Old Historical State, County and City Maps of Pennsylvania
Maps of Pennsylvania
Most historical maps of Pennsylvania were published in atlases. Within the atlases are historical maps, illustrations, and histories many of which contain family names ideal for genealogical research.
Before statehood it was the Province of Pennsylvania. The State of Pennsylvania was created as the 2nd state on December 12, 1787. States bordering Pennsylvania are New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia.
Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Most of the courthouses in Pennsylvania can supply maps of county roads. Manuscript collections, county histories, and county atlases also contain older Pennsylvania maps.
Some of those collections can be found in the following locations: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Library, Free Library of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Library at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State Archives.
City directories sometimes contain maps of those cities. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission also has a useful map available to researchers. That map shows how the counties developed in the Commonwealth. Warrantee maps from 24 Pennsylvania counties are available at the Pennsylvania State Archives, and copies can also be found in each county recorder of deeds office, as well as at the Pennsylvania State Library.
Any Historical Pennsylvania Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time. This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.
Solving Research Problems with a Pennsylvania Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Pennsylvania city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.
Because Pennsylvania historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Pennsylvania map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Pennsylvania.
Choosing the Best Pennsylvania Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail. You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city. This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city? A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.
Map of Pennsylvania County Formations 1673-1878
This Interactive Map of Pennsylvania Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of Pennsylvania in 1673-1878. Pennsylvania contains 67 counties.
Pennsylvania County Map Formation by Year
Pennsylvania Map Abbreviations
Old Historical Atlas Maps of Pennsylvania
This Historical Pennsylvania Map Collection are from original copies so you can see Pennsylvania as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.
Some Pennsylvania map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Pennsylvania researcher.
External Pennsylvania Map Links
Pennsylvania County Map of Road and Highway’s
The Pennsylvania D.O.T. Highway Department has prepared a series of 2016 county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.
These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download