While this region that would become Bedford County in 1771 was still part of Cumberland County, it was divided into a number of townships. The increasing numbers of Euro-Americans who were moving into this region to homestead in the hills and valleys of the Appalachians, created a need for more, smaller jurisdictional areas.
The collection of taxes necessitated the increase in more townships. As the large, sprawling township areas filled up with settlers, the tax assessor's and collector's ability to accomplish their jobs in an efficient and expedient manner was hindered. It must be remebered that during the colonial period the tax collector traveled from homestead to homestead to collect the taxes. Despite the large size of some of the original township areas, if there were only a few settlers to visit, the tax collector could finish his work without a great amount of trouble. But as those large township areas became more densely settled, the tax collector became overwhelmed. Therefore the solution was simply to divide a large township area in two and appoint another tax collector for the new township.
The distance a resident had to travel to a county seat dictated the need for the erection of a new county out of an already established one. As the frontier townships were created, and the boundaries of the settlements moved farther away from the county seat (which was probably in the center of the county previously), the need to divide the county in two became necessary.
When Cumberland County was erected out of Lancaster in 1750, it consisted of two townships: Pennsboro and Hopewell, both of which had been formed in 1735. Between that year and 1754, there was some expansion of Euro-American settlements to the west; it was necessary to form a new township, which was named Ayr.
The ending of the open conflict between France and England in 1763, and the greater ease of moving farther westward by way of the road that Forbes constructed in his expedition against Fort Pitt were the two greatest factors in the increase in settlement in this part of the Pennsylvania frontier.
By the year 1767, the number of settlers in the western part of Cumberland County necessitated the formation of five new townships. They were named: Barree, Bedford, Colerain, Cumberland (Valley) and Dublin. In terms of the regions that each of the new townships covered in relation to the present-day counties, Dublin encompassed the northeast corner of the Fulton County and stretched northward to encompasss the eastern third of Huntingdon. Ayr Township occupied the southeastern part of Fulton County. Colerain encompassed the western side of Fulton County and nearly the whole eastern half of Bedford County. Cumberland (Valley) occupied the southwest corner of Bedford County. Bedford encompassed the western half of Bedford County and the southern half of Blair County. The northern half of Blair and the western two-thirds of Huntingdon County was occupied by Barree Township.
The region west of the Allegheny Mountain range became part of Bedford County when it was erected out of Cumberland in 1771. At that time the township of Brothers Valley was formed. It encompassed the entire of present-day Somerset County and the southern part of Cambria County.
The following transcripts of the tax assessment returns for the original townships of Bedford County are the earliest available for each particular township. It should be noted that certain known non-residents, who simply speculated in land (e.g. Wharton, Boynton & Company or Israel Pemberton) are listed, therefore be cautioned that not every individual listed would necessarily have physically been residing here. It should also be noted that certain of the names include notations of the number of horses (h) and cows (c) the resident owned. This would be an indication that the individual listed was in fact residing in this region.
George Allan, Wharton Boynton & Morgan, Alexander Benstead, Cap't Brady & Co, Col Bouquet or heirs, John Brady (2h, 2c), Charles Calwell (2h, 2c), Daniel Clark, Clark & Peters, Edward Duffield & Co, William Dunn (2h, 2c), James Finlay, John Gamble (1 negro, 2h, 2c), Jacob Here (2h, 2c), James Hunter, Robert Irwin Jr, James Johnston or heirs, John Joshua (2h, 2c), Lukins & Little, Lowry or Starret, Alexander McNitt, Hugh Means, John Mitchel, Samuel Mifflin, Rev'd Peters, Edmond Physick, James Pollock, James Renkin, Edward Shippen Jr, John Simpson, Rev'd Doctor Smith, William Sparks (2h, 2c), James Sterrat, Joseph Totman, William Trent, Wallace & Co, Edward Ward, John Willson (2h, 2c), George Woods
Robert Adams (1h, 1c), Coll George Armstrong (1 servant, 1 negro, 4h, 3c), Soller Baker (1c), Philip Baltimor (2h, 2c), Wharton Baynton & Co, John Burgess, Burket Boston (perhaps reversed) (1h, 3c), Robert Callender, Lewis Castleman (2h, 4c), John Cesny Jr, Clark & Peters, Charles Cox & Co, James Dalton (5h),Michael Deiport (2h, 2c), William Dickson (1h), Bernard Dougharty (3 negroes, 7h, 4c), Samuel Drumon (2h, 3c), James Dunlap (2h, 3c), Robert Euwin, John Evolt (1 servant, 4h, 4c), Samuel Finlay (1h, 1c), James Fletcher (3h, 2c), John Fouls, John Frazier, John Fulton, Fishar (son-in-law to Shedacre) (2h, 1c), Thomas Girty (5h), Thomas Hays (1h), William Henry, John Holmes, James Hunter, Joseph Hunter, Jacob Hust (1h), Thomas Kinton (5h, 3c), Andrew Levy, Joseph Lincey, Christopher Limes (2 bound servants, 4h, 4c), Christian Long (1h), Alexander Lowry, James Maxwell, James McCashlin (1 servant, 2h, 1c), James & George Millegan (2h, 2c), John Miller (3h, 3c),John Montgomery, Edward Nickles & Co, Philip Niffly (1h,1c), Nathaniel Nielson (3h, 2c), Frederick Noggle (2h), John Ormsby (4h, 4c), Doctor William Plunkett, Robert Peoples (2h, 1c), Israel Pemberton, Samuel Perry, John Pollock, Prentice & Magaw, James Ralph & McCord, William Rose (1 negro, 4h, 2c), Robert Robb, Adam Sam. (1c), Conrad Samuel (2h, 2c), Cap't Samuel Sample (2h, 1c), Vallantine Shidacre (2h, 3c), Michael Sills (2h, 1c), Samuel Skinner (1h),Rev'd William Smith, Samuel Sorrals (1h, 2c), James Sterling, Stivens Philadelphia, Michael Stockberger (1h), Cap't Trent & Co, Samuel Wallace, Major Edward Ward, Edward Ward, Jeremiah Warder, Paul Waugh (3h, 4c), Jacob Wice (1h), Richard Wills (2h, 4c), George Wisegaver (2h, 1c), Edward Woods, George Woods (2 servants, 7h, 4c), Reynard Wolf (1h, 1c), Single Freemen: Solomon Adams, Joseph Cochran, William Cochran, Adam Croyle, Jno. Dickson, William Dickson, Isaac Dunaree, Samuel Finlay, Philip Goss, William Harry, Edward Higgins, John Higgins, Jno, Kelly, Robert Love, Hugh McConnell, Robert McKinsey, James Milleken, Andrew Nangle, Robert Peoples, Edward Rose, Hugh Simpson, Mathew Stockberger, Samuel Teeter, Jno, Wittner, Edward Woods
(Note: This listing includes only those settlers known to have been residing in the vicinity of Turkey-Foot in 1768. They were forbidden by the Proprietaries of the Colony of Pennsylvania to reside on the lands not yet purchased from the Indians. This list was made by the commissioners sent to expel them from the region in March-April, 1768.)
Henry Abrahams, John Cooper, Ezekiel Dewitt, Henry Enslow, John Enslow, Ezekiel Hickman, Benjamin Jennings, Benjmain Pursley, James Spencer
Henry Ammerman (1h, 5c), Robert Bradshaw (2h, 2c), Joseph Bennett (1h, 1c), Henry Brown, William Buchanan, Lawrence Coons (1h, 2c), John Cheek (2c), Daniel Collins, John Croyle (1h, 1c), Robert Culbertson (2h, 4c), Thomas Croyle (1c), John Cessna (1 negro, 2h, 2c), John Cunningham, Caspar Defebaugh (2h, 1c), Barnard Dougherty (1 servant, 2h, 6c), William Duffield, John England (1h), Hugh Ferguson (2h, 2c), William Fredrigal (1h), John Freehart (1h, 1c), John Friend Jr (2h, 1c), Joseph Friend (2h, 2c), John Fry, Henry Hinish (1c), Col. Holdiman, John Johnston (2h, 1c), Thomas Johnston (2h, 3c), William Levan (renter) (1h, 2c), John Little, James Martin, William McCombs (2h, 3c), Robert McFerron, Abraham Miley (1 gristmill, 1 sawmill, 4h, 3c), Christopher Miller (2h, 2c), Oliver Miller (2h, 4c), John Moore (2h, 2c), Robert Moore (1 gristmill, 2h, 2c), Samuel Moore (2h, 2c), Joseph Morrison (2h, 2c), John Mortimore (2h, 3c), Henderson Murphy (renter) (1h, 4c), James Newell (2h, 2c), John Ormsby, William Parker (2h, 3c), James Patterson, John Perron (2h, 2c), James Piper (1h, 1c), John Piper (2h, 2c), Gideon Ritchey (2h, 3c), George Romack (1h, 1c), Edward Rose (1h, 1c), William Rose (1 negro, 2h, 3c), George Sparks (1h, 1c), Ezekiel Spurgeon (1h, 1c), James Spurgeon Jr (1h, 1c), John Spurgeon 1h, 1c), Samuel Spurgeon (1h, 1c), Jacob Starcher, William Smith, Thomas Urie (3h, 3c), Thomas Woods (1 servant, 2h, 2c), George Woods, Archer Wooley (2h, 2c), Anthony Worley, Joseph Worley, Adam Young (2h, 1c), Single Freemen: Henry Armstrong, Daniel M. Donnelly, John Hulse, Joseph Johnston, Benjamin Jolley, John Morton Jr, James Spurgeon
Edward Askins, Jonathan Bishop (2h, 2c), Robert Campbell (2h, 3c), Shadrack Casteel (2h, 2c), Charles Cessna (1 servant, 2h, 2c), Evan Cessna, John Cessna, Thomas Coulter (1 negro, 2h, 4c), James Culbertson, Robert Culbertson, Jonathan Cunningham (1h, 1c), Thomas Davis (2h, 2c), Barnard Dougherty, Daniel Durken, Nathan Evans, John Farmer (2h, 2c), Samuel Finley, Jacob Fox, Andrew Huston (2h, 2c), Thomas Jones (2h), Joseph Kelly (2h, 3c), John Lindsey (1c), James McClannegan, John Montgomery, John Ormsby, Samuel Perry, John Pollock, Single Freemen: Thomas Bishop, Joshua Davis,William Davis, Alexander Huston, Thomas Jones, Matthew Kelly, Lawrence Lamb, Andrew Rice, Jacob Wilhelm
James Barclay, Baynton Wharton & Co, Charles Boyle (2h, 2c), William Brown (1h, 1c), John Burd (1 servant, 2h, 5c), Thomas Calvert & Rev. Steel, Francis Campble (10c), Samuel Carleton (10c), James Clugadge (3h, 2c), James Dayly (2h, 1c), Joshua Devenport, Benjamin Elliot (1h, 1c), James Elliot, Robert Elliot, George Harbridge (1h), Robert Harvey, George Henery, Henry Holt (1c), James Hunter, John Lukens, Andrew McCormick (1h, 2c), John Owens Jr (1h, 1c), John Owens Sr (1h, 1c), David Owins (1h, 1c), Elias Petit (1h, 1c), John Ramsey (1h, 1c, 5 sheep), Robert Ramsey (1h, 1c), William Ramsey (1h), Rev. Dr William Smith, Andrew Steel, George Swaghart (2h, 1c), Capt. William Thompson