Tullis Trees

A Family History Newsletter

Volume 6


Tullis Creek: 1751 Map of Virginia

Editor’s Note: Several years ago, on a family trip to Williamsburg, I noticed some copies of old maps in one of the shops there. In looking closely at a map of Virginia from 1751, it appeared to identify one of the creeks as "Tullis's Creek". The following is what I've learned about the map.

1751 Map of Virginia
Drawn by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson

(Larger version)

Above is the map in question. A high-resolution scan is available on the Library of Congress website at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3880.ct000370. Note that one of the map-makers was Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson. The date of the map is confirmed in this enlargement of the title in the lower-right corner of the map:

The part of the map of interest is the area marked with the blue rectangle on the map above. This is near the intersection of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, in what is today West Virginia. Here's an enlarged version of that portion:

(Larger Version)

Note "Tullis's Cr" near the center, a small tributary of the "Patowmack River" (Potomac River). Here's a current map of that region, with the Potomac River highlighted (map from MSN Encarta Atlas):

Although the course of the Potomac has changed some in the past 256 years, you can still make out some of the basics. Tullis's Creek appears to have been in current-day Berkeley County, West Virginia, in the vicinity of Hedgesville and Georgetown. This is precisely the region in which Moses Tullis (born before 1726) and his wife Mary Elizabeth are known to have settled. In the 1750's and 1760's, this region was Frederick Co, Virginia, as the full map from 1751 confirms. But the earliest concrete evidence we previously had of Moses Tullis in this area was a deed where he was purchasing land in Frederick Co., Virginia, in 1762 from a Lawrence Harrison (Deed Book No. 7, p. 222, Frederick County, Virginia).

This 1751 map showing a creek named Tullis's Creek certainly seems to confirm that Moses Tullis had settled in this area earlier than previously thought. And it brings into question where some of the children of Moses Tullis were born. It previously had been thought that all of the older children down through David Tullis (b. 1761) were born in Cumberland Co, NJ, and that only the younger children were born in Virginia. It seems possible that some previous researcher may have decided that since Moses Tullis purchased land in Virginia in 1762, then he probably first settled there at that time. So the assumption might have been that all of the children born before 1762 were born in NJ. But the presence of a Tullis's Creek in this exact area of Virginia on a map from 1751 seems to indicate that Moses Tullis and his family were in Virginia at least 11 years earlier than previously thought.

Last updated December 31, 2007