I’m sure you’ve heard or read that learning about your ancestor’s neighbors can greatly assist your family research. None of our ancestors lived in isolation. They had family, friends and neighbors who often shared their language and customs. These social groups often intermarried, moved and settled together, and sold land to or purchased land from each other. They stood as witnesses to deeds and wills, served as administrators of estates or executors of wills, or lent money for mortgages so their children or those of their friends or family could purchase property. Learning about these relationships can provide important clues about your ancestor.
I’m starting a new series of articles that will trace land transfers on Pequea Creek from the original warrantee through 1800. Deeds can provide not only a place of residence and timeline of locations for your ancestor, but can also give you the names of heirs, maiden names for the women in the family, and an insight into the social groups and relationships of your ancestor. I started tracing deeds to try to get a clearer picture of the families who lived around the Huber/Hoover families I’ve been researching. I keep running into people who share the same name, but clearly—because of conflicting details—can’t be the same person. I’m hoping the deeds will help me start to identify individuals and align them with the correct families.
In the meantime, I’ve compiled quite a bit of information. I’m sharing it in hopes that it may also help another researcher. If it does, I’d love to hear from you.
The first article will feature Hans Line of Conestoga (now Pequea) Township.