Monthly Archives: February 2013

Thought I would post a page to help out anyone looking for (Campbell family) Franklin Co wills. Plus it will help me when away from the computer. I have grouped these according to whom I think belongs to a certain family or Township – your opinions may differ and if they do, please email me or leave a note in the comment section so I can make corrections.

I started with a list posted at Rootsweb. You can find that here. I changed up a few notations because it worked better for me. BIG thanks to that poster who saved me (and others) a TON of time! The date the will was proven is first, the book and page number refers to the particular will book and the image number is where you find it on the microfilmed roll.

Or make it easy on yourself and follow the links provided.

Keep in mind; the helpful parts of this post are the links. I have verified very little info and nothing here should be construed as a complete or accurate abstract.

Fannett Campbells

1783 – William Campbell (1697-1783) married Francis UNK (verify)

1789 – Andrew Campbell (1728-1789) married Esther Jane Gettys Estate: 116, Book A, Page 141, Image: 87

1796 – David Campbell – Wife: Elizabeth Children: David, John, Agnus

1804 – William Campbell (1725-1804) wife Hannah Young Estate: 831, Book B, Page 287, Image: 346

1826 – Hannah Campbell (Hannah Young): Estate: 2330, Book C, Pg 809, Img 427

1813 – Mark Campbell Husband of Elizabeth Wilson Estate: 1221, Book C, Page 119, Img 73

1835 – John Campbell Wife Isabelle; children mentioned Estate: 3053, Book D, Page 317, Img 171

1836 – David Campbell (c1760-1846) wife Mary Alexander Estate: 4860, Book E, Page 130, Img: 362

1846 – William Campbell (1769-1846) wife Hanna Spence, Sons: Spence and Mark, Dau: Catherine Woods, Margaret Campbell – Estate: 4826, Book  E, Page 113, Img 354

1786 – William Gemal (Camel?) of Fannett, Franklin CO  Book A, Page 77, Image 53

1797 – Samuel Gammel of Fannet Twnshp, Franklin Co, PA Estate# 400 (??), Book B, Page 29, Image 215

1832 – Samuel Gamble LOA, 13 Aug 1832 Estate: 2828, Book D, Page 233

Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes

1795 – Patrick Campbell (1732-1794) married Eleanor Hayes

1798 – John Campbell Son of Patrick and Eleanor Hayes, Estate: 461, Book B, Page 65, Img 233

1823 – Frances Campbell LOA: Caleb B. Campbell (both sons of Pat Campbell Jr and Frances Stockton) Estate: 1992, Book C, Page 668, Img 357

1842 – Samuel Campbell (1775-1842) – PROBABLE?? son of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes Estate: 4517, Book D, Page 551, Image 290

1824 – Robert Campbell LOA to William Campbell, Issiah McKinnie and (Caleb) Kaleb B Campbell Securities. – Probably s/o or grandchild of Pat and Eleanor (Caleb B Campbell securities) Estate: 2142, Book C, Page 720, Img 382

Captain Charles Campbell

1813 –  James Campbell (1747-1813) wife Sara McFarland Estate: 1468, Book C, Page 325, Image 178

1817 -James Campbell (1730-1817) wife Phaneal Reynolds) Estate: 1250, Book C, Page 155, Image 91

1814 –  Thomas Campbell (1750-1814) wife Mary McDowell – BIL: James McDowell, John McLean, Lazerz Brown Dau: Rebecca B. Campbell, Jean McKeen – Of Peters – Codicil: Grandson Thomas Cambell McLeen, Thomas Campbell McDowell – Town of St Thomas Estate: 1413, Book C, Page, 282, Image 156

1821 Mary Campbell Ltr of Ad to James McDowell Estate: 1762, Book C, Page 548, Img 296

Letterkenny Campbells

1796 – Robert Campbell Letterkenney Twp.; wife Margaret; sons James, Thomas, Andrew, Alexander, John dated 7/22/1796; proved 11/18/1796

1825 – Dr. Robert Campbell of Letterkenny Twp, cousin John Patterson of Guilford Twp, cousin Robert Brotherton of Letterkenny Twp., cousin William Brotherton of of Letterkenny Twp; uncle John Patterson (dec) late of Adams County, PA; uncle James Patterson; uncle Hugh Jackson; uncle Samuel Brotherton, uncle Alexander Campbell; uncle Armstrong Campbell; half sister Mrs. Ann Coulter; dated Feb. 19, 1825 proved March 8, 1825. – Estate: 2201, Book C, Page 736, Img 390

NOTE: There is a will of Hugh Campbell Straban Twnshp, York Co, PA that is probably connected to these Campbells. See: York Co, PA Wills, Book K, Page 25, Image 549

  • Hugh Campbell: wife Rebecca, sons: Alexander and Armstrong, dau Mary Campbell, son Robert Campbell, dau Margaret Campbell, My first wife’s children (not named), other names mentioned Isaac and John Armstrong. Written: 14 Dec 1798. Proven: 2 Jan 1799. Witness: Isaac Tate, John Brinkerhoff

Unknown Campbells: Please let me know if you have any info on the following Campbells

1785 – William Campbell Ltr of Ad to William Thompson

1798 – Henry Campbell Ltr of Ad to Samuel Wilson –

1803 – William Campbell (1728-1803) married Janet Coulter (Married First Prysb Church of Phildelphia, 6 Sept 1745). See Letterkenny Campbells for an additional Coulter marriage Estate: 602, Book B, Page 156, Img 279

1805 – Hugh Campbell No wife or children; lists 4 sisters, Mary Hosack (Tosack or Kosack?), Margaret Robison, Sarah Cook Jun, Elizabeth McBrayer Exec: John Thompson and William Hosack (Tosack or Kosack?) Witt: James Walker and Thomas Kirby Estate: 747, Book B, Page 244, Img 323

1807 – John Campbell Ltr of Ad to Thomas Wilson and Mary Campbell – Book B, Page 333, Image 369

1818 – Patrick Campbell, Esq Ltr of Ad to Arthur Chambers and Josias McKinney
–MAYBE PAT JR OF PAT AND ELEANOR HAYS?? Estate: 1539, Book C, Page 387, Img 209

1819 – Andrew P Campbell Wife Mary Gurgan Twnshp – Estate: 1637, Book C, Page 467, Img 254

1822 – John A. Campbell Ltr of Ad to Thomas Campbell – Estate: 2034, Book C, Page 680, Img 363

1824 – John Campbell Ltr of Ad to Elizabeth Campbell with John Cox and Francis Herron securities Estate: 2096, Book C, Page 706, Img 375

1839 – Thomas Campbell Wife Rebecca Harris; Metal Twp. daughter Reukammor, Charles, John Harris

  • Estate: 4008, Book D, Page 463, Img 246
  • Forum Query: Thomas M. Campbell (c2 Jul 1850-12 Dec 1860) was the son of John Harris Campbell and his wife Ann, grandson of Thomas Campbell and Rebecca Harris. Thomas M. was born in Metal Twp, Franklin Co, and is buried in Knobsville Methodist Cemetery, Fulton Co. His parents are in the Metal Twp census in 1850 and 1860. Did the family move to Fulton County and then back to Franklin? Matilda, daughter of John and Ann died 1864 and is buried in Lower Path Valley Cemetery. Can anyone help clear this up?

