Dunker Conococheague Settlement, 1750-1790

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Date: 1750 to 1790
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Origins of the Conococheague Dunker community

The Dunker community west of Conococheague Creek straddling the modern Pennsylvania-Maryland border mainly consisted of German-speaking migrants from the upper Rhineland and Switzerland, who arrived in America as early as 1725. Much of the information about these settlers comes from colonial Maryland land records which document land grants and transfers. Settlement began in earnest about 1750, and the community persisted through American independence. In the 1780s, however, many of the settlers and their descendants migrated farther west, and by 1790 the community had largely evaporated.

Here is a list of Conococheague settlers, sorted by the date of their arrival (or birth) in America. Some of them arrived on the same vessel, evidently knowing each other beforehand or forming friendships en route to America. All identified ship arrivals were at Philadelphia.

Siblings Stephen Ulrich Jr. (abt 1715-1785), John (abt. 1721-1804), and Elizabeth (abt 1724-1815) (who later married Jacob Gripe) were born in upper Rhineland(?), and arrived in America abt 1725 with their father Stephen Sr., mother Elizabeth, and several siblings. (Stephen Jr. may have married the sister of Jacob Gripe but this is disputed.) The Ulrichs were early settlers west of the Susquehanna River, and Stephen Jr. was among the founders of the Little Conewago Dunker congregation near Hanover, PA, in 1738. Another sibling, Daniel (abt. 1726-1792), was evidently born in PA after the family arrived in America.

Johann Jacob Stutzman (1706-abt. 1775), born in Kallstadt, Palatinate, Bavaria, arrived in Philadelphia on 2 Oct 1727 aboard Adventure with his half-brother Michael Müller II, Michael's wife and several of their children. Jacob Greib (Gripe) (1712-1801), born in Amöneburg, Hessen, arrived in Philadelphia on 28 Sep 1733 aboard Richard and Elizabeth. He may have been accompanied by a sister who married Stephen Ulrich Jr. but this is uncertain. Jacob was one of the founders of the Little Conewago Dunker congregation.

David Miller (abt. 1730-1785) was probably born in America at an unknown location. His origin is obscure; some genealogies identify his father as Michael Müller II and give his birth as early as 1719. This is doubtful, since his first known marriage was about 1760. Alternatively, he might be related to Lodowich Müller, who migrated to America in 1738.

Johannes Nicholas Martin (1721-1795) was born in Zeselberg, Palatinate, and may have arrived in Philadelphia on 17 Oct 1732 aboard John and William with his parents Hans Georg and Anna Maria. However, this supposes that he was misrecorded as "Michael Martin" in the Captain's List. Nicholas' older brother George Adam (1715-1794) also migrated to America but evidently at a different time.

Ulrich Schaeublin (Shively) (1722-1776), born in Switzerland, arrived in Philadelphia on 16 Sep 1736 aboard Princess Augusta with his parents Christian and Barbara. Also aboard this vessel were his future wife Elizabeth Thomman (1722-aft 1777, b. Switzerland), her parents, and several other relatives.

Three Conococheague settlers were evidently aboard Thistle, arrived Philadelphia on 19 Sep 1738: Hans Dieterich (John Teeter) (abt 1720-aft 1770), probably born in upper Rhineland; Johann Ludwig Müller (Lodowich Miller) (1721-1792), born in Lambsheim, Palatinate; and Walther von der Burg (Walter Funderburg) (1712-1778) born in the Rhineland, who was accompanied by an older brother Peter and Peter's family. In 1752 Hans and Walther bought parcels in the Conococheague valley close to each other, and Walther sold half of his tract to Lodowich two years later. It is generally assumed that Lodowich was a son of Michael Müller II, since he first established a homestead adjacent to Michael east of Conocochegue creek.

Three more Conococheague settlers were evidently aboard Friendship, arrived Philadelphia on 23 Sep 1740. The siblings Dorothea Meier (Meyer, Myer) (1721-aft 1758) and Jacob Meier (1723-aft. 1760), both born in Muttenz, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland, migrated with their parents Hans and Dorothea but Hans died en route at sea. Also aboard was Moritz Milhaus (Morris Millhouse) (1717-1758), probably born in Switzerland; he married the younger Dorothea shortly after they arrived in Philadelphia. In 1750 Jacob and Moritz bought adjacent parcels in Conococheague.

