Saturday, November 26, 2011

Historical County Boundaries - Cynthiana, Kentucky

This week Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings blog challenge of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) is one I find very important and well constructed. The topic is Historical County Boundaries. Randy referred us to the Historical U.S. County Maps page on Randy Majors website ( ) I highly recommend you take a look at this interactive site.

First we needed to read the whole page about the mapping, then choose a location and document its historical jurisdiction each 10 years from 1790 to 1900. Then we needed to post about what we found and how it did or might effect our research.

I chose the location of the ancestors of my paternal grandfather. They had farms outside Cynthiana, Kentucky. I have varied the instructions a bit as the history of the county prior to 1790 is also of interest. Here is what I found.

Cynthiana, Kentucky

1772, Dec. 1 in Fincastle (created from Botetourt) County, Virginia
1780, Nov. 1 in Fayette (created from Kentucky), Virginia
1789, May  1 in Bourbon County, Kentucky portion of Virginia
1792 Kentucky became a state
1800 in Harrison County, Kentucky (created in 1795)
Subsequent changes to Harrison County did not change the location of Cynthiana, the county seat.

Prior to statehood in 1792, some records are in Virginia. None of my Harrison County family was likely in the area to create county records prior to the establishment of Fayette County in 1780, so that is where records might begin. Between 1789 and 1795 county records should be in Bourbon County, but some are still recorded there later in the 1790s (will of Edward McShane in 1796, marriage bond of his daughter Mary to John Waits in 1798.) Everything since then should be in Harrison County. Were any of them there early enough to have records in Fayette County?