Allen Killough of Montgomery Twnshp, Cumberland Co: Grandson John Campbell – Original Will and administration


In my prior sketches on the family of James Campbell (1771) of Derry (later Londonderry), Lancaster, PA, I have pointed to the possibility of that James (1771) was related to the John Campbell / Grissell Hay family whose sons were one of the earliest settlers of Beverly Manor in SW Virginia. This possibility comes from the work of Dr William Henry Egle and is discussed extensively in the sketch: John Campbell m. Grace Hay: Comparing Traditions in Lancaster Co, PA

I have not found any evidence that points conclusively to the family of John and Grace being in Lancaster, PA and, short of DNA testing with the family of Patrick Campbell who married Eleanor Hayes, that probably will not change. However, I have come across an interesting land record that adds to the tradition.


There were 2 David Campbells in Lancaster Co, PA.

  1. “White” David in Campbell literature and is the son of John Campbell and Grace Hay. From the work of Philip Norfleet, David was b. 08 March 1705/06 in Londonderry County, Ulster Province, Ireland; died 19 October 1790 in Washington County VA. This David’s presence in Lancaster is only tradition.
  2. A David Campbell was mentioned in the Will of Patrick Campbell who died in 1772, Donegal, Lancaster Co, PA. This David was the brother of the said Patrick and had died prior to 1772 leaving a widow Martha (surname Byers), and children: Patrick, David, Mary and Jane.  You can read more about Patrick’s Will here: Patrick Campbell of Lancaster Co, PA.

Both David’s are (probably) about the same age – give take 10 years – and old enough to be acquiring land in the mid to late 1730’s. I say “probably” because I can only guess the age of David who died before 1772 (Will of Patrick Campbell).

Land of James Campbell (1771)

James Campbell (1771), according to Egle (and disputed by others), was a son of John Campbell and Grace Hay and therefore a brother to “White” David. As I said, the family’s presence in Lancaster, PA is only tradition however, in the Lancaster Co, Warrant Registers, 1733-1957, on page 31, we see that a David Cammel was issued warrant #66 by survey, on 13 Mar 1737, for 200 acres on Spring Creek in Derry Township, with the additional notation that the land was vacated.

On the same page, we see James Cammel was issued warrant #71 by survey, on 2 Mar 1737, for 300 acres on Spring Creek in Derry Township. James was issued a patent for 279 acres, 6 Oct 1741. His survey is on file and can be seen here: A64-214

James (1771) 279A

James Campbell 279 Acres on Spring Creek – Click to enlarge.

So David and James warranted adjoining parcels. If we look at the reference near David Campbell’s name (A73-41), we find the land eventually came in possession of James Galbraith:

David Neighbor to James (1771)

Land warranted by David Campbell but vacated and patented by James Galbraith. Click to enlarge

James Galbraith sold this land to John Gerber in 1757 and the Deed is recorded in the Lancaster Deed Book D, page 458: Image 472. * In this deed, it is stated that Galbraith received his patent from the Penns on 2 Mar 1744. So whichever David warranted the land, he was gone by 1744 – but gone where?

White David is said to be in Beverly Manor (later Augusta co, VA), by 1738 and possibly 1-2 years earlier . The other David, brother of Patrick who left the will in Donegal (1772), remained in Lancaster and was settling other land by 1748 (probably prior) which I will talk about in a future sketch.

* If you are not sure how to access the multitudes of PA land records (or search in a meaningful way), you may want to read this: Searching Pennsylvania Land Records


While not conclusive evidence that the John Campbell/Grace Hay family every lived in Lancaster Co, PA, this land history is the only bit of evidence I have found from a primary source and it can easily be explained away.

I still feel the only positive way to verify the presence of John Campbell and Grace Hay in Lancaster will be through DNA via the son of James Campbell (1771): Patrick Campbell who married Eleanor Hayes. But until then, these small bits of information may be useful.

A word of caution before I begin: This page is mostly for me. A year from now when I come across these Campbells, I need to remember how I put them together and the theories on which I was working. All of my work is documented unless otherwise stated. In order to find my sources, I ask that you visit the original page which I will link. I’m not documenting sources here. Additionally, on the linked pages, you will far more detail. Nothing here should be construed as transcription of any estate document, Will or complete outline of an individual family.

The purpose of this page is to tie everyone together so the future me can remember why I was researching them in the first place and the family to whom they belonged.


My study of Lancaster Co, PA is centered on Patrick Campbell of Donegal, Lancaster, PA who died in 1772.  In his will, Patrick identified 2 brothers Robert and David. In addition he named a John Campbell but did not specify a relationship.  He also names 2 sisters, Elizabeth Montgomery and Margaret Hutchison. He names several nieces and nephews, including those of his brother David, namely Patrick, David, Jane and Mary. The guardian of David’s children was John Byers, brother to David’s wife/widow, Martha Byers.

  • Note: There are several others named in the will of Patrick Campbell, please go to that sketch to learn more.

John Byers moved to Cumberland Co and the children of Martha and David lived with him until about 1770(ish) when at least some of them are said to have removed to VA. I am unsure which ones went to VA.

Patrick Campbell who m. Eleanor Hayes was living in Peters Township, then Cumberland County. His family carried the same names as the family of Patrick Campbell of Donegal. It is through these circumstances that I researched Patrick and Eleanor Campbell, which led me back to James Campbell of Derry and subsequently the family of John Campbell and Grace Hays.

Read more about: Patrick Campbell of Lancaster Co, PA

John Campbell who married Grace or Grissell Hays

In order to discuss the Campbell family of Derry (later Londonderry), Lancaster Co, PA, one has to start with this family.  John and Grissel are said to have come to Lancaster, Co circa 1726, only to remain a few years, and then remove to Beverly Manor, VA with their sons, Robert, David and Patrick.  These 3 brother’s presence in Beverly Manor is undisputed, especially David and Patrick. There is some difference in the details of Robert’s life in VA.

Their presence in Lancaster would be inconsequential if it weren’t for James Campbell who Dr. William Egle said stayed in Derry, Lancaster, PA, and is buried in the Derry Presbyterian Churchyard.

Campbell Graves in Derry

Find a Grave Memorial # 19229930 From Left to Right, James (1771) – Large Stone, flat to ground, Gravestone of John Campbell (1734) and Memorial to James (1751), next, James (1781) s/o Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes. Note the placard and flag. Prob denoting Rev War Service.

THEORY: Probably buried in the same plot is  James’ father John Campbell (according to Egle). On the same stone is a memorial to James Campbell, who d. 1751 (?) at the age of 33. My theory is James (1751) is probably the son of James (1771).