Heinrich Engel (Henry Angle) (abt 1739-1810), born in Germany, possibly arrived in Philadelphia on 15 Sep 1748 aboard Two Brother along with his father Heinrich Sr. and four other adult men named Engel. George Puterbach (Butterbaugh) (1737-1800) born in Eschwege, Werra-Meissner-Kreis, Hessen, arrived in Philadelphia on 15 Sep 1752 aboard Two Brothers accompanied by his older brother Johann Peter.

Most of these settlers migrated to America 15 to 20 years before they moved to Conococheague, and evidently many of them were also early settlers west of the Susquehanna River in the vicinity of York and Hanover, PA. As mentioned above, Stephen Ulrich Jr., Jacob Gripe, and Jacob Stutzman were among the founders of the Little Conewago Dunker congregation near Hanover, PA, in 1738.

Little Conewago Congregation. In 1738, in the township of Hanover, in York county, Elder Daniel Leatherman organized this congregation. Among the constituent members were families of the name Eldrick, Dierdorff, Bigler, Gripe, Stutsman, and others. Elder Leatherman removed to Monocacy early in 1757, and Elder Nicholas Martin was given the oversight of the church. He removed to Conococheague and Jacob Moyer was placed in charge as minister, with James Hetrick as assistant.[1]

The information provided by Brumbaugh was based on a report written by Morgan Edwards in 1770. Presumably, "Eldrick” was Stephen Ulrich (Jr), who married Elizabeth Gripe(?) in 1740, and bought land near Little Conewago in 1742 (Estes 2016, citing PA land records). At some point Stephen sold his land to Jacob Stutzman, who bought an adjacent parcel in 1759. Stephen (and Jacob Gripe) bought land in Conococheague in 1752, and both presumably moved there about that time. Evidently Jacob Stutzman stayed in Hanover almost ten years longer, since his first land purchase in Conococheague was in 1761. According to Pennsylvania land records, Hans Ulrich Waggoner was also a land owner west of the Susquehanna River starting around 1740, and he starting buying land in Conococheague in 1745 evidently for resale to his Dunker friends. “Michael Miller had apparently been doing reconnaissance work [in Conococheague], because he [also] began buying land there in 1745” (Estes 2016).

1752 – Tired of the Maryland/Pennsylvania border feud that had lasted for 15 years, the entire Brethren community sold their land in Hanover Co., PA (today current Adams Co.) and moved to Frederick Co., MD. Where they established 4 new churches.” (Replogle p. 97, quoted by Estes 2016.)

"[E]ntire ... community" appears to be an overstatement. Many Dunkers in the Little Conewago community moved to Conococheague in the early 1750's, but some (such as Jacob Stutzman Jr.) evidently stayed behind. There was still a very active Little Conewago congregation around 1770, according to the report by Morgan Edwards.

Dunker Settlements in the Conococheague Valley

There were a number of Dunker settlements in the Conococheague Valley starting as early as 1739 when Peter Studebaker built a house on a hill overlooking the east bank of Conococheague Creek, but the settlement of interest here was located west of the creek toward North Mountain, straddling the modern border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. A number of Dunker homesteads grew up around a tract called “Maiden's Choice,” whose initial patent for 1,000 acres was issued to Evan Shelby in 1739. (See Figure 1, which shows tracts superposed on a USGS topo map of the area, and Figure 2, which shows the tracts without the map.)

Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 1. Early land grants in the Conococheague Valley, before 1752, supeposed on a modern USGS topographic map. Top border of the map is at latitude 39º45´ N. See Fig. 2 for further explanation.

Figure 2. Early land grants in the Conococheague Valley, before 1752, consisting of two original grants: “Maidens Choice,” outlined by a solid blue line, patented by Evan Shelby Jr. in 1739; and “Three Friends,” outlined by a solid red line, patented by John Jones in 1751. Evan Shelby sold the northern near-square to Hans Ulrich Waggoner in 1745, who augmented it with vacancies to the north and east outlined by dashed blue lines and patented the resulting tract as “Flaggy Meadow” in 1748. Shelby sold much of the southern part of “Maidens Choice” to Waggoner in 1749, who added vacancies to the north and east and patented the resulting tract as “Germania” in 1751. Shortly after his purchase of “Three Friends” in 1751, John Jones augmented it with seven adjacent vacancies (dashed red lines), although he didn't patent the resurvey until 1759. Black dots in the middle show the locations of the modern crossroads of Dry Run and Fairview, while the other two dots on tract boundaries denote the origins of “Maidens Choice” (on the west) and “Three Friends (east).}}

