Here is an example. James Simmons staked his claim in the Mississippi Territory in abt. 1799. At that time his land was located in Adams County. On 04 Jun 1800, his land was now located in the newly formed Washington County. On 21 Dec 1809, his land was now in Wayne County. He actually bought the land on 17 Feb 1817 and at that time it was located in Greene County. As of 03 Feb 1820 his land was in Perry County. After James’ death, his land changed counties again to Forrest County. His descendants were now living on it.
Knowing when the boundaries changed and what land was involved is essential to being able to track down any records that were generated. One big hint though. Sometimes the boundaries were not as clear cut as you might think. If you can’t find a record in one county and your person of interest lived near a border, you might want to check on that other county to be on the safe side.
So how can you possibly know all of the boundary changes. One of the best ways is a program called AniMap. Not only does it give you the dates of change but you can see a visual of the boundary changes over time. You can plot out specific locations on the map to give you a reference. The following screen shots are from AniMap.
Here is where James’ land was located in 1799.
His property never moved.
You can get the exact dates new jurisdictions were formed in many places (books, FamilySearch Wiki, Wikipedia etc.) but Ani-Map shows you much more. I do not work for AniMap nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning them. I just like their program.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis