Mifflin county is located in the middle of Pennsylvania, which places it astride several routes frequently used by families migrating from the Northeast to other parts of America.
When Scots-Irish immigrants came to the New World from 1729 on, many of them landed in Philadelphia and moved inland to the area around Mifflin county, staying in this area briefly before continuing south into the Shenandoah valley. Among these immigrants, we've been able to verify the presence of my mother's Irvin and Dunn ancestors. Other later arrivals with these surnames settled in Mifflin instead of following their kinsmen south. Two of Mifflin's townships -- Derry and Armagh -- are named for counties in Northern Ireland. The town of Newton Hamilton is named for a town in County Armagh.
Two pairs of Jeanette's g-g-grandparents were enumerated in Mifflin county in several censuses. Joseph I. and Catharine Langton were in Granville township in 1850 and 1860. Their surname was spelled Langdon in 1850. They owned property in nearby Oliver township, where there were several Irvine families. I suspect a connection between the Langtons and the Irvines who were all present in Mifflin county in the early 1800s. Jeanette's dad's full name was Cecil Irvine Langton, but he didn't know where his middle name came from. Do Cecil's middle name and the I which was Joseph's middle initial point to an early Irvine ancestor?
Nathaniel and Mary Sterrett were enumerated in Armagh township in 1850 and 1860, although we believe the Mary in the 1860 census to be Nathaniel's second wife, Maria C. Their daughter, Elizabeth K. Sterrett, married Joseph and Catherine's son, James Caldwell Langton, in 1865. We believe this marriage took place in PA, just in time for Elizabeth to join James' family in its migration to Illinois. There's an early landmark mentioned on the Mifflin county genealogy site:
Locke's Mills, also known as Sterrett's Mill in 1816, later Locke's Banks, was named for the mill built there in 1816 and sold to the Locke family in 1841. A post office was established there in 1846, but is now long gone.
The Sterretts were among the first settlers in Mifflin county. They are listed in land transactions on pages 65, 67 and 70 of the Pennsylvania State Archives' Mifflin County Document Images. Although the Langtons were supposed to have owned land in Mifflin county, also, we couldn't find any Langton transactions.
Page 57 of the document images includes a 1796 warrant for 150 acres of land in Union township issued to Jacob Plank, who was a brother of one of my father's ancestors. Several of my father's ancestors were in Mifflin county at the same time as Jeanette's, but it's likely that if they had run into one another, they wouldn't have been able to communicate since mine spoke German and Jeanette's spoke English! Dad's Amish ancestors, the Planks, settled in Mifflin county around 1800 and stayed until about 1845, when many of them moved to Logan county, Ohio. My g-g-g-grandfather, Christian Plank, remained behind. He was enumerated in Union township, which adjoins Granville township, in 1850 as an 80-year-old farmer living with his daughter, Barbara. His son Isaac's family was recorded on the same page. Christian died in Mifflin county the following year.
There is a map available at the Mifflin county genealogy site which may help you visualize where our ancestors lived.
Let our thoughts, our words and deeds, ever be pure, kind and good. Let us live peaceably with each other, respecting one another in love. Let us see the good in our fellow man, that we may love our neighbours as ourselves. ~~ Amish morning prayer