Shelby sold 100 acres to John Williams Jr. in 1740, and Hans Waggoner had acquired most of the rest by 1751. Waggoner developed two separate tracts, which he called “Flaggy Meadow” (474 ac) and “Germania” (435 ac), each consisting of a portion of “Maiden's Choice” augmented by contiguous unclaimed parcels called “vacancies.” He also bought a 53-acre tract between these tracts in 1745, evidently for his own homestead, and 279 acres from John Williams in 1748 probably as speculation.

Waggoner divided “Flaggy Meadow” into four parcels, which he sold to Moritz Millhouse, Jacob Meyer, Elijah Lawrence, and Hans Tiedrick (John Teeter) in 1750 and 1752. These four parcels add up to only 468 acres, four less than the total area of “Flaggy Meadow.” Waggoner divided “Germania” into two parts, which he and his wife Elizabeth sold to Stephen Ulrich and Walter Funderburg in 1752. In 1754 Ulrich and Funderburg sold adjacent pieces of their “Germania” holdings to Ludowich Miller, and Ulrich sold a tract to Daniel Ulrich (probably his brother). See Table 1 for details of the various land transactions, and Figure 3 for the locations of these tracts.

Figure 3.

Figure 3. Ownership of tracts in the Conococheague valley, about 1755. The two black dots near the center of the figure are the locations of the modern crossroads Dry Run (west) and Fairview (east).

With the exceptions of Shelby, Williams, and Lawrence, the other eight named individuals are known German Dunkers.

Northwest of "Maiden's Choice," Jacob Gripe bought 300 acres of "None Such" from John Davis in 1752, and John Ulrich patented an adjacent 50 acres called "Ulricks Lott" in 1755. Ulrich augmented his tract by purchasing 106 acres from Gripe in 1758. East of Maiden's Choice, John Jones obtained a grant of 550 acres in 1751 for a tract he named “Three Friends,” which he augmented with seven “vacancies” totaling 401 acres although the enlarged tract wasn't patented until 1759. “Three Friends” was divided into four parts which were sold to Neal McFall, Ulrich Shively, John Gronow, and David Glassby [Gillespy?] in 1752-53. Gronow almost immediately resold his tract to Thomas Edmondson in 1753, who subsequently sold it to George Shaver in 1762. There was apparently a surveying error for the sale to David Gillespy, since the survey omitted three small pieces that Jane (his wife?) bought almost immediately thereafter, in 1753. (The deed of sale to David has not been located, but it is referenced in the sale of the remnants to David from Jane.) The only known Dunker among the individuals who bought land in “Three Friends” is Ulrich Shively, but the Dunkers John Ulrich and David Miller later bought portions of “Three Friends.”

Later Developments, to about 1770

Jacob Meyer and Morris Millhouse both augmented their tracts in “Flaggy Meadow” soon after their initial purchases, with Meyer adding 25 acres in 1753 and Millhouse 145 acres in 1754. The two additions appear to overlap, and it is unclear why this could happen. Millhouse and most of his family were killed in an Indian raid in 1758. In 1761 Jacob Stutzman bought 269 acres just west of “Flaggy Meadow” from Bernard Stuller, consisting of 245 acres of “Good Neighbor” and 24 acres of “Flaggy Meadow.“ In 1771 Nicholas Martin bought 57 acres of “Wolfs Purchase” from Adam Pipe, evidently just north of “Flaggy Meadow” although the exact location of this tract is uncertain.

Developments connected with John Teeter's portion of “Flaggy Meadow” were more complicated. In 1763 he had his plot resurveyed to include proposed additions for a total of 383 acres, but he failed to file a patent for this survey. In 1766 he sold the southernmost 45 acres of his original plot to Conrod Fox, who subsequently resold it to Jacob Verrifield in 1770. Also in 1766 Dr. David Ross patented the additions specified in Teeter's 1763 resurvey as two tracts on either side of Teeter's propery, which he sarcastically named “Tetricks Folley” (212 acres on the west) and “Tetors Neglect” (68 acres on the east). The larger tract evidently had a surveying error, and left a thin crescent of land between it and Teeter's plot, which Thomas Bowles patented as “Fox Escape” (13 acres) in 1767. At the same time, Bowles patented “Dunkers Beard” (24 acres) just south of “Tetors Neglect.”

