In 1727, John Digges, who was an Irish nobleman of Prince George’s County in Maryland, obtained a grant of 10,000 acres of land where Hanover is now located from Charles Calvert, the fourth Lord Baltimore. The area was called Digges Choice, and in 1730, a group of Catholics started the settlement that became known as the Conewago Settlement. Settlers from both Maryland and Pennsylvania began moving into the area in the 1730s. At this time, Maryland and Pennsylvania did not agree on the northern border of Maryland and the southern border of Pennsylvania, and the area that is now Hanover was in the disputed area claimed by both states. This led to numerous disputes about property ownership from the 1730s until 1760. The dispute was settled when Maryland and Pennsylvania hired British experts Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to survey what became known as the Mason-Dixon Line. This line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 and put an end to decades of disputes over rights and ownership.
In 1745, a Scot-Irishman named Richard McAllister purchased the tract of land upon which the original town of Hanover was built. McAllister was a Presbyterian who had recently migrated from the Cumberland Valley. Hanover at that time was covered with a dense forest of hickory, walnut, and oak trees. McAllister erected a log house and opened a store and tavern. In 1763, McAllister divided his farm into lots and founded the town of Hanover. German settlers nicknamed the settlement “Hickory Town” after the thick groves of hickory trees that grew in the area. The name Hanover was suggested by Michael Tanner, who was one of the commissioners who laid out York County in 1749 and owned large tracts of land southeast of the town. Tanner’s choice of the name came from the fact that he was a native of Hannover, Germany. The town’s founders, who wanted to please the German settlers, agreed to the name. Hanover was also sometimes referred to as “McAllister’s Town” in its early years.
My 6x Great Grandfather, James Wright born on September 17, 1716, in South Leith, Midlothian, Scotland and he immigrated to Colonial America from Scotland at the age of 2 in 1718 along with his Grandfather Patrick. They settled in Philadelphia first. By 1732 they had moved to Hanover. Here James married Margaret Mary last name unknown (1714-1783) in 1733. They had 4 daughters. James was a farmer and he owned 250 acres just outside the town. James died in March 1764 at the age of 47.
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