HERKIMER AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES NY
The delineation of any geographic area into separate localities (counties, towns, villages) makes a difference to census takers, tax collectors, and for jury lists. But when you drive out to dinner or a movie, do you really pay attention to the little signs that say "Entering XXX Township"? Does the fact that a store is in a neighboring county stop you from shopping there? Likewise, our ancestors carried out life's everyday activities with rarely a thought about political boundaries, even though they were probably aware of them. It made no difference to your gggg-grandfather Jacob that his best girl lived down the road - in another county's township. Nor did it make a difference to her that her aunt just over the border in another county offered her home as the setting for a wedding.
Political boundaries are significant to us in our genealogical research, especially when looking at census indexes. But we need to have some degree of flexibility when thinking about boundaries in regards to where our ancestors may have met their spouses, had relatives, or moved from, just as we do in carrying out our own lives. In some cases, our persistence in limiting our searches to one small area, because we know or heard someone lived there, or an event took place there, can be a roadblock to progress. If you are unfamiliar with a particular county's layout and townships, you are probably also unaware of how a border township is situated in relation to a neighboring county.
Your ancestor may have had relatives a short horse ride away in a county you're not familiar with, or that you never considered looking into, because you as a non-resident don't know the lay of the land. And the descendants of those relatives may have queries posted on a neighboring GenWeb page! "Missing" relatives may someday turn up on a cemetery list on another GenWeb page. Your ancestor who disappeared from Herkimer or Montgomery County for one census year may be in a household in the 1860 census in a neighboring county's township just because they were visiting or working there for a time.
I hope the two charts below will be of assistance to people who may need to branch out in their research directions. I'm aware from many of your letters that township info is not always provided on road maps, so I developed these two charts with the help of a detailed atlas. Please download this as a quick reference to familiarize yourself with locations and names of present-day neighboring townships. Although county and township boundaries have often changed over the years, township names tended to remain stable since the mid-19th century. Townships with "---" in the tables are "landlocked" and do not border neighboring counties.
Towns Bordering Montgomery County
|Montgomery Township||Neighboring County||Neighboring Township|
Towns Bordering Herkimer County
|Herkimer Township||Neighboring County||Neighboring Township|
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