South of “Flaggy Meadow,” Stephen Ulrich in 1767 resurveyed his remaining portion of “Germania,” added vacant parcels to the north and west totaling 554 acres, and renamed his holdings “Good Neighbor.” In 1768 he sold two pieces of “Good Neighbor”: 60 acres to George Butterbaugh and 139 acres to Daniel Ulrich (probably his brother).

There were a number of land transactions involving tracts associated with “Three Friends.” Ulrich Shively sold the northern portion of his land to Christopher Unoll (Engel?) in 1754, but evidently there was again a surveying error since it was about 20 perches narrower than the original plot (colored line and dashed black line in Fig. 4, respectively.)

Figure 4.

Figure 4. Ownership of tracts in the Conococheague valley, about 1770. The two black dots near the center of the figure are the locations of the modern crossroads Dry Run (west) and Fairview (east). The dashed horizontal line denotes the location of the Mason-Dixon survey (1764-67), with the black diamonds showing the locations of mileposts 112 (east) through 117 (west).

Unoll subsequently transferred this tract to Henry Unoll (Angle) in 1759, who in 1764 patented an addition (“Pleasant Spring”) immediately to the north.

Neal McFall sold the southern part of his land to Henry Stall in 1761. McFall then augmented his remaining holding with a purchase of 143.5 acres from Allen Kellough in 1767. Finally, David Miller bought the entire easternmost portion of “Three Friends” in 1772, in two separate transactions from George Gillespy (the large piece) and Thomas and Jane Edmondson (three small pieces). (Evidently George was the heir of David Glasspy, and Jane married Thomas after Jane's purchase of land in 1753.) Jacob Gripe augmented his "None Such" tract by buying an adjacent 50 acres of "Mountain of Wales" from Evan Shelby on 17 Dec 1764. On the same day John Ulrich sold the entire 156 acres of his "Ulricks Lott" and "None Such" tracts to Duvalt Ancony, and the next day bought Henry Stall's portion of "Three Friends." In 1767 Ulrich added 60 acres to this parcel and named it "Struggle", and then sold the entire tract to John Bennett in 1772.

Figure 4 shows the end result of all the land transactions described above with details given in Table 1. Many of these landholders paid annual "quit rent" to the Calverts (the Proprietors of colonial Maryland) until 1773, the eve of the American Revolution. These payments are summarize in Table 2. Table 2, which includes additional information about the names of these landholders and their tracts.

Dispersion of the Conococheague Dunker community

Heinrich Engle (Henry Angle). Henry continued to live in Maryland until he died abt 1810, as did his son David. But most of his descendants moved across the state line to Welsh Run, Franklin, PA where eight Angle households were recorded in the 1820 U.S. Census. Eight early members of this family were buried in the Angle Graveyard, and later many were buried in the Welsh Run Brethren Church ("Dunkard') Cemetery, continuing well into the 21st Century. Marriages with other Conococheague settlers included:

Son John m 1787 Susannah Miller (abt 1762-aft 1801), dau David Miller and Magdalena Maugens
Son Jacob m 1787 Catherine Martin (1769-1838), dau Nicholas Martin and Susannah NN.

Johannes Dieterich (John Teeter). John evidently continued to live on the Teeter homestead on the MD-PA border until he died, probably after 1770. By 1790 his sons John (Jr) and Abraham had moved to Bedford, PA (Morrisons Cove), and his son Isaac was reported living in Franklin, PA, possibly still on the Teeter homestead. Several of John's grandchildren moved to Ohio in the early 19th Century; John and Abra[ha]m (sons of John Jr) and David (son of Abraham) were all reported living in Miami Co. in 1820. David m 1794 Elizabeth Stutzman granddau of both Johann Jacob Stutzman and Stephen Ulrich Jr. First cousins Daniel (son of John Jr) and Esther (dau of Isaac) married abt 1796, and were living in Darke, OH, in 1820. Marriages:

