(1) Ashtabula County, Ohio, isn't what you think. Yes, its land is divided into mostly rectangular townships, and they in turn are divided up into numbered most rectangular lots. But when the lots were divided by metes and bounds. (That's what you get when you cross the Connecticut Western Reserve with the Northwest Territory.)
But some of those metes and bounds may memorialize some lovely spring day when the surveying crew went fishing instead. After specifically describing three sides of the lot, the fourth side is to begin "so far south as to include fifty-five acres of land."
In other words, nobody knows exactly where that last property line is. Bad surveyor, no biscuit.
(2) We've all followed someone up the census decades, hoping desperately that they will make it to 1880 so as to product at least some sort of record of where their parents were born. Well, don't give up just because their grave marker says they died 3 January 1880 and the census date of record was 1 June 1880. Not only can any record be mistaken, sometimes the mistake is in our favor!
The census taker visited the Boggs household in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, and wrote down all the information for Margaret J. Boggs . . . and later put a line through it because she had died back in January. But the information, including her parent's alleged birth states, remains legible.
When in doubt, always prefer that wacky original to the fair copy.
Ashtabula County, Ohio, Deeds Z:271-2, Hiram & Sophia Boyd to Erastus Porter, 21 October 1839; Recorder, Jefferson.
Harold Henderson, "Surveyors and census takers run amok," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 8 May 2014 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]