Next to the stone of John (1734) and James (1751), is the grave of James (1781) who died in the Revolutionary War. This James was the son of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes and the grandson of James (1771) – This theory developed from viewing pictures of this plot and comparing them to other known pictures of individual stones.

For more information on the many early theories and contradictions surrounding this family, please read: Comparative Study of Family Traditions of John Campbell and Grace Hay in Lancaster Co, PA

James Campbell (1771) of Derry

James Campbell owned a large plantation in Derry ( later Londonderry), Lancaster, PA and is said to have died at age 80 from the transcriptions of his stone.  He died testate in 1771 so he was b. about 1681. According to Dr. William Henry Egle, James was the son of John Campbell who traditionally is referred to as the John Campbell who m. Grace (Grissell) Hay. However, Egle provides an additional generation in his work as opposed to the more commonly referenced work of Margaret Pilcher.

From his Last Will and Testament, we know James (1771) had 2 sons; John and Patrick.  We know that Patrick had at least 1 son named James, to whom James Sr (1771) left his plantation.  John had no issue at the time James wrote his will.

Read more about: James Campbell Sr (d. 1771) of Derry, Lancaster, PA

John Campbell (1776) of Londonderry and Campbelltown

John Campbell was the son of James Campbell (1771) and the founder of Campbelltown in now Lebanon Co, PA. He died intestate abt. 1776.  He was married to Margaret, surname unknown. Margaret sold her interest in the estate to John’s brother Patrick and it is in the estate documents that we find proof that Patrick Campbell of Peters Township, Cumberland (later Franklin) Co, PA, whose wife’s name was Elinor (Eleanor), was the brother of John Campbell, and subsequently the son of James Campbell (1771). We also find proof that Patrick Campbell had a son James.

Patrick’s son James married a Margaret (surname unk) and their daughter Eleanor married Rev. Joshua Williams. James died in the Rev War and is probably buried in the same plot as his grandfather James (1771) and perhaps his great grandfather John (1734).

Also in the estate documents of John Campbell (1776) we find that he and his wife Margaret, had no (living) children.

Read more about: John Campbell of Derry and Londonderry, PA

Patrick Campbell (1795) of Peters Township

Patrick Campbell married Eleanor Hays in 1755 and had several children.  My initial interest in Patrick was to differentiate his children from the others living in Peters Township and Cumberland Co in general.

My “new” interest is to find a proven descendant of this family who is participating in the Campbell DNA Project. Participation would help to resolve many of the conflicting traditions surrounding John Campbell and Grace Hay.  If descendants were shown to match this family, more weight could be given to the history of this family as detailed by Dr. William Henry Egle. As a personal note, it would also eliminate any connection to this family and my own.

If no relationship to the family of John Campbell and Grace Hay were shown, well, it could mean a lot of things but probably best not to speculate until it’s known to be true.

Read more about Patrick Campbell of Peters Township, Franklin Co, PA

Family Tree

So far, my research has done more to validate Dr. Egle’s theories although no documentary evidence had been found connecting James (1771) to the John and Grissell Hay family. So, it is tentatively, and THEORETICALLY, that I say John Campbell who married Grace Hay died in 1734 and buried in the Derry Presbyterian Church Graveyard. Their son was:

James Campbell who was born prob about 1691 and d. 1771. His sons were:

  1. THEORY: James Campbell, d. 1781 (or 1757?) from gravestone. He was 33 when he died. IF he was the son of this James, he presumably died with no issue as they most likely would have been named in the will of James Sr (1771). The basis of that assumption is that James Sr. provided for unborn children of his son John so he would have done the same had his son James had living children. I presume him to be related to this family b/c his memorial is on the same stone of John (1734) whom Egle presumes to be the father of James Sr (1771)
  2. John Campbell d. abt 1776, married Margaret (unk surname). He founded Campbellstown, PA and died with no issue
  3. Patrick Campbell of Peter Township, Cumberland Co, PA. Patrick Married Eleanor Hays in 1755 and was the executor of his brother, John’s, estate. Eleanor was the dau of Patrick Hayes and Jane or Jean McKnight.

Children of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hays

  1. James Campbell who was b. abt 1756 and d. 1781. James left a will in Lancaster Co, PA. He married Margaret (surname unknown). He had 1 daughter named Eleanor who m. Rev Joshua Williams. James died before his father and therefore not mentioned in Patrick’s will however the estate documents of his Uncle John Campbell of Campbelltown, PA make the relationship clear.

The remainder of the children are named in the will of Patrick:

  1. Son: William
  2. Dau: Jenny Stockton, wife of Caleb Stockton
  3. Son: John: £500 paid in installments. John died testate in 1798 with no issue. He left his estate to his sister Jenny and brother William. Will on-line at
  4. Son: Patrick
  5. Son: Robert: was named executor and was to share the Upper Peters Townshp 400 acres or thereabouts with his brother Patrick
  6. Son: David
  7. Son: Samuel: was to share the other plantation in Peters Township being 300 acres or thereabouts with his brother David.


Again, understand this is just a brief write up to remind myself who this family was, how they linked together, and how I came to research them. MANY more details, documents and sources can be found in the individual sketches linked above. No information found here should be construed as a transcription of LW&T, estate administration or complete genealogy.

This sketch is on the family of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hays/Hayes. If you are a descendant, please keep in mind that my research goal was not to accumulate everything there is to be known about Patrick and Eleanor. My goal was to differentiate him and his family from other Campbells who were in the area. I mention this so that you can take my work and expand on it yourself. There is more to be learned by following up on the various land records I cite here and some that I am not referencing at all.

If you are unfamiliar with the records available, you can start here: Searching PA Land Records. Many Campbells are listed in Franklin Co but not all belong to this family.

Also, I know some people have dedicated much time (years?) to this family. If you see errors in my work, PLEASE point them out. Last thing I want is to be passing on bad information!

And a final note: The names of the Townships of Derry and Londonderry are used interchangeably throughout the documents transcribed here. Don’t let this throw you off. I transcribed as written. James Campbell’s (1771) land is found on the Derry map. Londonderry was split from Derry in 1767.

Unanswered Questions

I have 2 questions about the children of Patrick Campbell that remain unanswered and would appreciate any input:

  1. Is any member of this family a participant in the Campbell DNA project?
  2. Did any of the children (or grandchildren) of Patrick Campbell and Eleanor Hayes settle in Fannett Township, Cumberland, then Franklin co. Fannett is located about 30 miles north of Peters Township.

You can either leave a note in the comments section or email me directly. You can find my email information over there in the Contact Me box: ————->

Family of Patrick Campbell

Patrick’s father was James Campbell of Londonderry, PA and his brother was John Campbell of Londonderry, PA. I wrote about both James and John in the above linked sketches. It is through the settlement of John’s estate and the Last Will & Testament (LW&T) of James Campbell, that we find the evidence of the family relationship.

