14 Comments


  1. Thank you for writing this very helpful explanation. In two of the survey’s I’ve found there is an expression “in right of” separating two names. Both these are cases where a warrant and survey were taken, but no patent was issued to the original warrantee. Can you tell me what this expression means? Thanks again.


    1. John, thanks for the comment.

      Since the warrantee technically did not own the land they had warranted—that required a survey and patent—they could not sell it. Instead, they transferred their rights to that land to someone else. Then as long as they followed through on the warrant requirements, that person could then request a survey “in right of” the warrantee and patent the land in their name.

      Sometimes the original warrantee received no survey or patent and the land was then warranted to someone else. In those cases, they may have abandoned the warrant or selected land elsewhere. Or they may have failed to follow through on the warrant requirements.

      Hope this answers your question.
      ~Kris


      1. Yes. Thank you. This explains why I can’t find any deeds, indentures, or any other records showing the transfer or sale of the land my ancestor had warranted and surveyed in 1738, but which was not patented until 1785 by someone else. I can see from his will that he was living on the land at the time of his death in 1749, and I can see from later surveys that another relative was living there as late as 1755. I don’t see another warrant or survey for this land however. Maybe getting a copy of the patent would give more information?

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. Hope this helps others who may be having the same question.


        1. John, the patent should provide the name and date of the warrantee, name and date of survey, metes and bounds of the property as surveyed, neighbors, and terms. You can see an example of a land patent in John Hoober’s 1736 Land Patent.


          1. Thank you, Kris! I’ll order the several patents for the lands warranted to my ancestors/relatives but patented to others in hopes that there may be references to the transfer of warrantee rights. I’ve looked through all the Lancaster County deed books page by page (thousands of pages, many very hard to read) from the earliest to the late 1780’s without finding actual deeds involving either the warrantees or the patentees for these particular tracts. This will possibly give me another avenue. They were in Lancaster County as late as the early 1750’s per actual documentation, and then they “appear” in Fayette County in 1785 (again per actual documentation). I’m trying to find hard evidence of where they were in between.

  2. Julie Rowan-Wolford

    This is an awesome site with information given in a succinct and readable form. Awesome job.


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Julie. I’m glad you found it useful and easy to read!

  3. Robert Test

    Kris,

    Thank you for all the work you’ve done here. You’ve enabled me to find the warrant and survey listings of a couple of my ancestor’s purchases. I never would have tried looking for them without the help I found here.

    My ancestor is listed in the Philadelphia Old Rights Index. That index lists two warrants for a survey recorded in Survey Record Book D, Vol. 75, pages 68 and 69. I found these and discovered them to be copies made in 1909.

    Can I assume that if I ordered copies from the State Archives that I would get a copy of the (microfilmed) original record made in 1683 and 1684?

    Secondly, I want to find/order a copy of the patents. So, do I need the date of the patent and the Vol. Book an page numbers? I take it that these are not identical to the survey volume, boo,k and page numbers.


    1. Thank you for the feedback, Robert. I’m so glad you found this post useful!

      To the best of my knowledge the copied survey is all that’s available for the survey. I could be wrong, though. The best place to get more information would be from the Archivist at the State Archives. You can reach them via email at ra-statearchives@pa.gov.

      To order a copy of the patent you need the name of the patentee, the date of the patent, the volume, book and page number. Since these are not listed in the Old Philadelphia Rights, you should try looking them up in the Patent Registers for series A and AA, 1681-1781. There is a listing there for John Test (warrant dated 13 Nov 1784 to John Test; patent to John Test, dated 17 Nov 1684, Patent Book A1:58) for a Philadelphia city lot (see patents for surname starting with T, page 309). This looks like it might fit with survey D75:69. It’s possible he never got a patent for D75:68. Check the reverse pages for D75:68 & 69 to see if there’s additional information you could provide the archivist.

      Hope that helps. Good luck & let me know if you find anything more!
      Kris

      1. Robert Test

        Wow! I can’t believe you took the time to look up the patent. Thank you.
        I think I had scanned through those pages but totally missed it.

        I notice on the patent that the date of the survey is given as Nov. 13, 1684 and that “matches” the date of “13th 11th mo 1684 of the survey. So I agree the survey on p 69 matches with this patent.

        Interesting that the person who copied the material interpreted the 11th month to be November when, in fact, in 1684 the 11th month was actually January.


  4. Absolutely fantastic post! Like you, I love using land records for the research. Like the old adage says, “Follow the money,” and almost nothing was more valuable than land. You may be interested in a few articles I wrote about the land patent process in Maryland (another proprietary colony) a few years ago. See http://www.examiner.com/genealogy-history-in-baltimore/colonial-maryland-land-patents-and-headrights and http://www.examiner.com/genealogy-history-in-baltimore/researching-colonial-maryland-patent-records and http://www.examiner.com/genealogy-history-in-baltimore/colonial-maryland-patented-and-unpatented-certificates


    1. Thank you, Michael. I’ll have to check the posts out because I’ve got quite a bit of Maryland research to do, too!


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