Pennsylvania Maps

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United States Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Maps

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Internet Sources

  • The David Rumsey Map Collection contains 306 Pennsylvania maps.
  • Historical Maps of Pennsylvania contains images to over 1,000 historic Pennsylvania maps and links to many more.
  • To see the progression of Pennsylvania county borders over time, see the PA Genweb Project's rendition of Department of Internal Affairs. Thomas A. Logue, secretary. Genealogical Maps of the counties of Pennsylvania. Compiled and prepared by the Bureau of Land Records - 1933.
  • Ancestor Tracks has posted free, downloadable 19th-century landowner maps and atlases for about 85% of all the counties of PA and will eventually post at least one landowner map or atlas for every county; they have also published books documenting the first landowners of 7 counties which are for sale.
  • United States Census Bureau State and County Map.  This map will allow you to zoom in on any state or county in the United States and read the names of all of the neighboring counties.
  • Historical aerial maps can be used at Penn Pilot. The searches are broken into three time periods: 1937-1942, 1957-1962 and 1967-1972. There is a preview of each aerial view, but downloading maps enables the user to better magnify the area.

Printed Sources

The Pennsylvania State Library has an excellent collection of maps and county atlases for almost all counties. Most of these atlases were published from 1850 to 1880. You can write to the library to order a map for a particular town or county.

A helpful guide to the holdings at the State Archives is Martha L. Simonetti, comp., Donald H. Kent and Harry E. Whipkey, eds., Descriptive List of the Map Collection in the Pennsylvania State Archives (Harrisburg, PA; Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1976;FHL book 974.8 E73p and FHL film 1321380 item 2. The university libraries in Pennsylvania also have map collections.

For a listing of topographical maps see United States, Geological Survey, Pennsylvania: Index to Topographic and Other Map Coverage (Reston, Virginia: The Survey, [1983?].FHL book 974.8 A1 no. 665


The Family History Library has many maps of Pennsylvania. Atlases for the years 1790, 1810, 1823, 1838, 1857, 1862, 1878, 1884, and 1917 on FHL film 2083 Another useful atlas is H.F. Walling and O.W. Gray, Historical Topographical Atlas of the State of Pennsylvania (1872; reprint, Knightstown, Indiana: Bookmark, 1977. FHL book 974.8 E3w

An excellent atlas, comprehensive in detail, is Atlas of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University, 1989. FHL book 974.8 E7ap The historical portion of this work is published separately as Edward K. Muller, ed., A Concise Historical Atlas of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1989; Family History Library book Q 974.8 E7apa).

Maps Showing County Boundaries

Long, John H., ed. Pennsylvania: Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. (New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1996. (Family History Library book 974.8 E3p.)

Long, John H., ed. Historical Atlas and Chronology of County Boundaries, 1788-1980. Vol. 1, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1984. (Family History Library 973 E7hL v. 1; fiche 6051426.)

County Historical Maps. Harrisburg, PA: Archives Publishing of Pennsylvania, [19--]. (Family History Library Q book 974.8 E3ch.) Includes historical annotations for 28 counties.

To locate Philadelphia wards and townships from 1711 to 1965, see John Daly and Allen Weinberg, Genealogy of Philadelphia County Subdivisions, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia, PA: Department of Records, 1966; Family History Library book 974.811 E3w; fiche 6046613).

City ward maps

Wards were civil subdivisions of cities that divided services such as police, fire and rescue, utilities, and voting. Ward maps can be helpful when using census records. See Ward Maps of United States Cities: Microfilm Reproduction of 232 Maps Described in Ward Maps of United States Cities. Washington, D. C.: Library of Congress, [1975?]. (Family History Library film 1377700; on 320 fiche beginning with 6016554.) These include:

  • Allegheny, 1867-78 (Family History Library fiche 6016561-66)
  • Philadelphia, 1802-98 (Family History Library fiche 6016721-36)
  • Pittsburgh, 1855-98 (Family History Library fiche 6016737-43)

Landowner Maps Information about the landowner maps.