|This snapshot doesn't do Abraham Bradley's map any justice. The map actually has some incredible detail and on the Library of Congress site you can zoom way in.|
Okay, some old map, so what? Well, I've discovered this particular historical map, originally made for the nascent postal system, is perfect for figuring out where my ancestors were about 1796. My understanding is that a copy of this map was in all of the post offices, so this is how people at the time saw the country. This was a map meant to be used.
All of my ancestors, except Englishman William Slater on my mom's side, and my father's mother's Scandinavian ancestors, were all already in the United States.
This edition of the map in particular apparently listed every post office (indicated by a circle and place name) at the time. Later editions of this map only list the larger post offices.
|Ad, Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 11 Nov 1796, vol X, issue 1303, page 4; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 28 Nov 2015).|
The ages I assign my ancestors for the year 1796 are largely approximate.
|My Gwinnup/Hartley/Paul/Shoemaker ancestors start emerging out of the mists of time in the Philadelphia area about 1796.|
Mary Gwinnup, 21, glove maker, was married to her second husband, Antonio "Anthony" Joseph Oneto (?-?) this year in Philadelphia. Her parents and family were probably in either Philadelphia or Camden, New Jersey (although this map only shows Woodbury in that approximate area). Four years later her daughter daughter Elizabeth "Betsey' Onetto was born in Deerfield, Cumberland, New Jersey (down by Bridgetown in the map). I do not know where Mary's future 3rd husband, Solomon Hartley, 21, is--he could be in Philadelphia or could have been off on a sea voyage, taking care of the ship's rigging.
Robert Paul, 22 and Sarah D Shoemaker, 16, both allegedly of Quaker ancestry, may have already been married or were possibly courting at this point in either Montgomery County of Philadelphia county. I have not yet confidently identified either of their parents. In two more years Robert Paul will be consistently found in the now-defunct Oxford Township (now just part of Philadelphia county).
|Tibbetts/Young/Snow/Townsend families in the back of beyond in Ohio, Hancock, Maine, inland from the Penobscot River. The modern-day city Bangor doesn't even register as a place yet.|
|Back in the Philadelphia region, Phoebe Worrall and father Seth were in Marple Township (which is not listed by name, but apparently it was muddy there).|
George Tibbetts's future wife Mary Burnight's parents, Jeremiah Burnight, 17, and Phoebe Worrall, 11, had probably not met yet. I have not yet figured out Jeremiah Burnight's story. The official story in the family is that he was born in the "Scottish Highlands" and then arrived in the United States about 1800, first in New Jersey and then in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. What I find interesting is there is a Burnight family, Methodists like Jeremiah, who are found in the Cumberland County, New Jersey, area in the late 1700's/early 1800's. Where they related to Jeremiah?
Phoebe Worrall was born in Marple Township, Delaware, Pennsylvania, daughter of Seth Worrall and his second wife, Phoebe(?) Moore.
|The Messingers and Millers were out in western Pennsylvania.|
Abraham Messinger, 35, wife Catherine Hill(?),about 31, and their son my ancestor John Hill Messinger, 6, were likely in Fallowfield Township, Washington, Pennsylvania (where they were in 1800). The family story was that they were in Allegheny County but I don't find records to support this--it's in the same general region though). John's future 2nd wife, Mary Matha Magdalene Miller, was not born yet, and I have not definitively found where her parents, Rudio Miller and Abigail (?) (both likely in their 30's) were, although I have working theory that Rudio was actually Jacob Miller, who was in Moon Township, Allegheny, Pennsylvania*.
Sebastian "Boston" Nosler, 58, and his wife Sofia (?), possibly about 52 if still living, were possibly in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia), as Boston is found there on tax lists 1783-1786. Their son, my ancestor John Nosler, 30, had just married his second wife, Martha Snavely, 20, in Montgomery County, Virginia. Perhaps John had gone to Greenbrier with his parents at some point, but he seems to have been mostly based in Montgomery County. Martha's father was likely John Snavely, about 46, of Christiansburg (Montgomery County); her mother's identity is not known yet. John's mother Mary Brandstetter, about 77, was possibly alive (I have an unsourced place of her death as 1800 in Wythe County, southwest of Montgomery).
|Possible places were Hibbs and his wife may have been in Tennessee in 1796.|
|The Comer/Kibler/ Michael/Rittgers group were all in the Hawksbill Creek, Shenandoah, Virginia area.|
|Just a guess location-wise as to where in Georgia my ancestors Timney Watts and Jesse Warren were.|
Jesse Warren Sr, 49, and Elizabeth Fuqua(??), 45, had moved to Georgia in 1791 from Dinwiddie County, Virginia, and started to appear in records in Hancock County, Georgia in the late 1790's. Their son, my ancestor Jesse Warren Jr, was about 6 when this map was done. His future wife Timney Watts (not yet born) is very likely to have been part of the Watts group in Greene County, Georgia. She may have been the daughter of Jacobus Watts, 24.
*Jacob Miller and possible son Rudolph "Rudy" Miller are later found in Dearborn County, Indiana, where my Millers were known to be before Marion County, Indiana.
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