Son John Jr m abt 1771 Susanna Ulrich (1755-abt 1804), dau Daniel Ulrich Sr and Christina Holsinger
Son Abraham m 1772 Elizabeth Shively (1751-1809), dau Ulrich Shively and Elizabeth Thommen

Ulrich Schaeublin (Uhli Shively). Uhli continued to live on his "Three Friends" homestead until he died bef 1777 when his widow Elizabeth and two sons sold it. Thereafter son Christian moved to Huntingdon PA, and abt 1806 to Montgomery OH; son Jacob Isaac to Washington PA, then Bedford PA, and abt 1804 to Stark OH; son John continued to live in Washington MD until he died bef 1790; dau Elizabeth m 1772 Abraham Teeter and moved bef 1790 to Bedford PA; dau Mary m abt 1780 Henry Rowland and remained in Washington MD; dau Eva m 1778 Gottlieb Seidel and also remained in Washington MD; son Isaac David moved bef 1790 to Bedford PA, and abt 1806 to Montgomery OH with brother Christian; dau Catherine m 1787 John Zook, moved 1789 to Bedford PA , and then 1828 to Wayne IN. Marriages:

Son Christian m 1766 Susannah Gripe (1748-1819), dau Jacob Greib and Elizabeth Ulrich
Dau Elizabeth m 1772 Abraham Teeter (1748-1827), son John Teeter and NN.

Moritz Milhaus (Morris Millhouse). Morris was killed 1758 in an Indian raid on his homestead, but his wife Dorothea and dau Susannah survived. Susannah m 1768 Jacob Bowman, and moved to Rockingham, VA. After Jacob died, she m 1795 Isaac Hammer and moved to Washington, TN.

Jacob Meyer. Not known when Jacob died, and his descendants have not been identified.

Nicholas Martin. His homestead was probably in Franklin PA, where he died in 1795. Dau Susannah m abt 1770 David Stutzman and died abt 1780. Son Nicholas m 1785 Susanna Zug and evidently remained in Franklin PA. Son Daniel m 1786 Hannah Gripe and moved abt 1809 to Montgomery OH. Son David m Rosana Bostetter and remained in Franklin PA.

Dau Catherine m 1787 Jacob Angle (1768-1844), son Henry Angle and Elizabeth Wildman, and remained in Franklin PA..

Johann Jacob Stutzman. Jacob died in 1775, probaby on his Conococheague homestead. His widow Hannah NN m 1782 neighbor Stephen Ulrich. Son David m abt 1770 Susannah Martin but she died abt 1780, and David then m abt 1781 Anna Nesbit. "After Jacob's death, many of his children, David, Plantina, and Jacob (IV) moved west to 'Woodberry' Township, straddling present-day Bedford and Blair counties, and Elk Lick Township, in modern-day Somerset County, in the 1780s. Later, David, Plantina, Jacob (IV), Abraham, and perhaps Hannah, moved west to Montgomery County, Ohio, beginning around 1809." (Troy's Genealogue)

Son David m abt 1770 Susannah Martin (bef 1755-abt 1780), dau Nicholas Martin and Susannah NN
Son Jacob m abt 1765 Christina Ulrich (1752-1810), dau Stephen Ulrich Jr. and Elizabeth NN

Jacob Greib (Cripe). Jacob and his entire family moved to Bedford PA perhaps as early as 1760; he was recorded living in Frankstown Township, Bedford, in 1776. Jacob died in 1801, and his wife Elizabeth is believed to have died soon after. "[N]early all of their surviving children moved to western Ohio and settled in Montgomery County. Four arrived by 1804 and most of the rest were accounted for by 1809. Two (Samuel and Esther) continued northwest to Carroll County, Indiana, in the late 1820s." (Troy's Genealogue)

Dau Barbara m 1770 David Ulrich (abt 1746-1823), son Stephen Ulrich Jr. and Elizabeth NN
Dau Susannah m 1766 Christian Shively (1745-1834), son Ulrich Shively and Elizabeth Thommen
Dau Hannah m 1786 Daniel Martin (1762-1827), son Nicholas Martin and Susannah NN.

