Two lessons worth repeating:
- Never underestimate the importance of connections. (…to nature, the past, community, family, friends, and, in this case, people who share your interests.)
- Never stop expecting the unexpected.
The unexpected appeared by e-mail from a valued connection, distant cousin and excellent researcher, Dwight Huston. He shared a Google book[i] with me from 1914, outlining research into vacant land on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. The conclusion? The last known owners were Alexander Huston and Jacob Croy. This was based on a warrant issued on 10 February 1794 for 100 acres.[ii]
I have a copy of the warrant which indicates ownership of the land from 1775, but this document outlines the history of that land AND the coordinates for it.[iii] (Note: with references to white oaks and a line from post to stones.) The key information to pinpoint where this land is situated was a note at the bottom of the map shown above. “…vacant unimproved land situated in the township of Penn and County of Huntingdon Pa.” (underlining my own) The parcel is marked with an X on the map above. Here is a Google Map screen shot of Penn Township now.
I theorize the Alexander on the warrant is Alexander Huston Jr. based on census records showing Alexander Huston living in Huntingdon County, PA, 1790[iv] and back in Londonderry Township, Bedford County, PA, 1800[v] (the number of male and female children coinciding with the listing in the Chancery Records.) His father, Alexander Sr. was in Ohio by 1799 petitioning Congress for relief from land payments until the Symmes land controversy was resolved.[vi]
I am aware of no other known Jacob Croy (and there are many) of an age to take out a warrant for land in 1794. So I think it likely the Jacob Croy on the warrant is the same Jacob that moved to Stark County, Ohio with his wife, Mary Huston Croy, by 1798.[vii] (My 4x great grandparents)
According to the research from the 1915 Annual Report, the survey of the property was never registered thus nullifying the warrant. Ohio drew a large percent of Western Pennsylvanians with the end of the Indian threat in 1795, and as always, speculative business ventures abounded. Perhaps, great plans fell through and new dreams took precedent.