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{{Infobox NIFGS|June 2012|{{Canadian Newspapers Course}}|Ryan Taylor, revised by Susanna de Groot, PLCGS}}  
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{{Infobox NIFGS|June 2012|{{US Migration Patterns}}|Beverly Whitaker, CG}}  
  
=== Historical Publications ===
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=== Bound for Oregon, Utah, California and Texas ===
  
Historical societies may publish scholarly articles, popular history or essays that fall between the two. ''Ontario History'', from the Ontario Historical Society, is very formal and OHS has no other publication which might be of interest to non-academic historians. On the other hand, many historical societies have changed their longterm journals to glossy magazines; British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland all publish magazines which have popular appeal and solid historical research qualities. Some of the glossy magazines, such as ''The Island'' and''Cap-au-Diamants'', are for more casual readers.  
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By acquiring Oregon, the Southwest, and California, the United States virtually doubled its territory and extended its boundaries to the Pacific. In 1841 the first large group (48 wagons) emigrated to California, traveling over the emerging Oregon-California Trail, crossing the Humboldt River, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to reach Sacramento. The next year a party of 130 people in 18 wagons headed for''the'' Oregon Territory from Independence, Missouri. In 1843, a thousand Easterners left from Independence, Missouri, to settle in the Oregon Territory, marking the beginning of a huge westward migration. During the period from 1846 to 1869, about 60,000 Mormon pioneers crossed the prairies. The Mormon Trail stretched nearly 1,400 miles across prairies, sagebrush flats, and steep mountains. Other routes led to Texas. Enough people settled in Texas by 1845 to allow it to become a state soon after it had gained its independence from Mexico.  
  
Aside from the interest of historical articles, these resource publications can also lead us to other newly-published materials. The Manitoba and Newfoundland monthlies both publish annual bibliographies of new titles, both monographic and periodical articles. It takes only a short time to scan through the listings each year, to see if there are items which we should examine for our family history research. More academic periodicals are even more likely to include these bibliographic lists; ''Acadiensis'' has a section “Recent publications relating to the history of the Atlantic region” in each issue, and ''Canadian Ethnic Studies'' has a ‘Bibliography and Historical Studies’ heading. Searching through bibliographies may seem a very dry part of genealogical research, but it can be profitable, and what started out as dry-and-boring suddenly becomes juicy if we find a new ancestor.  
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Probably 75 percent of all western pioneers passed through St. Louis and crossed the Great Plains and the mountains over Overland Trails or later used the railroad that also followed that route. Even though St. Louis was the dividing point between East and West, most of the wagon trains formed up many miles west of that city. They generally turned either north or south at St. Louis. Some moved into the Southwest along the Santa Fe Trail. Others boarded Mississippi river boats and made their way up numerous streams that emptied into the Mississippi or followed the Missouri River to its head or to ports in between. After leaving the rivers, they continued westward by any available transportation, but most used farm wagons. These were smaller than the Eastern Conestogas, which could also be used over the Santa Fe Trail, but not through the rugged mountain ranges faced by pioneers migrating the Overland Trails to Oregon, Utah, and California. Even after the railroads came along and followed these same routes, depositing settlers along the way, wagon travelers continued to trek into the Far West, moving into areas not yet reached by the railroads.  
  
Although we expect to find resource publications which are geographically based, either province-wide, county or local, there are many more specialised publications which will help us.
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=== The Oregon Territory  ===
  
=== Types  ===
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When the 19th century began, four nations claimed ownership of the Oregon country—Spain, Russia, England, and the United States. Missionary desire to convert the Indians brought the first Americans to the area; more came in order to be involved in the fur trade.
  
