Authors: Sharon and Angus MacInnes
Although the state Land Office did not plat the surveys onto Township Patent Maps as they did for about 1/3 of the townships in the state, we are exceedingly fortunate that the Westmoreland County Tax Map Maintenance Department completed a similar project to map the patents of the original tracts. The 353 detailed tract maps produced by the Map Maintenance Department show the original tracts superimposed over current road maps. Since only the patentees are shown on these maps, the MacInneses embarked on a project to look up each of the approximately 3,500 original tracts within Westmoreland County in the Westmoreland County Warrant Register, the New Purchase Register, and the Patent Register indexes in Harrisburg. They were able to locate the dates of the warrant and patent for each tract, the names of the warrantee (or New Purchase applicant) and patentee, as well as the size and name of the tract, correcting inconsistencies and adding invaluable data.
With the information in the township charts in this atlas, you will be able to pinpoint the location of the tract of your ancestor, as well as to know which repository in Greensburg or Harrisburg holds the original documents so that you may request copies of them.
A great many of the warrants and patents of Westmoreland County were issued before the first U.S. Census in 1790, but some of the land transactions occur as late as the 1930s. Keep in mind that most of these land transactions precede the deeds located in the county courthouse. The authors documented the transfer of ownership from the state or colony to the first landowners, although references to many deeds and surveys in Greensburg are also included. (All conveyances of those tracts after the transfer of ownership to private hands are recorded at the courthouse.) In addition to documenting the first private landowners of Westmoreland County, the atlas can often reveal family relationships or clues to possible relationships since relatives usually congregated near one another, acted as witnesses and sponsors for each other, attended church together, and appear together in tax lists. Secondly, since people usually moved in groups, tracking sets of families and neighbors as a whole can frequently suggest routes of migration. Finally, later owners of these tracts can be traced back to the exact location of their plat by following their transactions through deed and will books. Index.
The detailed tract maps produced by Westmoreland County are truly a unique tool for researchers of Westmoreland County settlers. These 353 detailed maps, which are not included in this book, show the original tracts superimposed over modern maps. Consequently, you can locate precisely where your ancestor’s land was and see the roads and lots within it today. The companion CD with .pdf images can be purchased separately or in combination with the book.
2007, 8.5" X 11", Softbound, 542 pages (Book + CD) BEST BUY
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