I wouldn't know about earlier, as it seems must people FIRST went to MONROE or ST.CLAIR CO. before they went anywhere else, but depending on the areas situation it's completely possible. I know BARKER came with some other folks from LINCOLN CO. MAINE around 1820 and settled and married in both of above named named counties. One of my CARR family women married a NELSON BARKER in around 1830 or 1840 and moved to JACKSON CO, in a town with a womens name. Some of them moved further south and east, and where in counties surrounding and containing CAVE-IN- ROCK where they owned ferries and where like in-land pirates. They would take people down the OHIO RIVER and down the FALLS. They would kill them and take there personal items they brought with them THIS WAS A HUGE PROBLEM AT THE TIME.
They would even drown they kids.
My best friends maiden name was BARKER and her father was
born in ALEXANDER CO. IL, 1920, at the southwest of the state. Later his father moved up to RICHLAND CO. IL, where he died around 1960's.