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My research has reminded me that places of mention may not have been of the same locale as they appear today.  Most of my ancestors have been traced to the Pennsylvania counties of Dauphin and Schuylkill.  However, before 1785 the area that is now Dauphin County was part of Lancaster County, and Schuylkill County, which was created from parts of Berks and Northampton Counties, didn't even exist until 1811.  The year-to-year changes up until 1878, when the last Pennsylvania county was created, have had a great impact on all types of searchable records.  This page contains links to historical maps of Pennsylvania and other helpful information showing where my ancestors were from and lived.  This same information will probably hold true in your own research efforts, and not just in Pennsylvania.