*'''Ethnic''': Many cultural groups have magazines as well as newspapers. The Huguenot Society of Canada, for example, publishes ''Huguenot Trails''. Like the various newsletters of the Loyalist Association, researchers may think these are more genealogical than historical, but the content has very little about genealogical research. They will provide information about the culture and history of the people involved. Several Mennonite groups publish high-quality magazines which mix genealogical, religious and cultural information.<br>
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In 1844, Britain sent an official to Vancouver to seek information on the relative strength of the American and British elements. His report was that there were only about 750 English, compared to nearly 6,000 Americans in the Oregon Country. The American settlements were confined almost entirely to the Willamette Valley, south of the Columbia River.  
*'''Special topics''': groups which are interested in history, but not necessarily from a genealogical perspective, publish periodicals which provide background information, or give tips on research in their area of expertise which we can use.''Jib Gems'', published by the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, Ontario, concerns itself with inland sailing and merchant ships. <br>
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*'''Publications which include original documents''': these may include diaries, letters, petitions, accounts of voyages, or other general materials useful in a genealogical context. <br>
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*'''Regional''': although town or county historical societies are the rule, there may be publications which concentrate on a region because of its association with a particular group of settlers, an organization or institution.''The Hay Bay Guardian'' is an annual whose interest is based on a Methodist church in the Bay of Quinte area of Ontario. ''The Long Point Genealogist'' is actually published by the Norfolk Historical Society but is based on a cultural group first identified by the local history ''The Long Point Settlers'', published in the 19th century. Traditional historical publications should be examined for in-depth studies of localities of interest to us, which may not be published elsewhere.''The Norwich Archives Newsletter'', from Oxford County, Ontario, regularly features locales in the township, devoting entire issues to a single place.<br>
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*'''Heraldry''': there are a few publications, most noticeably''Heraldry in Canada'' from the Heraldry Society of Canada, and the newsletter of the national heraldry office in Ottawa.<br>
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*'''Folklore''': these may have considerable genealogical material, as for example ''Tumivut'', the publication of the [http://www.avataq.qc.ca Avataq Cultural Institute] (360-4140 Ste.-Catherine O,Westmount, Québec H3Z 2Y5&nbsp;; (514)989-9031; email [mailto:avataq@avataq.qc.ca avataq@avataq.qc.ca], which promotes Inuit culture in Nunavik. ''Tumivut'' includes oral genealogies.''Them Days: stories of early Labrador'' is one of the best oral history publications around, fascinating to read even if you have no Labrador background in your family. Folklore, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Folklore Society, includes articles on more recent social history of broad general interest, which remind us that even the immediate past can seem like a foreign country when the experiences there were so different to our own.<br>
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=== Internet  ===
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A treaty with the British in 1844 set the boundary at the 49th parallel. Oregon was made a territory in 1848 at which time the population there numbered approximately 9000. The Oregon Territory was divided in 1853, with the northern half given the name ''Washington''. Oregon was admitted as a state in 1859; Washington’s present boundaries were established when Idaho was made a territory in 1863.
  
With the advent of the Internet, many periodicals are switching to online publication, often instead of printed versions. Gwen Szychter’s ''History Helps'' which concerns itself with the Delta region of British Columbia, is an example, which arrives via email; subscription is free. Many of the online publications are available through particular websites of sponsoring organizations. It may be wise to electronically store or print material seen on these online publications and deemed helpful, as that page, the publication or the whole site might vanish tomorrow.  
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The first emigrants to Oregon went by ship before an overland trail was established. Even after the Oregon Trail migrations began, ships continued to travel to Oregon, but they were not popular among the pioneers. Few pioneer families could afford the fare for the long sea journey to Oregon. Also, most Oregon-bound pioneers came from the central states—far from any sea port. Then too, the pioneers were eager to reach their destination, and the sea journey often took up to full year versus four to six months by wagon.  
  
An interesting development is the ‘reprinting’ of long-vanished periodicals on the Internet. Along with the digitisation of newspapers, this is very welcome, and as time passes and the art of scanning improves, we can hope to see more of it. Cleadie Barnett of McAdam, New Brunswick, published two periodicals 1979-1983,''We Lived'' and ''We Lived the Next Generation''. This has nothing to do with outer space as the title might hint, but concerns the Saint John River valley and the Bay of Fundy.  
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Marcus and Narcissa Whitman who made the trip in 1836 were the first emigrants to go to Oregon overland in a covered wagon. However, the big wave of western migration did not start until a combination of economic and political events in the late 1830s to early 1840s converged to start a large scale migration west. In 1843 nearly a thousand pioneers made a five-month journey with 120 wagons and 5,000 cattle. Over the next 25 years more than a half million people went west on the Trail. Between 1841 and 1850 alone, nearly 10,000 pioneers outfitted their wagons, secured teams, said farewell to friends and family, and in April and May gathered at “jumping-off” points along the Missouri River frontier to set out over the Oregon Trail.  
  
Canadian historical publications are indexed in PERSI, the same as genealogical ones.  
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Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho and Utah would probably not be a part of the United States today were it not for the Oregon Trail because it was the only feasible way for settlers to get across the mountains. The entire route of this trail was determined by the location of an easy pass through the Rocky Mountains which came to be known as South Pass.  
  
Even this brief overview should make clear that genealogical and historical resource publications have a great deal to offer the serious researcher. It may take some time to find the information, but the rewards are great.  
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The Oregon Trail ran west from Missouri towards the Rocky Mountains to the Willamette Valley, generally following the Platte River to its headwaters. Then it crossed the mountains. A trail to California branched off in southern Idaho. The Mormon Trail paralleled much of the Oregon Trail, connecting Council Bluffs to Salt Lake City. The Oregon Trail followed the Snake River until it reached the Columbia River which flowed into the Pacific.  
  
=== Summary  ===
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Those who went to Oregon found it to be an incredibly difficult journey of approximately 2000 miles; and there were many who walked the entire way. One in ten died, occasionally at the hand of Indians but more often due to poor sanitation and disease, especially cholera. Accidental gunshots took their toll also.
  
Subscribing to historical publications from our area of interest, and membership in genealogical societies (with their periodical side benefit), should be part of every genealogist’s working strategy. These periodicals should be studied closely for the information (hard data or background) that they can provide. Working in large library collections, or online indexes, can provide us with access to other titles which we cannot afford to have at home.
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Over the next thirty years, military posts, trading posts, shortcuts and spur roads sprang off the Oregon Trail. And then the railroad reached the Far West. The Central Pacific Railroad connected California to the rest of the continent in 1869. The Oregon Shortline finished a railroad in 1884 from Portland, Oregon, to the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming. Wagon trains gave way to modern transportation, and the trail became a route for eastward cattle drives. Now the Oregon Trail is considered part of a historic and picturesque past of covered wagons and heroic pioneers.<br>
 
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All of us reach a lull in our research, when we are waiting for materials to come via interlibrary loan, or our next research trip is some weeks away. This is a good time to settle down for work in periodicals or newspapers, when we are not pressed to get on quickly to the next resource.  
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The advantage to working with these materials, aside from finding the information in them, is that there is a great deal more to distract us in the form of unexpected articles or items which give great pleasure. Thus, the genealogical hobby (which is supposed to be fun, after all) adds to our enjoyment of life as well as our knowledge.  
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____________________________________________________________ <br>  
 
____________________________________________________________ <br>  
  
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course {{Canadian Newspapers Course}} offered by [http://www.genealogicalstudies.com The National Institute for Genealogical Studies]. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at [mailto:wiki@genealogicalstudies.com wiki@genealogicalstudies.com] <br>  
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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course [http://www.genealogicalstudies.com/eng/courses.asp?courseID=211 United States: Migration Patterns] offered by [http://www.genealogicalstudies.com The National Institute for Genealogical Studies]. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at [mailto:wiki@genealogicalstudies.com wiki@genealogicalstudies.com] <br>  
  
 
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.  
 
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.  
  
[[Category:Canada]]
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[[Category:United_States]]

Latest revision as of 22:47, 8 August 2013

 
National Institute for Genealogical StudiesNational Institute for Genealogical Studies.gif

The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course United States Migration Patterns  by Beverly Whitaker, CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Bound for Oregon, Utah, California and Texas

By acquiring Oregon, the Southwest, and California, the United States virtually doubled its territory and extended its boundaries to the Pacific. In 1841 the first large group (48 wagons) emigrated to California, traveling over the emerging Oregon-California Trail, crossing the Humboldt River, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to reach Sacramento. The next year a party of 130 people in 18 wagons headed forthe Oregon Territory from Independence, Missouri. In 1843, a thousand Easterners left from Independence, Missouri, to settle in the Oregon Territory, marking the beginning of a huge westward migration. During the period from 1846 to 1869, about 60,000 Mormon pioneers crossed the prairies. The Mormon Trail stretched nearly 1,400 miles across prairies, sagebrush flats, and steep mountains. Other routes led to Texas. Enough people settled in Texas by 1845 to allow it to become a state soon after it had gained its independence from Mexico.

