How Did They Get There from York?
Click here for the Library of Congress zoomable 1751 Fry-Jefferson map.
I recently wrote about York County residents being recruited to move to Virginia in the 1870s. Click here to read that post.
There were several paths, following very early roads, from South Central Pennsylvania to less populated lands.
Many Pennsylvania Germans and Scots-Irish from the central and southern part of York County, as well as Lancaster County, followed the Monocacy Trail, also known as the Great Wagon Road, from York down through Hanover to Frederick, Maryland and then into the Shenandoah Valley.
The heavily Scots-Irish areas of northern Lancaster County, northern York County (such as Monaghan Township), and Cumberland County would have taken the Cumberland Valley route, also sometimes called the Great Wagon Road, south through Shippensburg to Hagerstown, Maryland, and thence also into the Shenandoah Valley.
Both of these routes can be seen pretty well by comparing A Map of the most Inhabited parts of Virginia, drawn in 1751 by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1751, with a Google map, especially the Google satellite map. (You might know of Peter Jefferson’s rather rebellious son Tom.)
Click here for the Google map of the area.
I’m not a real fan of Wikipedia, but I must admit there is also a user-friendly Fry-Jefferson map on that site. Click here.
A third course of movement, especially for residents of Adams County, which was western York County until 1800, would have been to swing south at the Scots-Irish Marsh Creek settlement (Gettysburg) and down to Frederick and beyond.
As a reader recently reminded me, south and west weren’t the only directions in which our ancestors traveled in search of more land for their growing families. We’ll explore that in an upcoming post.