The Heritage of Daniel Haston

Henry Heestant's Lancaster County, PA Land

  Henrich's Pennsylvania Years     Henrich's Life in Lancaster County

What We Know
About Henry Heestant's Land in Hempfield Township of Lancaster County, PA

Five Steps in the Process of Receiving a Land Patent
Major source: Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for by Donna Bingham Munger (New York: SR Books, 1991).

Note: Black text summarizing the five steps was written by Wayne Haston, as well as the red text which specifically reports on his 2017 research at the PA State Archives related to Henry Heestant's 226 acres in Hempfield Township of Lancaster County, PA.  The text in blue was written by the Archivist, Aaron McWilliams in response to his review of the information in this "What We Know" section.

  1. Application - The application was an individual's request for a warrant. Between 1732-1765 the request was either written on a small scrap of paper or added to a longer list with other requests.  But in the earlier years, it would not have been unusual for the request to have just been verbal and not written.  The application included the number of acres and general location desired.  In this era, warrants most often were for surveys of tracts not yet settled and improved.  But sometimes a warrant was issued to accept a survey for a tract that had already been settled.  Many, but not all, of the applications for the 1732-1765 period are still available in the PA State Archives.

    We have not found an application for the 226 acres surveyed for Henry Heestant.  This may indicate that Henry's request was only verbal and not written.  Or, it may indicate that Henry did not submit an application to the Land Office.

  2. Warrant - The land warrant was a document issued by a legal official to conduct a survey for a tract of land.  There were three types of surveys: (1) warrant to survey, (2) warrant to accept a survey that had previously been done, and (3) warrant of entry to assume a warrant that had previously been granted to another person.

    We have not found a warrant issued to conduct a tract survey for Henry Heestant, yet the May 20, 1735 survey (above) was clearly done for him.  This may indicate that Henry simply paid a surveyor to survey the land, but did not make an application through the Land Office. 

    A warrant (#196) for the 226 acres surveyed for Henry Heestant was issued on behalf of John Coffman on June 8, 1743 and returned on the same date.  As you can see indicated on the survey, the warrant to John Coffman was a warrant to accept the survey conducted for Henry Heestant. 

    If Henry Heestant's survey had not been authorized by the Land Office in 1735, would the Land Office have accepted it as valid in 1743?
    Response from archivist at PA State Archives in Harrisburg, PA:  Yes, it could have. So long as no issues with the survey were found, it could have been accepted without an initial application or warrant authorizing the survey.

  3. Survey -  The survey document was a visual description of the tract of land defined by its boundaries.  A deputy surveyor, with a crew of axmen and chainmen, worked under the authority of the surveyor general's office.  The deputy surveyor drew the plat on a piece of paper, noting adjoining owners and markers and, after pocketing one third of the surveying fee, signed the survey and sent it and the remaining fee to the surveyor general's office.  The surveyor's calculations were checked in the surveyor general's office where the survey was then filed.  Original surveys were later copied and bound into books.

    The survey (above) is the only Lancaster County land document that we have been able to locate with our Henry Heestant's name associated with it.

  4. Return of survey - The survey return restated in paragraph form the application or warrant and the survey, with all the information needed to fill out a patent.  The return of survey also noted the amount of purchase money, the name of the patentee, and the date.  It was created and recorded in the surveyor general's office.

    We have not found a return of survey document associated with the (above) survey of 226 acres in Hempfield Township for Henry Heestant.  As per an archivist at the PA State Archives: As it relates to the return of survey, there is not one under Henry Hesstantís name because he did not pay to patent the land. It does not mean the survey was not authorized by the land office. A person could have a warrant from the land office and survey but not a return of survey or patent. A return of survey was done when the purchase price and all outstanding interest and fees had been paid.

  5. Patent -  A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by a sovereign entity (such as, in the case of colonial Pennsylvania, William Penn and his heirs) with respect to a particular tract of land--the first conveyance title of ownership to land.  It is sometimes referred to as a first-title deed.  Deeds, on the other hand, are documents which transfer ownership of property after the initial transfer from the original sovereign land-owing entity to the patentee. 

