Saturday, November 26, 2011

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun

Every Saturday, Randy Seaver posts a mission. Tonight's mission is Historical County Boundaries, with a link to the Historical U.S. County Maps on Randy Majors website. The idea is to pick a place of interest and key it into Marjor's site, then note the changes from 1790 to 1900, and blog about it.

I chose Barree Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. The line that I have from there are the Brumbaughs, and the only line I know of mine that stayed put for any amount of time. Anyway, I discovered the county stayed the same but the boundaries changed.

1790: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (created from Bedford County in September 1787)
1800: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (lost some area to Mifflin County)
1810: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (lost some area to Cambria and Clearfield Counties)
1820: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (gained some area from Mifflin County)
1830: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (gained some area from Mifflin County)
1840: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (lost some area to Mifflin County)
1850: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (lost some are to Blair County)
1860: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania (no change)
1870: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania
1880: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania
1890: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania
1900: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

So you may be thinking, well the county never changed so I don't have to look at any other county for records. Not true. Traveling from anywhere back in the day was not as simple as today. There were no roads or transportation like we think of today. If you wanted to go somewhere to file paperwork of any kind, you needed to either walk or ride a horse there. It could take hours or days. Also, if it was a busy time of year on the farm your ancestor would not up and leave the crops. Their livelihood depended on those crops. Our ancestors would have conducted business, such as submitting paperwork to a courthouse regarding land ownership, sales, deeds, wills, etc. when it was convenient for them (unless of course it was urgent). The same holds true for what courthouse they would conduct business at. Sometimes the closest or easiest courthouse or clergy to get to were in a different county.

It's important to look at maps and terrain of the area where our ancestors lived. We think nothing of hopping in our car, driving over bridges and mountains to get to our courthouse or lawyer. Our ancestors may have looked at that a little differently.

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