The Townships Of Old~Bedford County


   Cumberland County, Pennsylvania had been erected out of Lancaster County in 1750. Four years later, a number of townships were formed out of the lands which had been acquired by the terms of the Treaty Of Albany of 1754. They included Ayr Township, which was laid out in the westernmost portion of the newly acquired lands, and which bordered on the Pennsylvania ~ Maryland boundary. Settlers began to move into the recently procured lands, and of course, they pushed against the boundaries set by the treaty. But that west-ward movement was greatly hindered by the events which unfolded between 1755 and 1764 in what became known as the French and Indian War. The situation on the frontier of Pennsylvania was not conducive to Euro-American settlement. So, for about thirteen years there was only a gradual increase in the population in the region west of the Tuscarora Mountain range. By the mid-1760s Euro-Americans had again started to migrate from the eastern counties so much so that in 1767 Cumberland Township, Barree Township, Bedford Township and Colerain Township were formed out of the frontier to the west of the Tuscarora. Following the 1768 New Purchase of additional lands to the west of the Allegheny Mountain range, Brothers Valley Township was formed.

  As settlement increased, and larger numbers of families found that they were far removed from the county seats, where their legal business needed to be handled, they petitioned the courts to subdivide the existing county of Cumberland. That subdivision came in the year 1771 with the erection of Bedford County. In addition to the townships that lay between the Tuscarora and Laurel Mountain ranges, the townships of Fairfield, Mount Pleasant, Hempfield, Pitt, Tyrone, Spring Hill, Ross Straver, Armstrong and Tullileague were created. They would be removed in 1773 to become Westmoreland County; therefore their history is not included in this study of Old~Bedford County.

  The counties which eventually were erected out of these regions, likewise, were defined primarily by the mountain ranges between which they spread. Although the mountain ranges did not form perfectly straight or definite lines, the following gen-eralizations can be made. Ayr Township, lying between the Tuscarora Mountain and Ray's Hill, formed the basis of Fulton County. Huntingdon County grew out of the region defined as a portion of Barree Township, which lay to the east of the Tussey Mountain and between it and Ray's Hill. A portion of Barree Township and Bedford Township, lying to the west of Tussey Mountain and between it and the Allegheny Mountain range defined Blair County to the north and Bedford County to the south. Brothers Valley Township, lying between the Allegheny and Laurel Mountain ranges, eventually became Somerset and Cambria Counties.

The Subdivision Of Bedford County Into Townships

  Seven townships created within Cumberland County prior to the erection of Bedford County, along with one township created within Huntingdon County after it was erected out of Bedford County (Allegheny), and one township created within Somerset County after it was erected out of Bedford County (Cambria) comprised the area that is Old~Bedford County.

Cumberland County

     1   Ayr Township 1754

     2   Dublin Township 1767

     3   Barree Township 1767

          9   Allegheny Township 1807 (Formed within Huntingdon County)

     4   Bedford Township 1767

     5   Colerain Township 1767

     6   Cumberland Township 1767

     7   Brothers Valley Township 1768

          8   Cambria Township 1798 (Formed within Somerset County)

Bedford County 1771

  The charts on the following webpages are intended to graphically indicate the genealogy of the townships that make up the present-day counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset.