Recording Locations

Reprinted from the November 2009 newsletter by Jay Bullard

In recording data into your files, how do you record the location where and when a historical event or fact happened? Do you take the easy way out as I do; eg, record the location where it is known today even if the historical records call that location differently than when it actually happened?

I always enter Caribou as follows: Caribou, Aroostook, Maine, USA. Prior to 1839, however, that location designation is incorrect. Aroostook County was formed in 1839 from parts of Penobsccot and Washingon Counties. Some parts of Aroostook County (Fort Kent was) were also in Hancock County.

Remember this fact: county lines have changed many times and some towns have mobed from one county to another and then back again several times since 1639. If you can’t find the location of an event or fact, check the dates and look in the surrounding counties– you may be surprised where it actually happened.