This Lancaster County atlas contains has been completely revised in 2020 and now includes the maps that formerly were only available on a CD accompanying the atlas at additional cost. All information shown on the 24 Township Warrantee Maps which were produced by the Pennsylvania Land Office in the 1940s. Each chapter begins with the Township Warrantee Map, painstakingly platted by draftsmen from the original warrants, surveys, and patents. The maps show precise outlines in metes and bounds of each original tract and all surrounding tracts in the township (see small sample below). A second map follows, cropped to eliminate marginal information, with atlas coordinates superimposed upon it. The third map for each township consists of modern road maps superimposed on the warrantee map by the Dauphin County GIS Department.
Following these maps are charts (see sample from our Dauphin County volume below) which include each fact included on every tract in the Township Warrantee Maps: names of the warrantee and patentee; size of the tract; name of the tract, if given; dates of the warrant, survey, and patent; Survey Book and page number where the survey was recorded; Patent Register and page number where the patent was recorded; and, finally, the coordinates where the tract in question is located. Numerous footnotes give further information, including many neighbors shown on the original surveys. Copies of the original surveys are posted online.
The warrantee maps show the location of the earliest landowners of the county—in other words, those who bought their land directly from the colony or state. After a tract was transferred to a private individual, subsequent transactions were recorded in the county courthouse. Examining the maps for other families in the township makes it possible to locate allied families, baptismal sponsors, neighbors, fellow church members, and migration companions. If your ancestor was actually a first landowner in the county, purchasing his or her property directly from the colony or state of Pennsylvania, you should find him or her in this atlas. Likewise, if your ancestor was a neighbor to one of these tracts, you will probably find his or her name in the numerous footnotes included in this volume.
Before your buy our Atlas of Lancaster County, see if the name(s) you are looking for appear in the index of the 653-page Atlas. To see if they appear in individual township chapters (downloadable as separate pdf files), click on "Index to Individual Dauphin Township Chapters by SURNAME," or to see the index by neighborhood, click on "Dauphin County Index by TOWNSHIP."
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