Frederick County

Joist Hite (actually Heydt) and John McKay purchased a grant for thousands of acres on the other side of the Blue Ridge in Spotsylvania County. Orange County was then split off from Spotsylvania as the vast western territory. In 1732, Hite settled south of the Quaker settlements on old Shawnee campgrounds. A condition of the grant was that they would settle at least a hundred families as a buffer of defense against invasion of the coastal colony from the west. He could sell up to a thousand acres to a settler. The Scots-Irish who settled some of Hite’s tracts chose the Opequon (o PECK un) Creek area, now Kernstown. In 1738, the territories west of the Blue Ridge were split from Orange County. Frederick County extended from the Potomac River border of Maryland. A line from the southwest tip of Maryland due southeast to the top of the Blue Ridge became the boundary line between Frederick and Augusta counties, Augusta being formed at the same time. It took about five years before Augusta and Frederick counties got organized and began doing business and keeping records. The 1729 Quaker settlements began being called Fredericktown by 1738 and was the first county seat. Col James Wood an emigrant from Winchester England, subdivided 26 half acre lots. He was first clerk of the county beginning in 1743. The name of the county seat was changed to Winchester. George Washington built Fort Loudoun on land granted from Col Wood in 1756.

There is a Cedar Creek in half the counties in the country. The Cedar Creek south of Opequon became the line at which Dunmore County was split off from Frederick County. Lord Dunmore (like Fincastle, unlike Spotswood and Gooch) became very unpopular and the county named for him was renamed to Shenandoah County.

Frederick County map.

Galtjo Geertsema of Martinsburg WV was the surveyor for Cecil O’Dell while he was writing Pioneers of Old Frederick County. He supplied me with this current Middletown Quadrangle overlay showing Map 8 of the book in more of today’s perspective. Tract 730 near the center was the birthplace of Samuel Newell in 1754. The junction of tracts 480, 750, and 730 was described as near the house on the John Black property.

download MiddletownMap PDF

One of Samuel Newell’s half brothers was also born at Marlboro
Joseph Black biographical brief