is a confusing subject the Land in Luzerne Co., PA because some has been put on microfilm but other documents have not. Some is online some is not. Also you have to go to a lot of different sources and archives to find what you need.  I have learned a lot just doing this PAGE and clarified for myself what sources I had found and looked at in the past. I am a little uncomfortable about the PA Archive research I did in 2008 when I was in Harrisburg. If you have a question just ask me at bjmcdonell@gmail.com.

Published 9/29/2018 – I may add information as I go along writing the posts for each of Philip’s Children and I will note where those updates are.