Territory Northwest of the River Ohio (territory) -- Adams (county)


County Quick Reference

County Seat: Manchester

County Name: Named for John Adams, second President of the United States

Boundary Changes
(click on the name of a change to see more information)
10 JUL 17976,760Adams County created from Hamilton and Washington counties
20 AUG 17981,4725,288 square miles was lost to creation of Ross County
01 SEP 17981,610138 square miles was gained from Hamilton County



(click on a title below to view laws involved in the formation or governance of the area)
(general information on the county to put it in the context of history)

Adams County was formed on 10 July 1797 by proclamation of the Governor of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio [click here for more information]. By 1800, the county would go through two changes to its boundaries before being incorporated into the State of Ohio. Click on a date in the table above to see a map of how the county looked on that date, as well as, the authority changing the boundary (if available).

The following map shows the original size of the county at its founding (in blue with a red border) and the final borders of the county after the boundary changes (in red with yellow border) superimposed on a modern map


Adams County in 1797 and 1798

(click on a year below to view information on the population of the Territory)


(click on the title of the following works to learn more about life in the area;for those items not available online, check with your local library for availability)

  • "Ohio Southland : A Quarterly Journal of History for Adams, Brown, Clermont, & Highland Counties." Seaman, Ohio (P.O. Box 208, Seaman 45679-0208): Stephen Kelley, 1989.
  • Adams County Genealogical Society, Inc. Celebrates 20th Anniversary : Inside-- Yesterday and Today. Ohio: Adams County Genealogical Society, 1998.
  • Adams County Bicentennial Committee (Ohio). Adams County : A Pictorial History. Commemorative ed. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Pub., 1998.
  • Adams County Genealogical Society. Adams County, Ohio Voter Lists, 1810, 1811, 1812. West Union, Ohio: Adams Co. Genealogical Society.
  • Adams County Genealogical Society. Place Names, Past and Present, Adams County, Ohio. West Union, Ohio: Adams County Genealogical Society, 1980.
  • Adams County Genealogical Society. Records of Virginia Military Land Surveys. 3 vols. West Union, Ohio: Adams County Genealogical Society, 1984.
  • Adams County Genealogical Society. Bits and Pieces of Happenings During the 200 Years That Adams County Has Been a Part of the State of Ohio, 1803 through 2002. West Union, Ohio: Published by Adams County Genealogical Society, 2003.
  • Adams County History Book Committee (Adams County Ohio). Adams County, Ohio History. West Union, Ohio (P.O. Box 306, West Union 45693): Adams County Historical Society, 1989.
  • Brien, Lindsay M. and Nelson W. Evans. Abstracts from History of Adams County, Ohio. Dayton? Ohio,.
  • Brown, William Bartholomew. Family History of Jeremiah Fenton (1763-1841) of Adams County, Ohio, and His Descendants. Des Moines, Ia.,, 1910.
  • Caldwell, J. A. Caldwell's Illustrated Historical Atlas ... Of Adams County, Ohio. 1797-1880. Newark, O., Evansville, Ind.,: J.A. CaldwellUnigraphic, 1880.
  • Carter, Ethalmae Eylar. Our Family History Descendants and Ancestors of Our Great Grandparents, John and Charlotte (Phelps) Chartier-Carter from Milton, Quebec to Mower County, Minn., Robert and Euphemia (Bennett) Scott from New York State to Prairie Du Chien, Wis., John and Mary (Turner) Watkins from Wales to Mower County, Minn., Joseph and Elizabeth (Fenton) Eylar of Adams County, Ohio, Matthew and Elizabeth (Gulliford) Sample from Adams County, Ohio to Morris County, Kansas, Matthew and Jane (Carmack) Iles from Campbell County, Ky. To Brown County, Kansas, George and Virginia (Hall) Pierce from Sangamon County, Ill. To Brown County, Kansas : Plus Descendants of Great, Great Grandparents, Armand and Charlotte (Reaubin) Chartier, John and Sarah (Field) Fenton. microformMicrofiche. Minneapolis, Minn.: Burgess Pub. Co., 1958.
  • Craig, Robert D. Adam County, Ohio, Records. Cincinnati, Ohio: The Author, 1963.
