Lawrence County, PA was not formed until 1849 and this is where we find William L. McBurney on the 1850 census residing in Pulaski Township. Take a look at this map of the townships of Lawrence County, PA and you will find that Pulaski TWP is in the Northwest corner of the county (on the border with Mercer County)
Now take a look at the 1840 township map of Mercer County, PA and you will find that Mahoning and Shenango Twp of Mercer CTY are located in the southwest corner of the county with Mahoning on the border of the next county. There is a red line that depicts territory that was used to form Lawrence CTY, PA in 1849. This territory includes part of Shenango Twp (where William L. McBurney was in 1840) and all of Mahoning Twp (where Alexander McBurney was as early as 1800 and through 1830)
This appears to be a classic case of the county boundry moving and not the individual.
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