Patrick Campbell m. Eleanor Hayes on 6 Feb 1755 (See records of Paxtang Presbyterian Church, History of the Sesqui-Centennial of Paxtang Church, by Mathias W.  McAlarney, p.  269.) Hays family researchers say that Eleanor is the daughter of Patrick Hays (Hayes) and Jane or Jean McKnight.

Patrick and Eleanor raised their family in Peters Township, Cumberland Co (later Franklin), PA. Peters is about 80 miles West of Patrick’s father’s plantation in Londonderry, Lancaster (now Dauphin), PA. The estate documents of his brother John make the relationship clear – repeatedly.

Peters Township, Franklin Co, PA

I can’t say why Patrick moved to Peters Township but I suspect he moved with his wife’s family as a William Hays had land next to Patrick’s. Later William Hays land was transferred to Patrick and Samuel Hays.  See Survey C37-23 for more details.

Patrick Campbell had land in Peters Township as early as 1767, probably earlier. In the Pennsylvania Archives, V. II, Edited By William Egle m.d., Pub 1894, pgs 384-385, 395 (Google book linked)  we find 3 caveats filed where Patrick was claiming various surveys were interfering with his land. Two were filed in the Land Office on 2 Feb 1767 against Alexander McConnel and another bearing the same date against Robert Wilson. On the 26 May 1767, he filed another claim against Samuel Robb. Samuel Robb is mentioned in the above linked survey.

Another interesting survey is C31-122. It lists the land of Patrick Hays and mentions a Robert Campbell who was granted 250 acres of land 4 Sept 1767. I don’t know who this Robert is. He is not the son of Patrick and Eleanor who (at most) would be 11 or 12 in 1767.  There were other Campbell families in the area so I am keeping this land doc in my “still to be figured out” pile. The only reason I reference it here is because of the name Patrick Hays.

There is a book State  and Supply Transcripts Of The County Of Cumberland, Edited by William Henry Egle M.D., Vol XX, Published 1897. Several pages have information on Campbell’s – not all this family. It is a searchable and is a good resource for this area.

  • 1780: Patrick Campbell is listed as owning 718 acres, 6 horses, 7 cattle and 1 negro (Pg 347)
  • 1781: Patrick Campbell is listed as owning 678 acres, 5 horses, 8 cattle and 1 negro (Pg 475)

When Patrick died in 1795, we know he owned at least 2 tracts of land which he bequeathed to 4 of his sons. Two other sons he gave cash to be paid in installments.

Will of Patrick Campbell

Patrick left a will in Franklin Co, PA. A copy of the will, inventories and administrations can be found at the web site (link provided below). Details include:

  • Patrick Campbell of Peters Township, Franklin Co, Yeoman,  dtd: 15 June 1795
  • Beloved Wife Eleanor
  • Son: William: £300 paid in installments
  • Dau: Jenny Stockton, wife of Caleb Stockton, £100 paid in installments
  • Son: John: £500 paid in installments
  • Sons: Patrick and Robert: Upper Peters Township 400 acres or thereabouts
  • Sons: David and Samuel: Other plantation in Peters Township being 300 acres or thereabouts. Samuel also received £100 paid in installments
  • Mentions former contract with John Wray or John McRay
  • Exec: Wife Eleanor, son Robert, friend John Scott Esq of Chambersburg
  • Wit: Robert McFarland, James Erwin, John Riddle
  • Prvn: 14 Sept 1795

One interesting note about the inventory of Patrick; It included an eight-day clock which had its own separate appraisal attached. I note this because in the LW&T of Patrick’s father James who d. in 1771, he also mentioned a clock. Not sure if it was the same one.

Children of Patrick

I don’t want to get too detailed about the children of Patrick as I haven’t spent enough time researching them. There are a few on-line genealogies out there that can be easily found by searching for “Patrick Campbell married Eleanor Hayes”. That said, I must make one observation.

Some of the birth dates of the children look a little off. Keep in mind, Patrick and Eleanor were married in 1755 and from my experience with his brother’s family, I would guess he was born btwn 1720-1730. His first child, James was b. abt 1756 – I have seen some dates that have the children being born quite late in life.

HOWEVER – nothing is easy (lol) – there is a reference to an approval by the orphan’s court 14 May 1804 in Patrick’s administrations docs. I feel it has more to do with an heir passing away but I could be wrong.

James Campbell who was b. abt 1756 was not mentioned in his father’s will because he died in 1781; reportedly in the Revolutionary War. He married Margaret (unknown surname) and had one daughter Eleanor who grew up to marry Rev Joshua Williams. I discuss James in detail and list sources in the sketches regarding James Campbell of Londonderry, PA and John Campbell of Londonderry, PA.  James of Londonderry is this James’ grandfather, John was his Uncle. I have seen Eleanor, dau of James being listed as a dau of Patrick but I think the evidence now available on-line clearly defines this relationship.

Here are a few sources that may help provide additional info on the children of Patrick; probably nothing new to those who have researched this family for years.

The next 4 links are from a Rootsweb poster who has transcribed some information on Mercersburg Campbells (not all are this family). The posts are from: Information held at Kittochtinny His. Soc. Chambersburg PA.:

And finally, if you want to look at the Campbell wills for Franklin Co, now available on-line thanks to the wonderful people of, I suggest you start here (link). Someone took the time to look up all the Campbells and find the Image numbers. This is a HUGE time saver (Thank You)!!  Here are a few hints when using this document:

  • First, go get the document and print it.
  • Go to the Franklin Co site (linked)
  • SCROLL to the bottom where you find Will books, Open the appropriate Will Book, then go to the Image Number

The links at the top, before you scroll, are by estate number and have all the estate docs available (Inventories, etc). I found a few Inventories before I figured out the Scrolling – I link them below as the inventories and administrations have addl info – plus might be the original wills? Not all estate docs are available:

If you have questions – please ask, I’m happy to help. Some of these are for the kids of Patrick and Eleanor but not all of the so proceed with caution.


I probably know more about this family than I’m writing here so if you have questions, let me know. I’ll write one more sketch summarizing this entire family. If you go to my Pennsylvania Page at the top of this blog, you will find it (in the next few days).  It might be a good place to start if you are looking for more information.

My interest in studying John stemmed from the will of his father James Campbell of Londonderry who died testate 1771. I’ll refer to James with the notation of (1771) going forward. Per James LW&T (Last Will and Testament) he had sons Patrick and John. Because I am interested in anyone named Patrick (or John for that matter), and because there was a John Campbell who owned land near James (1771), I thought I would do some research.

Note: The names of the Townships of Derry and Londonderry are used interchangeably throughout the documents transcribed here. Don’t let this throw you off too much. Londonderry was split from Derry in 1767. I transcribed as were written.

Family of John Campbell

Patrick Campbell, John’s brother, married Elinor Hayes 6 Feb 1755. Elinor was the daughter of Patrick and Jean Hayes. The marriage service was preformed by Rev John Roan.  (See records of Paxtang Presbyterian Church, History of the Sesqui-Centennial of Paxtang Church, by Mathias W.  McAlarney, p.  269.)