  • Craig, Robert D. Adams County, Ohio : History, Cemeteries, Marriages. S.l.: s.n., 1963.
  • Crawford, H. Marjorie. Crawfords of Adams County, Ohio. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: s.n., 1943.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution. Sycamore Chapter (Winchester Ohio). Selected Index of Names to a History of Adams County, Ohio, 1900. Winchester, Ohio: Sycamore Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 2000.
  • Evans, Nelson W. In Memoriam : A Tribute of Respect to the Memory of the Deceased Soldiers of Adams County, O. : An Address. Cincinnati: A. Pugh, 1865.
  • Evans, Nelson W. In Memoriam a Tribute of Respect to the Memory of the Deceased Soldiers of Adams County, Ohio. Portsmouth, Ohio: Portsmouth Tribune Print, 1902.
  • Evans, Nelson W. and Emmons Buchanan Stivers. A History of Adams County, Ohio : From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. West Union, Ohio: E.B. Stivers, 1900.
  • Hamann, Allen G. The Work Families of Adams, Brown, and Clermont Co., Oh. Seaman, OH (P.O. Box 359, Seaman, 45679): A.G. Hamann, 1997.
  • Historical Records Survey (Ohio). Inventory of the County Archives of Ohio. No. 1, Adams County (West Union). microform. Columbus, Ohio: The Survey, 1938.
  • Johnson, Harry W. On to Adams County, Ohio : Migrations from Europe to America and the Ohio Lands : Genealogies of Some of the First Families in the Area. Peebles, Ohio (70 S. Main, Peebles): Harry W. Johnson Jr., 1986.
  • Jones, David T. Pioneer Blacks in Adams County, Ohio. microform. Wabash, Ind.: F.H. DeCamp Print. Co., 1963.
  • Kelley, Stephen. Adams County, Ohio : Home of Serpent Mound. West Nyack, N.Y.: Dexter Press, 1985.
  • Kelley, Stephen. Scenes from the Past : Vintage Views of Adams County, Ohio. Seaman, Ohio: Kelley Publications, 1985.
  • Kelley, Stephen. Adams County Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2010.
  • Knouf, Osee Johnson and Daughters of the American Revolution. Illinois Society. La Grange Chapter. Russell Family History Record of the Known Descendants of John Russell, Sr., Who Was in Adams County, Ohio by March 1798, and His First Wife, Frances. microform. La Grange, Ill.: La Grange Ill. Chapter D.A.R., 1968.
  • Manchester 175th Anniversary Association (Manchester Ohio). Manchester, First Settlement in the Virginia Military District. Manchester, O., 1966.
  • Pemberton, H. C. The Treber Family. Mount Union, Ohio: People's Defender.
  • Sellman, W. M. Pioneer History of Winchester (Adams County) Ohio 1815 Sesquicentennial Year 1965. Manchester, O.: Manchester Signal Print, 1965.
  • Short, Hester and Southern Ohio Genealogical Society. History of the First Presbyterian Church of Winchester. Hillsboro, Ohio: Southern Ohio Genealogical Society, 1989.
  • Thompson, Carl N. Thompson's Historical Collections of Adams County, Ohio. West Union, Ohio (P.O. Box 306, West Union 45693): Adams County Historical Society, 1982.
  • Thompson, Carl N. Thompson's Historical Collections of Adams County, Ohio. West Union, Ohio (P.O. Box 306, West Union 45693): Adams County Historical Society, 1991.


Related Content
(the links below contain information related to this area)


Alteration Made in the Eastern Boundary of the County of Adams, 1798

To begin on the bank of the Ohio, where Elk river or Eagle creek empties into the same, and run from thence duo north, until it intersects the southern boundary of the county of Ross;and all and singular the lands lying between the said north line and Elk river or Eagle creek shall, after the said first day of September next, be separated from the county of Hamilton, and added to the county of Adams.

Proclamation Creating Adams County, 1797

Whereas by an Ordinance of Congress bearing Date—the thirteenth of July one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven for the Settlement of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the river Ohio it has been provided that for the due Execution of Process civil and criminal the Governour shall make proper Division of the said Territory and proceed from Time to time as Circumstances may require to lay out the parts of the same into Counties and Townships


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