When you get all "into" researching a person or family in an area that is unfamiliar to you, do you stop and take the time to find maps of the areas where the people of interest live? It is important to know county, state, and other boundaries and the relative proximity of the places where you think people live. It's even more imperative in a "new" area where the geography may be unknown to you.
Don't assume you "know" the geography "good enough" or that the states are small enough that it doesn't matter. Look at maps. Analyze locations. Determine how far apart different residences for your ancestor are.
Don't get so caught up in the search that you lose sight of the geography in the process.