Maps are wonderful and important resources for the genealogist.
(These links were last verified as working on 12 December 1999.)
Are you asking yourself, "Why would I need a map of Washington Co.?"
Maps are a concrete and fairly accurate representation of they way the world was at a given point in time, and therefore they help ground us in the reality of our ancestor's lives. This is very useful for genealogists, since we so often have to "fill in the blanks" and consequently run the risk of making too much up.
Different maps may best meet the varying needs outlined above, as you will find out in the rest of this page.
On-line - Panoramic maps of cities in Washington Co., PA. Many of these maps are three-dimensional and include renderings of buildings, many of them named. This is part of the Library of Congress' "American Memory" map collection.
On-line - Washington County in relation to other counties in Pennsylvania.
On-line - US Geological Survey maps of Washington County township maps. These maps were prepared for the worldwide web by Ed McClelland. These are topographical maps showing the names of creeks, cemeteries, schools, small communities, etc.
On-line - Color Landform map of Pennsylvania courtesy of Ray Sterner of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
On-line - Township and borough map. Useful for census work.
On-line - Rand-McNally US Atlas for 1895 courtesy of CFC Productions.
On-line - Caldwell's Atlas of Washington County published 1876. Courtesy of Clair John "Bill" Thompson, Sr. - http://web.archive.org/web/20030420092435/members.aol.com/clair2nd/journey.html?mtbrand=AOL_US
Caldwell's Atlas is a wonderful genealogical tool because it contains a map for each township and borough of the era. The maps have churches and schools designated, and the names the owner of the farms in the townships. Plats of the many small communities also appear, with lots designated by owner.
Additionally, the atlas lists contributors by township. A large number of citizens contributed and therefore you may also find out how many acres were in their holding, what their major crop or stock interests were, and when they settled in the county, etc.
Finally, numerous pen and ink drawings are interspersed throughout the atlas including:
On-line - Washington Co., PA Map 1781 - 1788 thanks to the efforts of Clair John "Bill" Thompson, Sr. from: "Map of Washington County [PA] from 1781 - 1788 Constructed Expressly for the Illustrated History of Washington County by JOHN G. RUPLE C.E."
Government Land Warrants in North Strabane Twp.
These files are large and may take a while to display. As an alternative, you may down-load them and view them on your computer with your favorite image browser. To do that, point your mouse at one of the links below, click your right mouse button, and select "save as". Each file is approximately 500 KB.
Pennsylvania Land Warrant Maps
These maps show the original warrants and patents for each township. You can obtain them from the Pennsylvania Histoical and Museum Collection. Also, the genealogical section of the Citizens Library has reduced size copies that may be photocopied for your personal use.
See the land purchase page to gain an understanding of what the information on these maps means.
Information on these maps includes:
Maps are available for the following: Allen, Amwell, East Bethlehem, upper section West Bethlehem, lower section West Bethlehem, Blaine, Buffalo, Canton, Carroll, Cecil, Chartiers, Cross Creek, Donegal, Fallowfield, East Finley, West Finley, Hanover, Hopewell, Independence, Jefferson, Morris, Mt. Pleasant, N. Franklin - S. Franklin - Washington Borough., Nottingham, Peters, East Pike Run, West Pike Run, Robinson, Smith, Somerset, N. Strabane, S. Strabane, Union.
County General Highway Map .
This 3' x 4' map is produced by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation in cooperation with the US Dept. of Transportation.
Distribution Services Unit
Room G 125, Transportation and Safety Bldg.
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Township zoning maps.
These maps, in addition to zoning boundaries, contain current property boundaries with notations of acreage and owner. If you find yourself having to work backwards through the county deed books, this is an excellent place to start since deeds back-reference the previous owner.
The maps also reference local roads by name that otherwise show up only by road number on other maps.
Purchase zoning maps from the municipal governments for which they are produced.
Current land plat maps.
The tax assessor needs to know who owns what land, so at the County Assessor's office you will find plat books showing current ownership. The County Tax Assessor's office can be reached at (412)228-6850.
Other Map Sources on the Web