Patrick had a son James who was mentioned in James (1771) LW&T. Besides James, Patrick and Elinor had several other children which will be discussed in a future sketch. I mention the marriage here to give a sense of John Campbell’s age – I can guess he and his brother were probably born sometime between 1720 and 1730. My feeling is that it was closer to 1720 if not a bit earlier.

John Campbell died intestate, sometime bef 3 Apr 1776, when we find his wife Margaret (surname unknown) selling her interest in the estate, to John’s brother Patrick. John was living 7 Jun 1775, when he made a deed poll with the sheriff of Lancaster so he passed sometime between Jun 1775 and April the following year.

In the deed of Margaret to Patrick Campbell, we find irrefutable evidence that Patrick Campbell of Peters Township in Cumberland County, whose wife is named Elinor, is the brother of John Campbell. In later estate transactions, we discover there were no other living brother’s or sisters to John or Patrick. John Campbell and Margaret had no (living) children and Patrick had a son James. All of this, combined with the LW&T of James Sr in 1771, makes the family relationship clear.


John probably wasn’t a farmer by trade. He seemed to be in the business of buying, selling and renting properties especially in the later years.

At his death he was in the process of developing Campbelltown, now in Lebabnon Co, PA. Campbelltown was subsequently sold to Peter Grubb who, I assume, finished laying off the parcels. Campbelltown is still in existence today and is located about 4 miles East of Hershey, PA as shown in this Google map. Hersey was the approximate location of his father James (1771) – plantation:

Hersey to Campbelltown map

Google map: A) Hersey, PA B) Campbelltown, PA

According to the US Census Bureau (and Wikipedia) Campbelltown has a total area of 2.9 square miles, 2,415 people, 900 households, and 682 families in the year 2000.

Mystery Land

Before I get in the weeds about John Campbell’s land holdings, I want to point out the land he didn’t own at his death – nor have I found evidence he ever owned it. The land was located a few plantations away from James Campbell Sr (1771) and is the pictured here (below Henry Walker).  It contained 267 acres and was patented 27 Nov 1771 by a John Campbell – as I said, I can’t say if it was this John Campbell although it would make sense.

NOTE: all of the maps on this page can be found here. If you want to see more maps, go to my All Sources Page above or read this sketch: Searching PA Land Records to learn how I found all this information in total.

Land-JamesC Derry

According to Survey C220-250, the land was formerly owned by James Walker. If you look at the surrounding surveys, you will see the names of John Myer, George Henry, William Leitch, and John Walker.  Drilling down further and viewing Survey C97-133 and we find that Ulrick Weltmer owned the land in Oct 1771. So whoever this John Campbell is, he must have purchased the land from Weltmer.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a deed for a Weltmer to Campbell (or vice versa) in the Lancaster Deed Index so I am at a loss.

I want to point out something that threw me off. When John died, he owned a parcel of 40 acres (Survey H-384) warranted 21 Nov, 1771.

John C 40A SurveyThis parcel looks very similar to the bottom piece/tail of the tract pictured above on the map. The directions on the surveys are different and the patent date is off by 6 days, but still I was skeptical – it might be part of the above land. However, in the deeds that will be discussed below, we find the above survey of 40 acres (resurveyed to find it contained 42 + acres), is described as being:

  • Other plantation or  tract of land in the Township of Hanover, in the county of Lancaster, containing about 40 acres now in the tenures or occupation of Thomas Wallace.

Clearly this property is not in Hanover, so the mystery continues.  It’s important to me as I am looking for a John Campbell…  Just not this (subject of this sketch) John Campbell. Although I’ve grown fond of him too

Land of John Campbell

The remainder of this sketch is going to get ugly and tedious – sorry. It’s probably only important if:

  • You are looking to differentiate one John from another in Londonderry although; I haven’t run into many John’s besides this John. Or…
  • You are looking for the paper trail/evidence that Patrick Campbell who married Elinor Hayes (Eleanor Hayes), is the son of James Campbell (1771) of Londonderry, Lancaster (or Dauphin) Co, PA. Even then you can skim the remainder, taking note of the bold and italic areas.  Plus, read the Sketch on James Campbell of Londonderry.

I will start by summarizing the information found in the Deed from Margaret Campbell to Patrick Campbell whereby Margaret relinquished her interest in and administration of John’s estate to John’s brother Patrick. In this document (sources sited below- in the section on deeds) all of the holdings of John were summarized:

His Mansion: His Mansion house where he resided at the time of his death was in the Township of Londonderry containing about 325 acres (See Survey A66-179). This was the future site of Campbelltown. The survey says the tract is 352 acres.

  • Per the survey, this land was warranted to John Campbell by the Proprietors, 13 May 1752 and surveyed 14 March 1754. His father, James Campbell’s (1771) land was located NW of this land on the Londonderry Map). The Land was sold to land was sold to Peter Grubb after John died. See #6 in land transactions below.

Campbelltown Warrant Map

Adjoining Land: Plantation and tract of land, adjoining situate his other plantation in the same Township of Londonderry, occupied by Joseph Sherrer

  • Probably Survey A45-76. The land was originally said to be 210.10 acres but was returned as 102 acres per the survey dtd 5 Sept 1761. Also, see Warrant Registers, Lancaster Co, page 42, warrant #450.
  • In deed #4 (below) it says: one certain plantation or tract of land now known by the name of Campble’s Town track adjoining lands of Peter Dalibaugh, on the southwest lands of William Sayers and others, containing about 450 acres. Adding this with his Mansion property we get 352 acres + 102 acres = about 450.

Other plantation or tract of land in the Township of Londonderry, containing about 150 acres in the tenure of Conrad Wishong.

Other plantation or tract of land in the Township of Londonderry, containing about 80 acres in tenures or occupation of Peter Shields

Other plantation or  tract of land in the Township of Londonderry, containing about 30 acres; 3 undivided 5th parts of and in a certain other plantation and tract of land, in Londonderry containing about 150 acres. Under the tenure or occupation of Jacob Bender

  • I’m unclear as to the exact location of the above 3-4 properties however there are some hints: From Deed #4 (below) one other 3/5ths of an undivided tract of land now in the tenure of Henry Shell adjoining Conrad Wishon and others. The reference to the 3/5th property and Conrad Wishon may put at least 2 of these properties in the same general area.
  • From Deed #4 (below): One other tract of land lying on both sides of the road leading from Canawago Creek to Landisses Mill in Derry and Londonderry Township known by the name of Cross RoadsThe reference to Canawago Creek places the property South of Campbelltown. Here is another Historical Map that gives some context. Campbelltown is in the middle of the hour-glass shape. There is a cut out to the right. Canawago creek is south.

Other plantation or  tract of land in the Township of Hanover, in the county of Lancaster, containing about 40 acres now in the tenures or occupation of Thomas Wallace.

