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Colonization Oddities

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During my research trip into New Jersey and the Pennsylvania areas I was struck by the terrain and my impressions of it.  

I had developed an opinion that the Delaware river was such an obstacle that mostly it was a barrier to early colonial movement.  I am no longer of that opinion.  There were so many ferries, so much boat traffic, that the river was little more than speed bump.  Another aspect meant that since so much of their industry thrived by use of the river, it actually enable more interaction because it was the proverbial highway of its time.

Another issue that I previously held, regarded habitation and dwellings.  This came from some earlier read census records.  In those records I felt my family must have moved a lot in the pre-1850 time period, but they didn't.  It just happened to be a time of vibrant township creation.  The land that Peter and Dennis settled on was in Knowlton.  Later it seemed they move to Hope, then Blairstown, when actually they live on the same farm the entire time.  It was just that the township designated boundaries consumed the farm as the new townships were created.  Maybe this is a peculiar case, but I still think one that is worth consideration.  I made the mistake of thinking they had moved a lot, when in fact they never had.

Lastly, for this posting. I was never thinking that land was not merely a residence.  After pouring through many land transactions I found that some of my ancestors owned 3-6 parcels of land at the same time.  I can't say exactly why and I am not sure there would be one reason for the ownership, but those that purchased multiple tracts of land sure elevated their financial position in later years. Land costs increased at dramatic rates.


I will write another article on land records.  They are fascinating, yet frustrating at the same time.

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