Bedford County , Pennsylvania
Historical Names & Locations

Croyl's Valley - Snake Spring Valley - Snake Spring Twp.


Doris O. Sink "DorisO.Sink" writes about her ancestors John Arthur Ritchey (1838 - 1904) and Rosannah Snowberger (1839 - 1914) who were both born in Snake Spring Valley, Bedford County, Pa. They were married in Bedford County in 1862 and moved to White County, Ind. in 1863. John and Rosannah Ritchey are Doris's Great Grandparents. John Arthur Ritchey's grandparents were: Isaac Ritchey (1779 - 1845) & Mary Whetstone / Ritchey (1781 - 1856), who came to Bedford County in about 1800, from Loudoun County, Virginia. Rosannah Snowberger's grandparents were: Theodore Snowberger (1764 - 1859) & Elizabeth Eshelman Snowberger (abt 1776 - 1825) and Jacob (Snider) Snyder II ( 1753 - 1848) & Catherine Postetter / Snider.

Doris was doing some family research in the Elgin Illinois, Brethren Library a few years back, and she found a copy of an old surveyor's map of what turned out to be the Snake Spring Valley area. She recognized prominent Bedford County pioneer names and realized at once that it held important information. She has sent a copy of it for posting on this page!!!

Doris mentioned that the map showed two tracts of land that were labeled "Brickhouse" tract and "Stonehouse" tract. They were the first things that I looked for when I received the copy several days later. The map is located directly below, and oriented such that the hand writing is generally in an upright position. As you scroll downward, you will see that the "Brickhouse" tract is one of the first you will see along the upper-central portion of the map. Just below it, and a little to the left is the "Stonehouse" tract.

Doris says that her GGG-Grandfather Jacob Snider / Snyder II (1753 - 1848) built the "Brickhouse" in 1811. It was standing "until in the 1970s, a tornado took the top off of it." Jacob Snider II served in the Revolutionary War and was one of the early land owners in Snake Spring Valley (Croyle's Valley), now Snake Spring Twp., Bedford Co., Pa.
Now start looking at the names on the other tracts around these. Croyl, Hartley, Stuckey are the first three to jump off the page - all Bedford County Pioneer names. Prominent at the top left of the map is Thomas Croyl.
Thomas (Croyl) Croyle arrived in Philadelphia, PA. on the ship "Johnson" from London on September 19, 1732. He spent some the following years in Lancaster County (now Dauphin County), PA. being listed on 1750 tax list. He came to what was to become Snake Spring Twp., Bedford County, Penn. in about 1752. A year later, he started a blacksmith shop in the area where Bedford County Memorial Hospital is now located. His home is still standing. (Stonehouse)
Simon Stuckey III (1767 - 1842) arrived in Bedford County from Virginia in about 1787. His father Simon Stucki II (born in Germany in about 1719) married Barbara (Fuchs) Fox in abt 1760. Simon II and Barbara resided near Hagerstown, Md. Simon Stuckey III married Jacob Snider / Snyder's sister, Margaret Rose Snyder (1773 - 1833) in 1793 and had 16 or 17 children.

Another of Doris's relatives, Jacob Ritchey (1774 - 1850) owned three tracts of land along the upper edge of the map on the right hand side.

Well, I wanted to experiment a bit with this map. First, what exactly is this map describing in present day terms. Second, I was curious to see how accurate these early surveyors were. To do that, I had to compare it with a current map of the area. I had hoped to orient this old map such that the direction north is straight up. There was no north direction on the map and so that made it a bit more difficult. Then I noticed that the surveyor dimension directly above the label "Stonehouse" tract (highlighted with blue line) says"north 164". I assumed that was a compass reading of north and 164 rods in length. Therefore that survey line must be oriented with magnetic north. Therefore I rotated the map so that survey line was pointing vertical. (see below)

Next it was necessary to compare the old map with a new map. Since the "Brickhouse" was in the area of Memorial Hospital; the Snake Spring Twp. map was chosen and oriented with north being vertical also. (below)

The last step was to scan both maps with the computer. In doing this, the area just north of Lutzville and Ashcom contains the Raystown Branch and its' "S" curve (outlined in blue above) looks very similar in each of the maps (old and new).

Using the computer to make the new map transparent so that the two maps can be placed one over the other, with the old map on the bottom and the new "transparent" map on top, I used the computer to change the size of the new map until the "S" curves of the two maps were the same size. After aligning the two maps with the "S" curves one over the other, I could see that other things on the old map lined up very well with the new map. (I know that the Raystown branch can change course and shape over a long period of time, however in 150 years assuming no huge flooding takes place on a regular basis, the shape should be quite similar.)
(See below)

The map above is a composite of the old and new maps. The lighter gray lines are the "transparent" new map over the top of the old map. The curves of the Raystown branch lie one over the other and in the same scale. The small creek that comes into the Raystown Branch south of Valley Mill (on the new map) lines up perfectly with the small creek sketched on the old surveyors map. Old route 30 east of the Memorial Hospital lines up perfectly with tract boundary lines on the old map. Jacob Ritchey's north- west boundary (on the mountain) lines up rather well with the ridge on the new map.

Needless to say, I am impressed with the accuracy of the surveyors map. I understand when property is resurveyed now, that the boundaries are generally pretty accurate from one time to the next. But considering the difference in time and technologies, I am impressed with how closely these two maps compare.

This process will be a very useful tool to help locate old family tracts of land, or old cemeteries, or any old site; onto a new township map. If two or three common sites can be located on both the old and new maps, the above technique can be used to locate the position of the "unknown old" site on the new map, so that it can be more easily found.

Doris, thank you so much for sending the map. We're just beginning to find out a few of the secrets it may hold. I'm sure that it will produce many thoughts and comments with regard to those individuals (and their descendants) whose land tracts are shown on the old map (above). Many of them worked, raised their families and lived out their days in this area of Bedford County.


Doris has sent many other items relating to the Snider/Snyder - Snowberger - Ritchey Lines.
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Copyright © 1999 Tom Clabaugh