  • See Warrant Registers, Lancaster Co, page 42, warrant #481. Land was warranted 21 Nov 1771. This 40 acres went from Patrick Campbell to James Campbell (Patrick being James’ father) then back again. See Deed #4 below. Patrick Campbell had the land resurveyed 8 Nov 1784. See Survey H-384: 40 Acres found to contain 42.87. Patented by Jacob and George Moyer (dtd 22 Mar 1826 ?) This parcel was discussed above in the section on Mystery Land

Deeds executed by John Campbell or his Estate

All of the following transactions can be found on-line at the Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster Co. For instructions on how to search the database, you can see my sketch: Searching PA Land Records, Go to the paragraph titled: Land Records by Name in Lancaster Co.

1)  Willing To Campbell: Book G, page 202, Image 214: 7 May 1761, Thomas Willing, merchant of Philadelphia to John Campbell of Derry, for £200, land in Derry on Swahatars Creek (Swatara Creek). Recorded 5 Nov 1761.

  • This land was warranted to Hugh Chambers 10 Jan 1744, Valentine Klunegar and wife Katharine patented land 6 Nov 1752. Thomas Willing and wife Ann Willing, executors of Charles Willing, late of the city of Philadelphia, Merchant, were highest bidders at the sheriffs sale. Purchased for £62, 2 Aug 1758. Sheriff to Thomas Willing – Original Survey Map: A64-176
  • To see the deed where Thomas Willing purchased the land See Book D, page 459, Image 474

2)  Campbell to Hummell: Book H, Page 100, Image 119: Selling same land as above (Willing to Campbell): 6 Oct 1762, John Campbell and Margaret his wife to Frederick Hummel, of the township of Derry, for £200, 150 Acres, recorded 24 Nov 1762.

Swatara Creek Land (John C)

The upper highlighted property is the location of James Campbell (1771) plantation. The lower highlighted land was purchased by John Campbell from Thomas Willing.

I want to mention that there is something “nagging” me about this purchase. It feels somewhat random. He had warranted the Mansion property back in 1752 (352 acres) and probably had a house built. Why buy this property and sell for the same amount a year later? I can’t say – however, since the Deed mentions a wife Margaret, I attribute it to this John, but I’m keeping my options open.

3)  Margaret Campbell to Patrick Campbell: Book S, Page 519, Image 536

Margaret Campbell, widow and relict of John Campbell, late of Derry Township. Whereas the said John Campbell died without issue leaving the said Margaret, Widow and one brother to wit Patrick Campbell of the Township of Peters in the County of Cumberland. John Campbell died intestate seized of plantations and tracts of land (See above section Land of John Campbell for details).

Margaret is entitled to ½  part of the personal estate of John Campbell and the administration of the estate. In consideration of £1,100 lawful money of Pennsylvania, she has agreed to release (her share and interest) of all real estate land tenements and hereditaments late of the said John Campbell. Together with her share and part of the personal estate and administration of the estate, to Patrick Campbell. Recorded 3 Apr 1776.

4)  James Campbell to Patrick Campbell: Book R, Pg 567, Image 568

  • My Note: At some point in time (I haven’t found the deed) Patrick Campbell conveyed some (most? all?) of John’s land to his son James. I will mention here that James had inherited ½  of the land owned by his grandfather, James Campbell Sr (1771). The other ½  was to go to the eldest son of John Campbell, now deceased, should he ever have male issue. Because John Campbell died with no sons, James Jr (s/o Patrick) presumably inherited the entire plantation of his grandfather – see map pics above: James (1771) land is shown in a few. Not really important here but thought I’d mention it.

Whereas, asserting John Campbell of Campbletown, (Londonderry Township, Lancaster Co) died possessed of a real estate being an lying and lying in the aforesaid Township, county and state aforesaid, one certain plantation or tract of land now known by the name of Campble’s Town track adjoining lands of Peter Dalibaugh, on the southwest lands of William Sayers and others, containing about 450 acres and one other 3/5ths of an undivided tract of land now in the tenure of Henry Shell adjoining Conrad Wishon and others and one other tract of land lying on both sides of the road leading from Canawago Creek to Landisses Mill in Derry and Londonderry Township known by the name of Cross Roads and one other tract of land in Hanover Township, county and state aforesaid containing about 40 acres being the same more or less.

And whereas it is covenanted by and between my father Patrick Campbell of Peters township Cumberland County and the state aforesaid and I and the above named James Campbell for the above mentioned premises and tracks of land and every part there of together with one other tract of land now in the tenure of Conrad Wishon in Londonderry Township, containing 175 acres or that are about to be the same more or less joining Robert McCallan and others… For £1000 current money of Pennsylvania to me this said James Campbell in hand paid by my said father Patrick Campbell the receipt and payment whereof I do hereby acknowledge together with a certain tract or parcel of land being part of the state of the said John Campbell, deceased, joining Michael Jannens land Lodwick Slingar and others containing about 50 acres of land to be the same more or less conveyed to me by my said father Patrick Campbell… Forever quitclaim and to the said Patrick Campbell all my estate, right, title, interests, property, claim in demand, whatsoever of, in, two and out of the townships aforesaid… Said premises in every part and parcel thereof so far as it relates to the property of me by the decease of John Campbell aforesaid but … not to extend to my estate and interest in the same premises as the estate of my said father Patrick Campbell. Signed: 26 December 1778, James Campbell, Witnessed: Robert Heayes (Hayes), Samuel Rodgers

5)  Patrick Campbell to James Campbell: (Book R, Page 654, Image 656)

  • My Note: Patrick sells the 3/5th part back to James 5 months later

27 March 1779, between Patrick Campbell of the County of Cumberland, yeoman, and Eleanor his wife, of the one part and James Campbell (son of the said Patrick Campbell) yeoman.

Whereas John Campbell, late of Londonderry Township, in the County of Lancaster,  deceased, by virtue of a deed poll bearing the date of the 7 Jun 1775 under the hand and seal of John Feree, Esq, then high sheriff of the County of Lancaster became and was at the time of his deceased seized in fee and lawfully possessed of 3/5th part of the following described tract of land situate, lying and being in the Township of Londonderry in the County of Lancaster aforesaid being bounded and described as follows, corner of John Overs (Obers) land, corner of Williams Sawyers land thence by other lands late of the said John Campbell containing 150 acres.

And the said John Campbell being so aforesaid seized in fee and lawfully possessed of the aforesaid 3/5ths part of the above described tract of 150 acres the whole into five equal parts to be divided, he the said John Campbell lately died intestate without issue having no sisters but one brother only to wit the said Patrick Campbell to whom this said 3/5th part of the above described tract of land descended and came as sole heir at law of the said John Campbell, deceased.

The sum of £700 lawful money of Pennsylvania to him this said Patrick Campbell in hand well and truly paid by the said James Campbell.

All of those the aforesaid 3/5th part of the above-described tract of 150 acres of land, the whole in five equal parts to be divided together with the three full and equal fifth parts and all the singular houses, outhouses, barns, stables, edifices and buildings, (etc.)

