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Figuring out your US ancestors’ county boundaries can be like doing a puzzle with
pieces that keep changing size and shape.
If one of your ancestral families settled early in what’s now Morrow county in central
Ohio, for example, they conceivably could’ve resided in—count ‘em up—seven different
counties without moving an inch:
Morrow County was formed March 1, 1848, from Crawford, Knox, Marion, Delaware
and Richland counties. (A small area went back to Richland County the next year.)
Marion County, formed April 1, 1820, from a “non-county” area that was attached
to Delaware County (it remained attached to Delaware County for administrative purposes
- Delaware County, formed April 1, 1808, from part of Franklin County
Franklin County, formed April 30, 1803, from Ross and a non-county area; it
overlapped Wayne county
- Ross County, formed Aug. 20, 1798, from Adams, Hamilton and Washington counties
- Adams County, formed July 10, 1797, from Hamilton and Washington counties
Hamilton County is one of Ohio’s original counties, formed Jan. 2, 1790, from
the Northwest Territory. It expanded in 1792 with more Northwest Territory and Washington
That’s seven different counties that could hold your family’s genealogy records. And
this isn’t even the most convoluted example of how counties would annex land, get
carved up, change their borders and switch county seats.
County Boundary Changes webinar will show you how to figure out where your ancestor’s
records should be during what time periods, using tools such as the Newberry
Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, gazetteers, the Map Guide
to the US Federal Censuses, 1790-1820, and more.
County Boundary Changes webinar takes place Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. ET (6
CT, 5 MT, and 4 PT). Everyone who registers will receive a PDF of the presentation
slides and access to view the webinar again as often as you want.
And if you register before Oct. 10, you’ll save $10. Learn
more about the Unpuzzling County Boundary Changes webinar here.