First Families of Western PA is open to members of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (you must be a member of WPGS first) and can prove their descent from an ancestor who was a resident of one of the 26 Western Pennsylvania Counties, or in the appropriate section of the parent county, by 31 December 1810. Reuben was settled in what is now Armstrong County well before this date. The WPGS website has the application form and instructions on how to apply for membership of First Families.
Part of the proof for Reuben is as follows:
Reuben Burford, Sr. is credited with a Warrant for his land. As recorded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Historical and Museum Commission, #34 (B) Reuben Burford, Senr. - Armstrong County reproduced from film of the original remaining on file in the Land Office:
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, ss. Whereas Reuben Burford Senr. of the township of Sugar Creek County of Armstrong hath applied for three hundred and ten acres of land including an (illegible) adj. Elisha Wicks on the East, Jno. Gillespy and Archd. McCall on the South, Jno. McKeever on the west, Josiah White and Charles Ellenberger on the North, Sit in Sugar Creek Township in the county of Armstrong for which he hath paid into the office of the State Treasurer, at the rate of twenty dollars per hundred acres. Interest thereon from the 1 June 1802 to be paid agreeably to the several Acts of Assembly, in such case made and provided: These are therefore, to authorize and require you to survey, or cause to be surveyed, unto the said Reuben Burford the quantity of acres by him applied for, at the place aforesaid, if not already surveyed or appropriated, and to make return thereof into the Land Office, for which this shall be your Warrant. In Witness Whereof, John Gebhart, Secretary of the Land Office, hath hereunto set his hand, and affixed the Seal of the said office, the twentieth day of May A.D. 1837. Jno. Gebhart Secretary of the Land Office. To John Taylor, Esq. Surveyor General.
The Patent for the land is reproduced from film of an original remaining on file in the Land Office of the Historical and Museum Commission recorded in H Book Vol. 37 page 487:
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting, Jno. Gebhart, Know ye, that in consideration of the monies paid by Reuben Burford (paid?) at the granting of the warrant herein after mentioned and of the sum of two dollars and forty four cents in full now paid by him there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto the said Reuben Burford Senr. A certain tract of land situate in Sugar Creek Township Armstrong County Beginning at a white oak thence by land of Jacob Ellenberg Josiah White & John Burns south eighty seven & a half degrees west six hundred and thirty six perches & nine tenths to a post thence by land of John McKeefer south three degrees East two hundred and six perches to a post thence by land of Patrick Boyle Jr. north eighty seven degrees East one hundred and nine perches to a white oak thence by land of A. McCall north one & a half degrees east one hundred and ninety perches to a post thence by the same and lands of John Gillespie East three hundred and twenty four perches to a post & south eighty six perches to a white oak thence by land of Owen Quin East forty four perches to a white oak & south twenty perches to a post thence by land of John Gillespie north eight seven degrees East one hundred and fifty three perches to a post thence by land of Elisha Weeks north three degrees west one hundred and thirty eight perches to the Beginning containing three hundred & twenty two acres sixty four perches. Allowance
Which said tract of Land was surveyed in pursuance of a warrant dated the 20th of May 1837 Granted to the same Reuben Burford Sr. with the appurtenances.
To have and to hold The said tract or parcel of land, with the appurtenances, unto the said Reuben Burofrd Sr. & his Heirs to the use of the said Reuben Borford Sr. his Heirs and Assigns forever; free and clear of all restrictions and reservations, as to mines, royalties, quit-rents, or otherwise, excepting and reserving only the fifth part of all gold and silver ore, for the use of this Commonwealth, to be delivered at the pit's mouth, clear of all charges.
In witness whereof, John Gebhart Secretary of the Land Office of the said Commonwealth hath hereto set his hand, and the seal of the Land Office of Pennsylvania hath been hereunto affixed, the twenty fourth day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven and of the Commonwealth the sixty first. Attest: Jos. Henderson Depy. for Land Office.
Description of land matches that found in the deed following which was on file with Armstrong County. Also included in the patent was the following statement:
"Ruben Burford Senr. of the Township of Sugarcreek in the county of Armstrong Applies for Three hundred and ten acres of Land situate in said township and county adjoining Lands of Elisha Wick on the East John Gillespie and Archibald McCall on the South John McKeever on the west Josiah White and Charles Ellenberger on the north on which Tract he has made an actual settlement and improvement (illegible portion of sentence). Ruben Burford Senr."
"Armstrong County, PA $20 int from 1 June 1802
Before us the subscribing (illegible) of the Justices of the Peace in and foresaid county personally came John Gillespie a disinterested witness and Being sworn agreeably to Law did depose and say that to his certain knowledge the above described Tract of Land was first improved in the year of 1797 by Charles McGonigal and not before said Ruben Burford purchased from McGonigal that grain has been raised thereon and that the said Ruben Burford and family are (illegible) and reside on the same tract of Land and has continued to resided there on ever since the year of 1798." Sworn and subscribed Before me this 2d Day of May 1837: A. McBride, (illegilbe second witness signature). Signed by John Gillespie.
"I Jonathan E. Meredith, deputy surveyor of Armstrong County do hereby certify that the tract of land Applied for By Rheuben Burford as described in the foregoing application does not appear fromthe Books and Papers in my possession to be appropriated to the use of any other person. Given under my hand this 3rd day May 1837 (signed Jonathan E. Meredith)."
You would need to prove your descent from Reuben to join First Families.
I am looking for other documentation about Reuben and will exchange information if you are interested.
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