That said Patrick Campbell …. hereby granted and released unto the said James Campbell his heirs and assigns. 8 April 1779. Witnessed: Thomas Edwards, Jacob Cook signed by Pat Campbell and Eleanor with her mark, recorded 3 May 1779.

6) Campbell to Grubb: (Book R, Page 657, Image 659)

By this deed, it appears Patrick is selling of the Campbelltown “project” (my word) and the Mansion House to Peter Grubb. John Campbell obtained the land from Patrick Hay and William Sayors on 21 June 1758. This deed is recorded in the City of Philadelphia, Patent Pook A, Vol 20, pg 412. Contained 352 acres, in Derry, by lands of William Slowan, John Campbell’s other land, thence by William Sawyer’s land, thence by John McCord’s land.

The said John Campbell did afterwards lay out part of the first above described Patented tract for a town or village and divided the said part into lots and granted and confirmed the same lots of ground unto sundry persons subject to the payment of a yearly ground rent… And whereas, the said John Campbell soon after died intestate and without issue.

Sold for £7,000…. 28 Apr 1779. Witnessed by Jacob Cook and Jas. Sullivan. Signed by Patrick Campbell and Elinor Campbell (her mark).

7) Patrick Campbell to Jacob Ricker: (Book U, Page 723, Image 729)

8 Apr 1779, Patrick Campbell, brother and heir of John Campbell, to Jacob Rickard* of Derry (*NOTE: Rickard is not a typo on my part. Jacob’s name is spelled 3 ways in this transcribed document: Jacob Ricker, Jacob Rickard, and Jacob Rickatt).

Indenture gives a genealogy of two separate pieces of land. The first being:

  1. Thomas and Richard Penn (Proprietors) to James Galbraith: 14 Oct 1760, 212 Acres, recorded City of Philadelphia, Patent Book AA, Vol 2, Page 64
  2. James Galbraith and Elizabeth his wife, 1 Mar 1761, granted to John Gerber, 212 Acres
  3. John Gerber and Elizabeth his wife, 12 Mar 1764, grant to Henry Tietzel
  4. Henry Tietzel and Cathrin, his wife, 17 Mar 1774, grant and convey to John Campbell described as land by John Gerber and Henry Tietzel, it being PART of the aforementioned 212 acres, containing 9 acres and 50 perches.

The second land being:

  1. John Gerber by another indenture did grant and convey to Adam Hamaker, 26 Jun 1762, 106 acres plus allowance
  2. Adam Hamaker and his wife Ann, 26 May 1762, sold the 106 acres to John McClure (Note the dates…  but this is how the document reads)
  3. John McClure and his wife Lilly sold to Henry Tietzel, 20 Nov 1766, described as beginning at a stone on FURNACE ROAD and extending by John Gerber’s land, then (by) other land of John McClure’s, (more descriptors then by) Max Spindle’s land at Furnace Road, containing 11 Acres 32 Perches and the usual allowance. It being part of the 106 Acres.
  4. Henry Tietzel and Cathrine, his wife, 17 Mar 1774, conveyed to John Campbell the 11 Acres 32 Perches

This deed is for both parcels of land as mentioned in #4 and #4 above. Patrick Campbell, brother and heir of John Campbell, sold the land containing together 20 acres and 82 perches, to Jacob Rickatt for £390.

Thomas Edwards and Jacob Cook witnessed, Patrick Campbell and Elinor Campbell (her mark) signed.


There isn’t much else to say but if you have questions, or if I forgot to name any of my sources let me know. Also, if you know the ownership of the Mystery Land (as I call it) I would love to hear from you!

When I first started researching in PA, I thought there was a shortage of land records available; boy was I wrong! There are millions of records on line; the problem is finding them in a semi-organized fashion.

There are 3 sites available to help you with this and that breaks down to several pages per site. I have included these links in my All Sources page at the top of this blog for future reference. I’ve also explained them in more detail at the bottom of this sketch. It might be helpful to scroll down and read them first – your choice. Am also linking them as we go.

How you search is dependent on the information you have; no one search method or database is inclusive. I’ll break it down by category but as you get more and more information, you will probably want to go back and search an entirely different way to see what else is available. For example, if you start with a name, you are likely to discover the county so you’ll want to search by that; then you may discover a town so you can search a map, and on it goes…

Finally, if you need to review the definitions of various records (warrant, grant, patent, etc), scroll to the bottom where I’ve listed them – not terribly important right now.

Land Records by Maps

This is the least efficient way to begin a search as you need to know the county and town where you ancestor lived – you may need to know who owned the land prior, but it’s a good way to demonstrate finding additional information and the method here will be used throughout this page. So for our purposes, it’s a good place to start.

Here’s the link to all the maps but you will find them broken out at the end.

This a snippit of a map showing land owned by a John Campbell in Londonderry, Dauphin Co:


Click to enlarge

You will notice several sets of letters/numbers. Right now I am interested in: C-220-250.  This set refers to the location of the original survey. In this case: Book C, Vol 220, page 250.  Now we want to go to: COPIED SURVEYS, 1681-1912  – Bookmark it – We’ll be using it often.

Under the “C” section, we click the link C-220, then click page 250, and we get this:


Click to enlarge

Not what I was expecting as I don’t see John Campbell’s name however, if I look closer, I see the shape of the property is the same so it is the right record. I see the survey is dtd 27 May 1761 so I know John Campbell acquired the land sometime between that date and the date he patented the land (from the town map) 27 Nov 1771. I also know he may have purchased the land from a Walker (probably James or his estate).

Look at all the numbers outside of the survey on neighboring properties (e.g. C97-133). Those numbers will lead you to other surveys which may give you information on other owners. Many times you can build a fairly complete picture if you keep drilling down on neighbors.

  • NOTE: How did I know which number to look for and which number to ignore (C-220-250 vs AA-11-532) – Trial and error; I think the survey location is usually referenced first on these maps. Also, there is no Survey Book/Vol No. AA11 and yes, I’ve looked at surveys which were clearly not what I was looking for so I just noted the number and moved on.

Land by County

If you know the county where your ancestor lived, you will want to go here: WARRANT REGISTERS, 1733-1957 Scroll down and choose your county, keeping in mind boundary changes. You may have to search a couple of different counties. From here you will have to search page by page depending on the surname. I’m looking for Campbells. On the first page listed under the Lancaster Co, “C” section I find this:


Click to enlarge: These images are tiny to begin with so you have to zoom in

From this record I can see that John Campbell surveyed 200 acres, SW of Pequea Creek on 21 Mar 1736. By 19 Feb 1823, this land was part of a larger tract containing 377+ acres owned by John and Henry Brien and the above information can be found here:

County2Once again, we are going to ignore the “Where Recorded” set of numbers – and look at “Where Survey is Copied”, B9-109. Go to the page, I had you bookmark in the Maps section above, find Volume B-9, page 109 and you will see the survey:


Click to enlarge

There is enough information on this survey to keep anyone busy drilling down to see what more can be learned about John in 1736. Keep looking up all the surveys listed for surrounding properties as they were most likely done at a later date and you can get a good feel for how long John (or his family) owned this property. Then go back to the register (pictured above), and see what more info you can find, e.g SW of Pequea Creek – locate on a map.

