Friday, October 10, 2014

Using County Formation Maps

At times it’s difficult to keep track of the location of our ancestors. Sometimes there is an illusion that they moved from County to County, which can be true. Many a time it’s the Counties that changed, and no one moved at all.

Another problem can be misinformation posted by another researcher/ Genealogist. These County formation maps help sort out such mistakes. Here are two personal examples:

All over the Internet my 4th Great-Grandfather, Valentine Collins, is shown as being born in either 1768 or 1769 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
The problem with that is Wilkes County wasn’t formed until 1777. It was formed from parts of Surry County , North Carolina and of the Washington District  (now Washington County, Tennessee). I still don't know where Valentine Collins was born, or his birth date, but I do know he wasn't born in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

Here is another example, my double third Great Aunt, Obedience "Biddy" Cole nee Collins (Valentine's daughter) is shown to have died in Magoffin County, Kentucky in 1839. Magoffin County wasn’t formed until 1860, from Floyd, Johnson and Morgan Counties. 

Aunt Biddy couldn't have died in Magoffin County in 1839, it didn't exist. I guess people should state 'what is now _ _ _ _ _ _  County'.

There are great maps that show the formation of Counties by date, so a combined map/timeline tool. Click on the state name to see the County formation maps for that state:

Or you can go here, and see maps for all states..... Maps of U.S. and States

I love maps, and combined with a timeline, the combination is a powerful research tool.
That’s my 2 cents.......

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