The American frontier has never been only the ‘wild west’ as many people think. The ‘frontier’ – the wilderness, untamed lands of America started with the first Europeans to come to the shores of what would later be the United States.
The Spaniards came to the eastern coast to create St. Augustine in what was later named Florida. The English came to Virginia establish settlements such as Jamestown and later to Plymouth with the Pilgrims’ arrival in 1621. All of those were frontier areas, of course to the native Indians – it was their homeland, but to the Europeans it was a place to conquer. Follow this map Photo: Map showing 1791.
So in doing your family history is can be fascinating to witness the slow and other times speedy movement of settlers across the country. To know which were territories of other counties is very helpful to see if your ancestors were once part of another nation’s property.
For examples, there were several locations in Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, including Washington and Oregon (NW) still considered property of the United Kingdom from the 1790s into the first 40 years of the 1800s.
Follow this mapand see the transformation of the country and the movement and settlement of area over the decades. The date periods are listed at the bottom and it recycles over and over. Bookmark the site, you will want to refer to it frequently.
Photo: Map showing 1791.