Stephen Ulrich Jr. After Stephen's wife Elizabeth died abt 1780, he married Hannah, widow of neighbor Jacob Stutzman, and died abt 1784 possibly at the Stutzman homestead. Stephen's children and their spouses inherited his "Good Neighbor" homestead and sold it to John Cushwa in 1785. By 1790 (almost) all of them had moved to Bedford PA, and by 1810 many of his descendants had moved further to southwest Ohio. Three of Stephen and Elizabeth's daughters married sons of George Puterbaugh and Christiana Adams.

Son David m 1770 m Barbara Cripe (1748-1817), dau Jacob Greib and Elizabeth Ulrich
Dau Christina m 1765 Jacob Stutzman (abt 1746-abt 1816), son Jacob Stutzman and Hannah NN
Dau Susanna m 1782 Jacob I. Puterbaugh (1757-1822), son George Puterbaugh & Christiana Adams
Dau Mary m abt 1777 George Butterbaugh (1759-1800), son George Puterbaugh & Christiana Adams
Dau Hannah m 1785 Henry A. Puterbaugh (1761-1839), son George Puterbaugh & Christiana Adams

Daniel Ulrich. Abt 1780 Daniel and his family moved to Bedford PA, where he died abt 1791. Some of dau Susannah and John Deeter's children moved to Miami OH early in the 19th century.

Dau Susannah m abt 1771 John Deeter Jr. (1745-1790), son John Teeter and NN.

John Ulrich. In 1772 John sold his last Conococheague holding and moved to Bedford PA; he died abt 1804 in Huntingdon PA. (Estes 2016) His dau Elizabeth m John Price and stayed in Bedford, his dau Hannah Ulrich m Samuel Fetters and moved to Miami OH, and his son Jacob likewise moved to Miami OH.

George Puterbach (Puterbaugh). George died 1800, probably on his Conococheague homestead. His three oldest sons married daughters of Stephen Ulrich, and moved to Bedford PA. Several of hia children remained in Franklin PA.

Son Jacob I. m 1782 Susannah Ulrich (1759-1830), dau Stephen Ulrich Jr. and Elizabeth NN
Son George m abt 1777 Mary Ulrich (abt 1760-abt 1844), dau Stephen Ulrich Jr. and Elizabeth NN
Son Henry A. m 1785 Hannah Susan Ulrich (abt 1762-1798), dau Stephen Ulrich Jr. and Elizabeth NN

Walther von der Burg (Walter Funderburg). Walter died 1778, possibly on his Conococheague homestead. Son Daniel early 19th century moved to Ohio, where he died 1813.

Ludwig Müller (Lodowich Miller). In 1782 Lodowich sold his Germania tract to neighbor Daniel Ulrich, and moved to Taneytown, Frederick MD. He possibly moved further to Rockingham VA; he and his wife Anna Barbara died 1792. "At least half of Lodowich's children moved into the Shenandoah Valley (Shenandoah, Rockingham, and Augusta counties) of Virginia beginning around 1783 ..." (Troy's Genealogue)

'David Miller. David died 1785 on his Conococheague homestead, and his widow Magdalena died bef 1798. Dau Susannah m 1787 John Angle, son Daniel m Mary Zug, and both families settled in Franklin PA.

Dau Susannah m 1787 John Angle (abt 1766-?), son Henry Angle and Elizabeth Wildman

Hans Ulrich Waggoner. Hans may have continued to live on his homestead between "Flaggy Meadow" and "Germania", since he paid quit rent through 1773. Little is known about his family except his wife's name, "Elizabeth". Five Waggoners are listed as living in Washington MD in the 1790 census, but their relationship (if any) to Hans is unclear.


Location of “Maidens Choice” and “Three Friends”

The starting point (“origin”) of “Maidens Choice” is the northern vertex of the plot sold to John Williams in 1740, and is described as the “White Oak by side of [S]oleburnes Road” in the original patent (1739), and as the “White Oak by the side of Rocky Lick run” in the deed of purchase by John Williams. This is here interpreted as a point just southeast of where the modern Mercerburg Rd. crosses Dry Run, but another location is possible. There is additional evidence that the latitude thus assigned to “Maidens Choice” is correct – the northern boundary of the tract sold to Conrod Fox by John Teeter in 1766 then closely aligns with the modern road between Dry Run and Fairview. There isn't any comparable identification of the location of the origin or other point for “Three Friends.” All sources agree that it lay to the southeast of “Flaggy Meadow” and the homestead of Ulrich Shively is said to have been located a half mile west of Fairview (need reference). The major constraint is that it apparently lay entirely to the west of Conococheague Creek. The location indicated here was chosen to make some tract boundaries align with modern roads, and places the origin of “Three Friends” (black dot) near a ford in the creek.

