Susquehanna Company Collection
Between 1753 and 1800, the Connecticut based Susquehanna Company appropriated and settled land in northeastern Pennsylvania contrary to Pennsylvania law. Eventually the Company failed, but over 1100 Connecticut proprietors and
settlers retained a vested interest in Pennsylvania land. Who they were and which ones remained in Pennsylvania to become Connecticut Claimants is the question that the databases in these three volumes will answer.
Map of the Susquehanna Company Purchase showing Townships, 1753-1800.
Original in Leffingwell Collection, New Haven Colony Historical Society.
Volume I of this set, Connecticut’s Pennsylvania “Colony,” Susquehanna Company Proprietors, provides an overview and database of information about Company proprietors or shareholders as found in the Susquehanna Company Minute and Account Books. These manuscript volumes record deeds from the Company to share purchasers and conveyances along the chain of title. Each deed usually cites grantor and grantee residence, amount paid, size of the share transferred, location if actual real estate, execution and recording dates and special comments. As informative as the Account Books are, they do not give a complete picture of actual settlers along the Susquehanna River at any one time. To understand that scene, a researcher would need to consult a host of different lists in various archives and secondary publications.
Volume II in this set, Connecticut’s Pennsylvania “Colony,” Susquehanna Company Settlers, makes the task of searching multiple sources manageable and the information understandable by merging thirty-two lists of settlers into one database. The sources begin with a deposition recalling the names of thirteen of the first Susquehanna Company settlers in June 1762 and end with 1150 names on a November 1801 petition to the United States Congress asking for additional consideration and relief. In between, the lists range from the names of the 31 of the “First Forty” present and arrested at Wyoming in March 1769, to a list of the proprietors of the first five townships in June 1770, and tax lists for 1776-1780. For each person named in a list the database cites date and place present. Many individuals appear on several of the lists as the database clearly shows.
Volume III in this set, Connecticut’s Pennsylvania “Colony,” Susquehanna Company Claimants, presents proprietors and settlers who claimed and received Pennsylvania title to their tracts. This particular database includes the names of those who drew lots in the certified townships as well as a chain of title to the claimant. Many drawers and claimants were original Susquehanna Company proprietors. Others were descendants of original proprietors and their chain of title usually includes familial relationships. Several claimants were land speculators who bought lots from settlers who could not afford to become claimants
Click on a volume image above to read more about Proprietors, Settlers, and/or Claimants
and how to obtain copies of volumes.
Munger, Donna Bingham. “New England Moves WEST. Connecticut’s Pennsylvania “Colony”, 1754 -
1810. New England Ancestors Magazine, Vol. 8.5, page 21, Holiday 2007; available on americanancestors.org.
Munger, Donna Bingham. “America’s First Great Land Controversy: A Precedent for MABO? Connecticut
Settlers vs Pennsylvania.” Tasmanian Historical Studies, 4.2 (1994): 42-53. University of Tasmania. Article not
online, but volume can be obtained.
Munger, Donna Bingham. “Six Steps to Susquehanna Company Settlers.” Pennsylvania Genealogical
Magazine, 37 (Dec.1991): 125-134; available on americanancestors.org.
Munger, Donna Bingham. “Following Connecticut Ancestors to Pennsylvania: Susquehanna Company
Settlers.” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 139 (April 1985): 112-125;
available on americanancestors.org