Posted By:David Myers
Subject:Questions on Land Warrant System in PA
Post Date:August 19, 2013 at 12:10:21
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Forum:Pennsylvania Genealogy Forum
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I believe that my ancestor took out a land warrant in Philadelphia County in 1738. It had the following data.

Warrant Registers, 1733-1957, Philadelphia County.

Name of Warrantee: John Rouse
Date of Warrant: 24 Oct 1738
Description of Warrant: warrant no. 11, a Survey warrant for 200 acres in Maiden Ckr.
Where Patent is Recorded: Vol. H, no. 68, page 371.
Date of Return: 2 Dec 1870
Name of Patentee: John Balthaser
Where Survey is Copied: Book C190, page 154.

I am trying to figure out what was happening here. I believe that John Rouse (usually Johannes Rausch) moved to what is now western Shenandoah Co., VA about 1751-1752. However, I can't find any deed record for him in the records of Philadelphia County or Berks County in that time period. I have several questions.

1. Could a person who had taken out a land warrant sell that land, even though it hadn't been patented yet?
2. Where was the warrantee living, previous to taking out the warrant? Was it usually the case that he was living on that piece of land, improving it, etc.?
3. This land warrant was taken out in 1738, but not patented until 1870. Would there be any records describing who was using the land in those 132 years?
4. What was the status of the land if the warrantee died before the land was patented? John Rouse (usually Johannes Rausch) died in 1786 and I'm curious whether this land would have been passed on to heirs.

Thanks very much for whatever insights people might have about this problem.