A question recently arose concerning the 1858 Dilworth map and what kind of information it can tell us. An individual commented on our last post, inquiring about what kinds of people are labeled on the map and what types of landmarks it shows. This is quite an interesting question, so this post is dedicated to addressing it.
Our blog follower first inquired if his or her family, who did not own anything during the time period in which the map was made, would be labeled on the map. The answer is no; this map primarily displays property boundaries and property owners in 1858. If a family did not own property, their name would not show up on the map.
However, the map also shows several structures situated in clusters, such as in the towns of Trappe, Easton, and St. Michael’s. There are also certain structures that appear on large properties, but that are not specifically labeled. It could be that families rented and lived in these unlabeled structures. So even if a family did not own property, they could have been living in these towns, or on someone else’s property. Nevertheless, this map would not specify which people lived there because it is mainly concerned with property owners.
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