Land Records by Date

If you are looking for people within a certain time frame and you don’t have anything more specific than that, you will want to search here: PATENT INDEXES, 1684-(ca. 1957) Again, I am searching for early Campbells so I go to 1684-1781, then start searching page by page under Surnames beginning with “C”.  Five pages into it I find:


From this I see that on 7 Oct 1741, James Campbell patented 279 acres. He had warranted the land 2 Mar 1737, and the land was located in Lancaster Co., A little above that, I find this notation:


Click to enlarge

And matching this up with the page number next to James’ name I get: Book A, Vol 9, page 463. I go to my bookmark page of surveys (see Map section) and I see there is no page 463 in Bk A Vol 9, so the above reference wasn’t indicating a survey – again, I ignore it for now. However, I can go back to the county section and see if I can find out more information there.

Land Records by Name in Lancaster Co

If you are lucky enough to be searching in Lancaster Co, you will want to search the Lancaster Land Grantor Index Series 1, 1729-1893 to see if your ancestor bought land from someone else, when or if the land passed to heirs, or if the heirs sold the land and to whom. Keep in mind, Lancaster was quite large in the early days so some of the neighboring counties may be represented.

Go to the above linked page, scroll down to find where you need to go from there (self-explanatory) then start searching for a specific name or page by page for all the names. On the first page under Given Names Starting with “J” I find the following:

Name1From the above I see that John Campbell sold land to Richard Peters et al on 1 Dec 1742, and the deed was recorded 1 May 1743 (not shown). Sometimes there is a township listed (not shown) but for this particular record it was left blank.

Note the “Where Recorded” column in the above pic. It says Book B, Page 71. For once, I’m not going to ignore this.

Go to Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster Co. You need to sign in but you can do so as a guest and accept the disclaimer. Then you need to back up your  browser a page or 2 (you may need to refresh along the way)  to get back to the page from where you started.

Now look right above the physical address in the middle of your screen and click the small link to search records from 1729-1981. It will open a new page/tab named IQS Film Reader.

  • NOTE: At some point in this process you may be required to install a Java plug-in.

At the top of the page you see an input box labeled FILM ROLL – click the drop down Box button and select the appropriate Book & Volume No. In our case, we don’t have a Vol No. so we are just looking for Book B – it may take some searching – and some good eyes. For Book B, we click on 000B – If we were looking for Book B, Vol 20, we would click B20. Also note that the name of the drop down box changes. No big deal.

I like to look at pages 1 at a time so I can read them as I go. If you look to the far right, you will notice an Image Layout Box, change that to 1×1. Now look to the far left, and you see an Input Box for Image numbers.

I want to see the record on Page 71 of Book B. Page numbers do not equal image numbers but they get you close. I enter 71 in the box, it pulls up page 62, I enter 80 in the Image number box, and it gets me to page 71 where I find the actual deed.

Name2How great is that!

  • NOTE: Once you have searched by Grantor, you need to check out the Grantees. While incomplete now, there are quite a few names listed. Find the link on the above listed page or just go here: Partial List of the Grantee Index

Land Records by Tract Name

This is an odd and tedious way to search and the only reason I mention it here is that when I was researching East New Jersey, it would have (would still) come in handy. It gives the name that was given to the land when it was patented.

Go to PATENT TRACT NAME INDEX and pick your time frame. For me it is 1684-1781. You will have to search every page listed unless you know what your ancestor named their land. I am looking for Campbells so “C” is a reasonable place to start:. On the 1st page under “C” I find:


Click to enlarge

From that I see John Campbell patented 95+ acres in Chester County 12 May 1767. The land was warranted 30 Aug 1765 by John and named “Campbell’s Addition”. We also see another reference to a Book, Vol, and Page No (AA-8-282) that we will have to ignore for now.

Old Land Records

Finally, I’m not going to discuss these here but if you are looking for very old records, try this:

The entries are fairly self-explanatory

References I’ve Ignored

The reason why I am ignoring some references is that I don’t know where to look for them (on-line). If I find out, I’ll be sure to update. More than likely, I could contact the various courthouses give them the pertinent information (Grant, Warrant, Patent: Book, Vol, Page No) but that doesn’t appeal to my need of instant gratification.

For now, I am making note of them and if I ever get within striking distance of a large genealogy library (Salt Lake or PA), I will definitely look them up.


Hopefully these tips will help you organize your search. For every name and family, I am matching up all the available records detailed above. It’s time consuming, tedious and far more rewarding than endless Google searches and sorting through random drops of information – lol. I fully expect to go through a ream of paper, a few ink cartridges and a jumbo sized binder by the time I’m done.

I’m so happy!!

Sources and Misc Information

Land Record Definitions

The five basic documents created in the land process are*:

  • Application: A request for a warrant to have a survey made; usually a slip of paper that does NOT bear applicant’s signature.
  • Warrant: Certificate authorizing a survey of a tract of land; initiates title of a property and provides the basis for legal settlement, but does not convey all rights to the property.
  • Survey: Sketch of boundaries of tract of land with exact determination of total acreage.
  • Return: Verbal description of property boundaries; function is similar to that of a patent; internal document sent from Surveyor General to Secretary of the Land Office
  • Patent: Final, official deed from the Penns (e.g. William Penn) or the Commonwealth, which conveys clear title and all rights to the private owner.

* The above info was taken from the The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) page.

Grantor/Grantee: This is how I think of it. Someone (or Gov) is passing their interest in land to someone else for some consideration (e.g. $$ or service). Grantor = current owner, Grantee = future owner. For example, I grant my interest in my land for $$. Government grants land in consideration of military service, or settling the area. Headrights would be another example.

Acknowledgements and Links

It is absolutely AMAZING the amount of time, financial support and volunteerism that made these pages happen and I couldn’t be more grateful. I could go on and on about the value of each of these sites – be sure to look through or you will miss something.

I have listed these and several other excellent sources on my All Sources page at the top of this blog. You can check it out here

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC – Home page linked) These folks maintain the bulk of records available in conjunction with the PA State Archives.

Maps: <—- Use this link to read about this section or go directly using the links below. Courtesy of PHMC.

The Southern Lancaster County Historical Society (hosted by Rootsweb) This group is responsible for digitizing the Indexes for Lancaster Co. Without these on-line indexes, the Deeds located at the Recorders Office would be worthless to most researchers unless they had access to the print version (which I don’t) – Thank you SLCHS!

Recorder of Deeds, Lancaster Co: Digitized Lancaster Co. Deeds from 1729 forward. Original Deeds if the land was sold by an individual (a few are transcribed in full)