Thomas Crago, III

Thomas Crago, Sr.

Where is Conococheague?

Information compiled by Ralph Crago
I have assembled some references to Conococheague that I have located in various places on the Web.  These are in addition to those previously mentioned in the thread.  I hope this helps answer the question "Where is Conococheague?" and furthers our endeavor to trace the Crago tree.

What I have gleaned from these citations is that Conococheague is a valley in the area of present day Franklin Co., PA.  The second citation from the history of Franklin Co is most interesting.

Compiled and written by Virgina Phillips 
The Quakers, then the Germans and then the Ulster-Irish (aka Scotch-Irish) settled in PA because of the liberal laws on religious freedom. The Quakers, being the first large group there, settled the areas around Philadelphia and Newcastle, Delaware - those being the principle ports of entry. The Germans, being the second big wave, settled the lands beyond that - around Berks, Lancaster, and York Counties. The Ulster-Irish, then settled (often just squatting without legal right) the lands beyond them which pushed them over the first ridge of hills into the Juniata, and
Cumberland and Conococheague valleys. As the hills beyond were much higher, settlement started heading down the great Appalachian ridge and valley system which is a natural highway with no real natural barriers leading
into the Shenandoah Valley of VA and eventually the Holston/Tennessee Valleys of Tennessee.
PART II - History of Franklin County 
Chapters I - II 
(Execerpt from
The three original counties of Pennsylvania, established by William Penn in 1682, were Chester, Philadelphia and Bucks. Chester County included all the land (except a small portion of Philadelphia County, southwest of the Schuylkill to the extreme limits of the State. Lancaster County was formed and taken from Chester May 10, 1729; York was taken from Lancaster August 9, 1749. Cumberland County remained a part of Lancaster until it was itself
erected a separate county,  January 27, 1750. Franklin County, the then southwestern part of Cumberland, and known as the "Conococheague Settlement," was established September 9, 1784. To understand the early history of this country, the reader will need therefore, to bear in mind two facts:

1. Prior to January 27, 1750, its territory (with the exception of Warren township) was found in the county of Lancaster.

2.  From January 27, 1750 to September 9, 1784, it belonged to Cumberland County. Since the latter date (September 9, 1784) it has had a distinct organization of its own.


At that time the settlement in the county were known in the aggregate as the "Conococheague Settlement." Owing to the peculiar condition of land arrangements, settlers occupied certain tracts by virtue of a sort of "squatter possession," each one choosing a site according to his taste. Hence, families lived, often for a series ofyears on tracts before they
received proper legal authority for the same.


In 1735, Jacob Snively, James Johnston, Joseph Crunkleton, and James Rody, made their "Conococheague settlement," a few miles away from the present site of Greencastle. Other people soon followed them, and in 1741, the
court at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, accepted their application for township status. The township is named for Antrim, Ireland, a sure indication that the first residents were of Scotch-Irish descent. 

Antrim contains one borough, Greencastle, and six villages. Greencastle is discussed elsewhere in the archive. The villages are: Shady Grove, Wingerton, Middleburg, Brown's Mills, and South Pennsylvania Junction.  M. Snively platted the village of Shady Grove in 1840. Its only church was German Baptist or Dunkard.  Middleburg, founded in 1812, took its name from the fact that it lies exactly between Greencastle and Hagerstown, Maryland. It was home to the Middleburg Reformed Church. 

(K o n i k a h j i g)
Many years ago Native Americans established the confluence of the Potomac River and one of its western tributaries as an important meeting place. They called this tributary the Conococheague. As in those times, it continues to be a popular meeting place which locals pronounce Konikahjig.

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