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Indiana Map Page
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1853 Map of Indiana

A brief bit of Indiana History will help understand just how early some of our ancestors arrived there. Excerpts are taken from Pioneer History of Indiana by Col. William M. Cockrum, 1907.

Colonel Anthony Wayne in September, 1794, commenced marching toward a deserted Miami Village in present day Indiana and selected a site for a new fort to be named Ft. Wayne. The fort was completed near the last of November and garrisoned by over five hundred men. Wayne took up headquarters at Greenville and attempted for nearly a year to collect Indians at Greenville for a treaty. Finally in August 1795 he succeeded and the treaty resulted in the concession of a large amount of land on the Ohio, Sioto, and Miami Rivers.


More Indiana History

In our present time we are used to thinking of the Northwest Territory as Oregon and Washington and forget that this treaty resulted in the first "Northwest Territory." It included a small strip of land in present day Indiana. A result was the influx of huge numbers of immigrants into Ohio and Kentucky. The influx was aided and abetted by a treaty with Spain in 1795 that secured the free navigation of the Mississippi River. There was some settlement of soldiers in Indiana, but mostly it was occasional fool-hardy, restless pioneers who would locate at some point in the wilderness. Until sometime after 1800 most of Indiana continued to belong to the Indians and officers were continually warned not to permit any settlements until the land was properly acquired.

In 1796 the British evacuated Detroit and the United States forces occupied the territory. Winthrop Sargent went to Detroit and organized the county of Wayne, which included all that is now the state of Michigan, northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.

In 1800 the Northwest Territory was divided and Ohio prepared to form a state constitution. The emigrants who went on to Indiana went over traces made by the Indians. An old trace that crossed the Ohio River at Louisville was the most favored route and two-thirds of all early settlers came to southern Indiana over that route. The settlers east of Louisville on the Ohio river came down the Ohio in boats from Pennsylvania and Virginia. Many of the solders who were stationed at Ft. Washington (Cincinnati) settled around the Miami River when their terms of enlistment were up.

It was this twopronged settlement, from the south, and from the east, that resulted in many of the descendants of Pennsylvania Quaker families reassembling in that area; those that had moved into western Pennsylvania at an early date, and those that had moved into North Carolina and Tennessee at an early date.

There was a settlement made in 1805 near the spot where the City of Richmond now stands. A Beard descendant arrived there in about 1806. The early settlers could not have survived there without the great abundance of game at hand and the little wild oats and rye, and acorns that they could gather. Buffalo hides were sheared and the hair spun and carded the same as sheep's wool to make strong, comfortable clothing. Early settlers built forts and blockhouses to which they could retire in times of danger and family histories include tales of these forts. Old settlers gave hospitality to new settlers that they had known in their old place of abode, and shared the safety of their blockhouses.

The earliest settlers were young men with young wives who together could raise a cabin, but it was not long before whole families followed, bringing with them their elder members. There is a myth we have yet to verify that Amos Williams rode horseback into the area at the age of 96. John Woodward and his whole family with children down to the age of 1, rode horseback into the wilderness in 1814. Wagons could be brought in by 1816 when most of the Williams family came. There was enough settlement that a constitutional convention was held in 1816 (that included Patrick Beard), and Indiana came into the Union as the 19th state.

Quaker Meetings were early organized, with Whitewater Monthly Meeting set off in 1809 (more of this in Quaker Migrations and Quaker Meetings).


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Map of early surveys in southeastern Indiana






Early Settlement Areas of the Williams Families - Wayne, Johnson, Bartholomew, and Shelby Counties






Details of Williams and Beard Settlements in Clark Township, Johnson County (shows all settlers)

1822-1850 1866




Township Map of Delaware, Henry, Randolph, Wayne, Fayette, Rush, Union, Franklin, and Decatur Counties






List of Quaker Meetings in Indiana showing County where located
and where current information is available






Description of a Journey to Indiana in 1815 with place names,locations, distances, etc.






Story of moving to Indiana and what life was like there in the early days by Woodward descendants, Ira and Riley







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