A Survey Sampler

II. governmental repositories [link to non-gov. repos]


A. at Philadelphia City Archives:

- 1. 3rd Survey Collection (Philadelphia City Archives)

Survey Returns.
Most of the survey returns are fairly standard showing the dimensions of a single plot of land. But many of the surveys from 1786-1816 may contain multiple properties on the small pieces of paper. Often, these are the only plans that exist of these properties and there are occasional notes to explain them. Related to these returns are the bound volumes indicating where the numbered surveys actually lie within a particular block. [jm]

Plans of sewers and water mains.
These are the plans that apparently can't be found readily at the City Archives. I will probably have to go over and see if I can find these. These often contain profiles as well as plans of properties. [jm]

- 2. 2nd and 3rd Survey Districts. Register of Surveys (Philadelphia City Archives), 1854-1870 1 volume

Entries include date location, metes and bounds of lots surveyed, party for whom surveyed. Surveys, Plans and Maps 13 maps For similar maps 1818-1843, see Record Series 221.5 Shelf list is available. [jm]

- 3. 9th Survey Collection (Philadelphia City Archives).

Many years ago, the 9th survey deposited many blueprints, other plans and various books from the 8th (Roxborough) and 9th (Germantown) survey districts. Actually, there is a brief of title book in the 8th Survey collection. I wonder whether other manuscript brief of title books might exist in other districts. (I will say that several of the briefs contain mistakes.) Jim Duffin went through the 9th Survey materials both at the City Archives and at their office years ago and has a pretty good sense of what may be available. One of the items that exists as part of this collection are the surveyor's field notebooks.
Most of this is after the 1857-1860 cutoff date but this is what is available:
* Surveyors' work data books; list many rough pencil entries and sketches of street layouts, property descriptions and surveys, details of grading, estimates, lines, sewers, etc.
* A number of books detail work on the Manayunk Intercepting Sewer, the Lincoln Drive Sewer and the Wissahickon and Cresheim Valley Sewers between 1892 and 1894.
* Other miscellaneous books detail work in Bucks County and Kingsessing Township, and along the Doylestown Railroad and along the Darby & Chester Plank Road.

Surveyors include:
* Jesse Lightfoot (1852-1880),
* Samuel M. Rea (1852-1856, 1862, 1864),
* Henry A. Stallman (1864-1876),
* John H. Dager (1875),
* Walter Jones (1886-1894),
* Henry J. Humphreys (1886),
* Fritz Bloch (1887-1891, with index volume 1887-1890),
* William D. Kochersperger (1893-1897), and
* George Wentz (1888-1895) [jm]

- 4. Fairmount Park Collection (Philadelphia City Archives) - deeds and briefs of title.
Again, most of the briefs post-date the 1857 cutoff date but most of the briefs are manuscript and may contain various plans of properties. In addition, I discovered that a small number of deeds also have manuscript maps on their reverse sides. Definitely something that needs to be looked at again. (Also - some of the deeds have never been recorded, including the 1680s - 1702 deeds covering the mouth of the Wissahickon. [jm]

- 5. Warrants and Surveys of the Province of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia City Archives).
This 9-volume set includes copies of many of the original surveys and warrants relating to properties in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I used this extensively when I did my thesis. Although the work was terminated by the King, there are some surveys and warrants copied here for which the originals do not exist in Harrisburg. [jm]

- 6. Quarter Sessions Court Road Petitions (Philadelphia City Archives).
These contain many different written and graphic materials relating to the creation of roads in Philadelphia County (and some of the early roads in Berks and Montgomery Counties as well). I photocopied all of the Chestnut Hill road petitions for my project in 1996-1997 and later donated the copies to the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. This collection also contains some of the original township erections as well. [jm]

- 7. Common Pleas Court and Philadelphia County District Court Partition Deeds (Philadelphia City Archives).
These deed books contain many plans of partitions of land ordered by the various courts. Again - a little-known source for manuscript plans. [jm]

- 8. Northern Liberties "District Surveyor. Plat Book" (Philadelphia City Archives), 1825-1828 1 volume, index
Manuscript book of surveys with name of person for whom survey is done, date of survey, plan of survey, and written description of survey. Surveys often include all or part of a block with names of streets, lot lines, and dimensions of lots within a block. Some plans have notes upon them as late as 1855." [jm]

- 9. Southwark : District Surveyor. Register (Philadelphia City Archives), 1786-1854 2 volumes, no index
Entries include date, surveyor's name, location and dimensions of lot surveyed and person for whom surveyed; some accompanying maps in vol. 1786-1835
For similar records 1854-1870, see 2nd Survey District Register of Plans and Surveys Map of Part of District of Southwark , 1826 1 map, Maps. Area of Washington Avenue, Front Street, Greenwich Point Road, and Delaware River 1818, 1838, 1843 5 maps, Maps chiefly of area of estate of Samuel B. Morris et. al. ("Solitude"); not all are scaled, and attribution to Southwark's surveyors doubtful in some cases.
For similar maps ca. 1856-1868, see 2nd Survey District Surveys and Plans [jm]


B. at City Survey Districts:

Down from 16 to 5 SD offices: Major holdings still there.
Remaining offices are:
* 2nd (CC & SP; 11th & Wharton);
* 4th (NE; Bustleton & Bowler Sts.)
* 5th (NPE; 6601 Rising Sun Ave.)
* 7th (WP; 6448 Woodland Ave.)
* 9th (NPW & NW; 4000 N. American St.)

?Penny Batchelor's rediscovery of 3rd survey district map, c.1790s?


C. Pennsylvania State Archives:

should be canvassed, primarily in the Land Office records.
See: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=3184&&SortOrder=100&level=4&parentCommID=3162&menuLevel=Level_4&mode=2 Donna Munger's book on Pennsylvania Land Records is invaluable. [jm]


D. National Park Service collections:

?


E. Philadelphia Water Dept:

Phillyh20 web (http://www.phillyh2o.org)
talk to A.L.


cities/archx/panos/survs/gsurvs.html; last rev. = 11 July 09 jc