Platting the Monocacy Road from Original 1739/40 Survey; Part 1: Eastern York County

Section BA of Monocacy Road platted on 1908 Surveyed Topographic Map (S. H. Smith, 2014)

Section BA of Monocacy Road platted on 1908 Surveyed Topographic Map (S. H. Smith, 2014)

I’ve platted the Monocacy Road from the original 1739/40 survey.  This is Part 1; Eastern York County between Wrightsville and York.  In future posts, I’ll plat additional parts of the Monocacy Road, in a similar manner, from the original survey, the whole way through York County and into Maryland.

Part 1 is displayed on three adjoining 1908 surveyed topographic map sections.  This is the middle section.  The end sections are displayed later in this post; they align together by matching the large blue A’s and B’s, for readers that care to print and piece together the whole road.  I’ve displayed the platting in sections like this, so that sufficient detail can be seen.

This whole exercise started because I was curious if the Monocacy Road passed in front of the Schultz House, as Dr. Betz wrote about in 1902 and 1912 articles.  Dr. Betz went on and on about the house being a tavern and all the famous guests that stopped there during Colonial times.

I was curious because when I was involved as a volunteer digger during the 2009 archaeological dig at the Schultz House, findings were not consistent with this house ever being a tavern.  Quoting a line from Stephen Warfel’s Archaeological Report for site (36YO415), on page 38; “Simply stated, findings of the present project do not verify reported tavern use of the house.”

As seen above, the platted Monocacy Road from the original 1739/40 survey shows the primary road between the Susquehanna River and York Town did not pass in front the Schultz House, from the inception of that road.  This casts additional doubt about the Schultz House being a tavern.

Related posts include:

Continue reading for the end sections; starting in Wrightsville and ending up in York.

 

LancasterHistory.org (The Lancaster Historical Society) has the original Monocacy Road records.  This is a photo of the upper part of page 279 of “Road Docket No. 1, from 1729 to 1742;” containing the Monocacy Road metes & bounds as recorded in 1739/40.  These records are from the Quarter Sessions Courts of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, for the years 1729 through 1742.

LancDoc3

The archival linen tape used to repair the left side of page 279 covers the first word in each line, however one can carefully hold the page vertical and look through it to determine the covered word.  This section records the Monocacy Road metes & bounds between Wrightsville and the point where the Monocacy Road crosses the Big Codorus Creek.  In 1741, the location where this first road west of the Susquehanna River crossed the Codorus Creek would be the site of the first town laid out west of the Susquehanna; i.e. York Town.

The original Monocacy Road metes & bounds are platted on a Topographic Map that was surveyed in 1908.  They start in Wrightsville, shown immediately below, and continue southwesterly to York; shown thereafter.  The road from 1739/40 virtually falls on top of the current Route 462, therefore this roadway has been in place for nearly 275 years.

MonocacyA

MonocacyCB

Technical Note:

The historical declination is 6-degrees west of north for this location in 1740.  My experience from platting many colonial deeds, clearly shows that a few colonial surveyors did not understand declination corrections, or the fact that the correction changes with time and location.

In platting deeds of many neighboring colonial properties, usually a few properties stand out as being incorrectly orientated compared to neighbors and/or roadways.  A small rotation of the whole platted property, without altering size or shape, usually brings the errant property in line.

I count it as a correction to errant bearings from colonial times, as long as the rotation stays within the value of the declination and ALL bearings require an identical correction.  In platting the Monocacy Road metes & bounds, a rotation of 2.1 degrees was required.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

About Stephen H. Smith

Stephen H. Smith is a design engineer who worked at York International Corp. for 33 years before retiring several years ago to research and write books full time; his second career. The initial emphasis was on family history when he won a national award during 2002 for his first book “Barshingers in America." Positive feedback and that award were influential in his decision to retire early from engineering and start a retirement career.
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2 Responses to Platting the Monocacy Road from Original 1739/40 Survey; Part 1: Eastern York County

  1. Roger says:

    The title implies you are not sure of original record year. 1739 or 1740? How can this be? Isn’t the court record dated?

    • Stephen H. Smith says:

      Roger … That is an excellent question. The 1739/40 notation references January 1st to March 24th of the beginning months following December 31st, 1739. Per the current Gregorian calendar the year 1740 would have begun January 1st, 1740; however the English and her colonies did not switch from the Julian calendar to the current Gregorian calendar until 1752. Therefore in these very early colonial times the next chronological date after December 31st, 1739 is January 1st, 1739 and so on until March 24th, 1739; after which the new-year date March 25th, 1740 follows.

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