Even though the 226 acres tract was surveyed for Henry Heestant on May 20, 1735, he was ultimately not the patentee for the Hempfield Township land.  John Coffman was granted the land as the patentee on June 22, 1743, two weeks after the June 8, 1743 warrant to accept Henry's survey.  The purchase price paid by John Coffman was 35 pounds and six pence (Pennsylvania money).*

*RG-17 Records of the Land Office - Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA
Microfilm #17.142 - Patent Books, A and AA Series, 1684-1781; Patent Book A-8, page 277 to patent Book A-11, page 274.

Note: The information above in this "What We Know" section was reviewed for accuracy (February 8, 2017) by Aaron McWilliams, Archivist for the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg, PA.  Mr. McWilliams' two comments (blue text) can be seen in the Warrant and Return of the Survey sections.

Patent - Page 1     Patent - Page 2     Patent - Page 3

The interval of time between the May 20, 1735 survey and the June 22, 1743 patent probably indicates that Henry Heestant (Hiestand) lived on the land during that time but was unable to (or chose not to) pay for the land.  This raises the question: What did Henry do with the 130 gulden, 2 kopfstuck (14 pounds sterling) that he borrowed from Caspar Wistar prior to 1733, which was finally paid to Wistar in early 1742? 

A few months (September 21, 1743) after a warrant was issued to John Coffman (June 8, 1743) for the Hempfield Township land, Henry Hiestand purchased 205 acres from Philip Long in Orange County (now Page County), VA.  The deed for the Virginia land says that Henry paid 54 pounds, 16 shillings, and 6 pence for the 205 acres.

Thoughts Regarding the Values/Costs of Henry's Lands in
Lancaster County, PA and Orange County*, VA in 1737-1743

*Would eventually become part of Page County

  • Henry paid 54 pounds, 16 shillings and 6 pence (as per one document and 5 shillings - assumed to be per acre - from another document) for the 205 acres on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River that he purchased from Philip Long.

Note:  Philip Long paid 100 pounds (2,000 shillings) for 800 acres [near Alma, VA on the South Fork Shenandoah River] + 205 acres [land Henry purchased from him, also on the same river] in 1737 or 1738 in Orange County, VA. 

  • Compare the amount that Henry paid for the 205 acres in Virginia to the 35 pounds and six pence [6 pence = 1/2 shilling] that John Coffman paid for the 226 acres in Lancaster County in 1743.

  • Why would Henry have paid 20 pounds more for 21 fewer acres in Virginia than his 226 acres in Pennsylvania was worth - especially since Lancaster County land was in greater demand at the time?

  • Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the 205 acres tract in Virginia has approximately 1.8 miles of frontage on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, whereas the 226 acres in Lancaster only had a small stream (or "run") running across its southwest corner.

Deed for the 205 acres in Virginia - download pages 417-418 and pages 419-420.
Orange County, VA Deed Book 7, Pages 417-418 and 419-420.

Document on pages 417-418 gives the price of 5 shillings, apparently per acre.
Document on pages 419-420 gives the price of 54 pounds, 16 shillings, and 6 pence, apparently total price.

Download Henry Hiestand Survey Page 1    Download Henry Hiestand Survey Page 2

Download Jacob Hiestand Survey Front    Download Jacob Hiestand Survey Back

 Download East Hempfield Land Patents Map

Download Manor Township Land Patents Map

Download John Hiestand Survey Page 1   Download John Hiestand Survey Page 2

Source of surveys - Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission - Harrisburg, PA
RG-17 Records of the Land Office
Copies Surveys, 1681-1912

Google Zoomable Map of Wider Area

"That part of Landisville which is between the original village and the railway stations, as originally owned by the Hiestand family [Jacob Hiestand's descendants]; and in the 'seventies [1870s], after the death of Christian Heistand, the land was laid out in building lots, and part of it then sold."

Page 177 of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - A History, Volume I, edited by H.M.J. Klein. (New York/Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1924).

Note:  Route 283 currently runs across what was Jacob Hiestand's land and the Spooky Nook Sports Complex (largest indoor sports, events, and entertainment complex in America) currently (2017) is located on the land originally owned by Jacob Hiestand.