3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 23, 2020 3:41 PM by Janice Brown

    Seeking evidence of 1827 land sale

    Janice Brown Newbie

      I'm seeking evidence of 1827 land sale to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to the 1858 sale of state canals to the Sunbury Erie Railroad Company. I am trying to find documented evidence of a historical land transaction that is noted on an Interstate Commerce Commission railroad valuation map.  The railroad company asserts that this land is part of their right-of-way.  The valuation map indicates that a specific landowner (grantor) executed a release to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Grantee) on August 25, 1827 for parcels of land identified on the valuation map.

       

      I understand that Pennsylvania county boundaries have changed, and that -- over the years -- the land in question was located in either the County of Luzerne or the County of Wyoming.  I've searched the Recorder of Deeds websites for both those counties and cannot locate a copy of the deed documenting the sale of the property from the landowner to the Commonwealth of PA.  Any tips on locating this deed would be most appreciated.

       

      Based on research to date, I understand that the Pennsylvania State Assembly passed a series of acts in the 1820s to support the construction of a statewide canal system, and later sold its canal related properties to the Sunbury and Erie Railroad Company on April 21, 1858 (ref:  http://www.google.it.ao/books?id=tfsqAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA418&lr=&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false (scroll back to page 414)

        • Re: Seeking evidence of 1827 land sale
          Marene Baker Adventurer

          Hi Janice.  Great question.  I agree that you need to start with the county assessors office.  How far back do their records go online?  Given the nature of the land transfer, between a private individual, the county, the state, and the railroad company the records might not be part of the digitized county assessors' records.  I think contacting the Luzerne or Wyoming County archives or historical society is a good place to start.  According to both their websites their offices are closed but they, like us, are answering questions remotely.  Don't be surprised if they also refer you to the Pennsylvania State Archives as well.  I think with a question as complex as this it will most likely require a visit to the the historical societies and possibly the Pennsylvania State Archives.  Obviously that will have to occur sometime in the future.  Best of luck with your research.

            • Re: Seeking evidence of 1827 land sale
              Janice Brown Newbie

              Hi Marene, thank you so much for providing me with helpful guidance. The shutdown on non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania means that I will have to limit myself to online research for now.  The historical society is closed; the state archives are closed.  The Recorder of Deeds office in the County of Luzerne is open, but personnel are focused on state-of-emergency activities only.  If and when I discover where a person can find source documents related to 19th century Pennsylvania canal land releases, I will be sure to post it.

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                • Re: Seeking evidence of 1827 land sale
                  Janice Brown Newbie

                  Marene, I forgot to answer the question you raised in your post:  Wyoming County's online records go back to 1842, which is when that County was created.  Luzerne County's online records go back to 1786.  Given that I'm looking for an 1827 land release, it's a little perplexing to not see it as part of the Luzerne County public records.  (I will likely start searching for finding aids relating to Canal Commissioner records at the Pennsylvania State Archives.)

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