Pennsylvania Land Records - Ancestry.com vs the State
While reading through the subscription Ancestry.com's database of PA Land Warrants and Applications in search of 18th century records for Johannes Van Etten an interesting document came to light. The only words I put into this Ancestry search engine, due to the overwhelming number of transcription & indexing errors, were Northampton, Pennsylvania - then it was just a matter of wading through the alphabet in ten page leaps until reaching the V section.
The Ancestry.com index found Emmins (as given name) Von Gordon (as surname) together with Hoover (as given name) Nyce (as surname.) A gold mine of the Minisink neighbors jumped from the next page: John Emmins, Jacobus Van Gordon, Emanuel Hoover, William Nyce, John Mushback & (adjoining) Emanuel Gonsalis, Gilbert Van Gordon and the Swartwoods, Peter & Barnardus.
Ancestry's original document film is a treasure but poorly indexed, while the Land Records of the PA State Archives online are limited to later transcripts, copied surveys and compiled warrantee township maps in pdf format. The Archives are cumbersome, possessing no search engine, but the index is trustworthy (given the surname variants & misspellings of the time.)
Jacobus Van Gordon/Gorden:
Feb 12, 1785 tracts for Emmins, Van Gordon, Hoover, Mushback & Nyce on the Warrantee Map for Lehman (formerly Delaware) Township (# 31, 38, 53, & 66 are smaller tracts described in the margins.)
Large editions of each of the Pike Co Township Warrantee maps are also available for research at the Deeds Department in the Administration Building, Broad St. Milford, PA.
Parent Counties: Bucks Co was one of the original Pennsylvania counties formed on 10 March 1682; Northampton Co set off from Bucks County 14 October 1751; Wayne Co set off from Northampton Co 21 May 1798; Pike Co set off from Wayne Co 26 March 1814; Monroe Co set off from Pike and Northampton Counties 1 April 1836.
UPDATE: An automated, fully-word-searchable transcription of the Northampton County Warrant Register, transcribed by volunteer Marie Robinson, is now available online.
UPDATE: Pennsylvania Residents have FREE access to PA Land Records on Ancestry providing they also have a free Ancestry account: Click the PA State Portal page for more information.