Brief Historical Background
The boundries of the state of Ohio were first established by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The Ordinance stated a population of 60,000 would entitle the area to statehood, but also allowed Congress the power to confer statehood with a lesser population. This Ordinance also prescribed the powers of the territorial government.
Adams county was formed by proclamation of the territorial governor in July 1797, well before Ohio achieved statehood. About two months later, in September of 1797, Adams county was further subdivided into six townships. Wayne was not one of them, but the land area that later became Wayne township overlay parts of the first three of those original six townships, Cedar Hill, Manchester and Iron Ridge townships.
By the census of 1800, the Ohio territory contained a population of 42,000. Petitions were sent to Congress and on the thirteenth of April, 1802, an act was passed authorizing the call of a state constitutional convention for Ohio. More of this history can be found in Abbott's History of Ohio in the GenWeb Archives.
After Ohio adopted a state constitution, the township lines were re-drawn by the County Commissioners, and Wayne township was born December 2, 1806. At that time the township was larger than today and contained much of Oliver (1853) and all of Scott (1818) and Winchester (1838) townships. Ancestors who settled on Wheat Ridge, for example, may be found in Wayne township in the 1850 census, but in Oliver township in the 1860 census, still farming the same patch of ground. For a more detailed history of Wayne township, see the Evans & Stivers history link below.
- The Northwest Ordinance of 1787
- 1802 Act Authorizing Ohio Constitutional Convention
- First Constitution Of the State Of Ohio
- A History of Wayne Township (Evans & Stivers)
- Justices of the Peace, 1810-1899 (Evans & Stivers)
There was no federal census taken in the Northwest Territory in 1790. There were federal censuses taken in Adams county in 1800 (before Ohio achieved statehood) and in 1810 (after statehood), but both of these censuses were lost when the British Army burned Washington in the War of 1812. So the first federal census available for Adams county is the 1820 census. In those earlier years the borders of Adams county changed markedly and an ancestor known to be in "Adams county" may have been living in parts of what are now Brown, Scioto, Highland, Pike, Jackson and even a tiny piece of Lawrence counties. These border shifts would be much more significant to family researchers if those early censuses had not been lost. As it is, the borders of Adams county do not change through the various extant censuses.
This is not the case with the townships. Bratton, for instance, was formed as late as 1877. Scott township, formed from Wayne, originated in 1818 and so can be searched independently through all census years. Winchester didn't form until 1838 and so early settlers known to be in Winchester township after 1830 might be found in either Wayne or Scott township in the 1820 and 1830 censuses. Likewise, families living in Oliver township in 1860 are likely to be found in Wayne, Scott or Tiffin townships in earlier census years.
Note that the Industrial schedule for 1870 shares a single page with Oliver township.
- Index to 1820
- 1820 Population Schedule
- Index to 1830
- 1830 Population Schedule
- Index to 1840
- 1840 Population Schedule
- 1870 Industrial Schedule
- Other census years in progress...
NB: There was a single instance of a free black male in the 1830 census; aged 10-24, un-named, enumerated on page 59, line 7 in the household of William Mory. There were no other African-Americans enumerated in Wayne township for the years 1830 through 1840.
Quadrennial Enumerations of white males over twenty-one years were used to determine voting districts, and were taken as required by the Ohio constitution, every four years [hence 'quadrennial'] from 1803 to 1911. Starting in 1863 African-American males were included in these enumerations. Unfortunately Adams County quadrennial enumerations were destroyed in the 1910 Adams County Courthouse fire. But researchers interested in other parts of Ohio should check the Ohio Historical Society Archives.
I plan to add the farm schedules for the census years in which they exist. This is a large project so it may take some time. I have nothing available yet and will post anything as soon as I get it.
Anyone wishing to assist or add anything to the Wayne township pages, please contact the township co-ordinator. Helpers could transcribe census years (a single township is a lot easier than an entire county or even an entire roll of microfilm), transcribe farm schedules, send in obituaries and other news articles related to the township or places in the township, church histories and other genealogical and historical items. If you'd like to see it here, drop me a note and we'll see what can be done! Also, I welcome corrections and would be happy to link to other pages with Wayne township information. If you know of any and can't find a link on these pages, let me know.
Wayne Township Co-Ordinator: Jamie Alexander
Adams County Co-Ordinator: Betty Lou Riley
Ohio Co-Ordinator: Allen Richmond
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