Maryland Land Records

This study is primarily based on colonial Maryland land records, so some knowledge of those records is necessary to understand the various kinds of land transfer involved. In colonial times the entire Province of Maryland was initially owned entirely by its proprietors, the Calvert family, who sold or (in many cases) leased tracts requiring an annual payment of “quit rent”. In addition, lessees were expected to improve their properties. Several on-line sites provide background information regarding provincial Maryland land transactions and records, and here is a brief introduction by rootsweb: <https://wiki.rootsweb.com/wiki/index.php/Maryland_Land_Records>.

Land patents granted by the provincial government have been systematically scanned, and are available online at the Maryland State Archives Website. The patents are sorted by the county having jurisdiction at the time they were issued. For the Conococheague Valley, this was initially Prince Georges County (until 1746), then Frederick County (until 1776), and Washington County thereafter. Land transfers were recorded by county clerks, and county records have also been systematically scanned and made available online at the Maryland Land Records Website.

Certificates for original patents and for resurveys that involved adding vacancies to existing holdings were issued as stand-alone documents usually containing tract boundaries defined by “metes and bounds,” a sequence of directions (such as N 68º W but written out) and distances in perches (5.5 yds). Angles are usually given to the nearest degree, while distances are usually rounded to the nearest perch. The origin is usually a “banded tree,” and a measurement for the final leg of the polygon is not given, but replaced by a phrase such as “then by a straight line to the beginning tree.”

Patented Certificates
Frederick Co.: Series 1197
Prince Georges Co.: Series 1203
Washington Co.: Series 1208

Unpatented Certificates
Frederick Co.: Series 1220
Prince Georges Co.: Series 1226
Washington Co.: Series 1231

Sample series description: “Certificates of survey and plats for tracts of land, filed with the Land Office, for which patents were eventually issued [“not issued at that time” for unpatented certificates]. A certificate of survey is an official description of a plot of land. The Land Office issued warrants of survey to the county surveyor who then generated certificates of survey. Arranged numerically by certificate number.”

Subsequent land sales were recorded by county court clerks, and are available at the Maryland Land Records Website <https://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm>.\

Access to these land records is free, but you have to register to be able to view them. Scans of the original documents are provided, but you first have to know the county, book (“liber”) ID, and page (“folio”) number. Indexes of buyers and sellers (by county) are also available but they are cumbersome to use. The relevant information (county, book, and page) is supplied for transactions listed here in Table 1.

Indices of quit rent payments sorted by county are also available at the Maryland State Archives Website <http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/series.aspx?action=viewSeries&ID=S1430>. All of the entries in Table 2 were drawn from the Frederick Co. ("FR") files, numbered S1430-9 through S1430-13.

Distances in the Colonial Era

By 1700 Britain had standardized the yard at essentially its modern value (30.48 cm), and defined the perch (same as the modern “rod”) as 5.5 yards, the furlong as 40 perches, and the mile as 8 furlongs (1760 yards or 5280 feet). Survey measurements were invariably recorded in perches, determined using a surveyor's chain four perches (66 feet) long. An example of the accuracy of 18th century surveying is provided by the Mason-Dixon survey to establish the Maryland-Pennsylvania and Maryland-Delaware borders (1764-67). A scientific benefit from this survey was a determination of the length of one degree in latitude on the Maryland-Delaware peninsula as 68.7291 miles. This is close to the modern value of 68.98 miles, with a difference of 0.37%, or 19 feet in a mile. <http://www1.udel.edu/johnmack/frec480/mason_dixon_survey.html> <http://www.csgnetwork.com/degreelenllavcalc.html>


  1. Martin Grove Brumbaugh, A History of the German Baptist Brethren in Europe and America. Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, IL (1910). P. 326.

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John, this page and work are absolutely fantastic!!! The level of details and research is beyond anything I've encountered elsewhere regarding this community.

THANK YOU *so* MUCH for the effort that you have put into this. For this fellow genealogist, it is *very much* appreciated.

posted by S Bechman