Probably 75 percent of all western pioneers passed through St. Louis and crossed the Great Plains and the mountains over Overland Trails or later used the railroad that also followed that route. Even though St. Louis was the dividing point between East and West, most of the wagon trains formed up many miles west of that city. They generally turned either north or south at St. Louis. Some moved into the Southwest along the Santa Fe Trail. Others boarded Mississippi river boats and made their way up numerous streams that emptied into the Mississippi or followed the Missouri River to its head or to ports in between. After leaving the rivers, they continued westward by any available transportation, but most used farm wagons. These were smaller than the Eastern Conestogas, which could also be used over the Santa Fe Trail, but not through the rugged mountain ranges faced by pioneers migrating the Overland Trails to Oregon, Utah, and California. Even after the railroads came along and followed these same routes, depositing settlers along the way, wagon travelers continued to trek into the Far West, moving into areas not yet reached by the railroads.

The Oregon Territory

When the 19th century began, four nations claimed ownership of the Oregon country—Spain, Russia, England, and the United States. Missionary desire to convert the Indians brought the first Americans to the area; more came in order to be involved in the fur trade.

In 1844, Britain sent an official to Vancouver to seek information on the relative strength of the American and British elements. His report was that there were only about 750 English, compared to nearly 6,000 Americans in the Oregon Country. The American settlements were confined almost entirely to the Willamette Valley, south of the Columbia River.

A treaty with the British in 1844 set the boundary at the 49th parallel. Oregon was made a territory in 1848 at which time the population there numbered approximately 9000. The Oregon Territory was divided in 1853, with the northern half given the name Washington. Oregon was admitted as a state in 1859; Washington’s present boundaries were established when Idaho was made a territory in 1863.

The first emigrants to Oregon went by ship before an overland trail was established. Even after the Oregon Trail migrations began, ships continued to travel to Oregon, but they were not popular among the pioneers. Few pioneer families could afford the fare for the long sea journey to Oregon. Also, most Oregon-bound pioneers came from the central states—far from any sea port. Then too, the pioneers were eager to reach their destination, and the sea journey often took up to full year versus four to six months by wagon.

Marcus and Narcissa Whitman who made the trip in 1836 were the first emigrants to go to Oregon overland in a covered wagon. However, the big wave of western migration did not start until a combination of economic and political events in the late 1830s to early 1840s converged to start a large scale migration west. In 1843 nearly a thousand pioneers made a five-month journey with 120 wagons and 5,000 cattle. Over the next 25 years more than a half million people went west on the Trail. Between 1841 and 1850 alone, nearly 10,000 pioneers outfitted their wagons, secured teams, said farewell to friends and family, and in April and May gathered at “jumping-off” points along the Missouri River frontier to set out over the Oregon Trail.

Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho and Utah would probably not be a part of the United States today were it not for the Oregon Trail because it was the only feasible way for settlers to get across the mountains. The entire route of this trail was determined by the location of an easy pass through the Rocky Mountains which came to be known as South Pass.

The Oregon Trail ran west from Missouri towards the Rocky Mountains to the Willamette Valley, generally following the Platte River to its headwaters. Then it crossed the mountains. A trail to California branched off in southern Idaho. The Mormon Trail paralleled much of the Oregon Trail, connecting Council Bluffs to Salt Lake City. The Oregon Trail followed the Snake River until it reached the Columbia River which flowed into the Pacific.

Those who went to Oregon found it to be an incredibly difficult journey of approximately 2000 miles; and there were many who walked the entire way. One in ten died, occasionally at the hand of Indians but more often due to poor sanitation and disease, especially cholera. Accidental gunshots took their toll also.

Over the next thirty years, military posts, trading posts, shortcuts and spur roads sprang off the Oregon Trail. And then the railroad reached the Far West. The Central Pacific Railroad connected California to the rest of the continent in 1869. The Oregon Shortline finished a railroad in 1884 from Portland, Oregon, to the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming. Wagon trains gave way to modern transportation, and the trail became a route for eastward cattle drives. Now the Oregon Trail is considered part of a historic and picturesque past of covered wagons and heroic pioneers.

____________________________________________________________

Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course United States: Migration Patterns offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.

  • This page was last modified on 8 August 2013, at 22:47.
  • This page has been accessed 327 times.