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{{Infobox NIFGS|June 2012|{{Canadian Newspapers Course}}|Ryan Taylor}}  
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{{Infobox NIFGS|June 2012|{{US Migration Patterns}}|Beverly Whitaker, CG}}  
  
Some Difficulties in Dealing with Newspapers
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=== History and Geography: Keys to Understanding Migration Patterns  ===
  
Very early Canadian newspapers were probably printed on high-quality rag-content paper. These newspapers, bound flat, have often survived in good condition. Later in the 19th century and into the 20th, the quality of newsprint was downgraded as print runs became larger. This paper has not aged so well. It has become yellow and brittle, and crumbles when it is handled, especially in its bound format which results in large, heavy volumes. This makes research using the originals awkward.
+
One cannot separate the history of an American family from the history of the nation itself, beginning with its colonial roots. Wars, treaties, native Indian tribes, slavery, immigrants, economic rise and fall, epidemics, agricultural problems—all had such an impact that it is useful to study these in chronological order, comparing them to your own ancestral timelines.  
  
Newspapers are written in the vernacular of their own age. Reading papers from a century ago, we are struck by the ‘quaint’ language, as people who see our papers in 2150 will think the same. Most of the time, we can understand the gist of what is being said, or have quick reference to a dictionary to clarify things.
+
Use caution as you identify place names. Remember that location names and boundary lines changed. Prepare a dated list of counties through which your ancestors may have passed; this prepares you to seek records appropriately.  
  
Certain conventions were used in the BMD columns of newspapers, to save space. In referring to the date of events, we find phrases such as ‘On the 10th inst.’ or ‘On the 30th ultimo’. ‘Inst’ is short for ‘instant’ and means ‘this month’, so the phrase given can be read as ‘On the 10th of this month’. ‘Ultimo’ is Latin and refers to the last month, so the phrase given can be read as ‘On the 30th of last month’.  
+
A knowledge of geography is as essential to the genealogist as is a strong background in history. Climate and topography, navigation routes and trail— all these influenced the decisions and lifestyles of your ancestors. As you combine a study of history and geography, you will encounter an assortment of migration patterns that impact upon your family tree.  
  
The nineteenth century habit of shortening names is also common in these announcements. Most of these will still be obvious—Jos. for Joseph, Wm. for William—but the use of Jno. for John (Latin again) may be less comprehensible. If you encounter a word or name of this kind that you cannot translate using a dictionary, ask the librarian or archivist, who should be familiar with them.
+
Likewise, it is impossible to separate a study of migration patterns from a study of American transportation. Early colonial settlement depended almost exclusively upon water transport along the Atlantic coast and along the rivers that ran toward the coast or its bays. As inland settlements grew, the need arose to connect these areas with roads such as the King’s Highway (also called the Boston Post Road). But these early roads had abominable roadbeds. As settlers pushed still further inland to the break between the coastal plains and the piedmont area, the Fall Line Road was built, and later the Upper Road. The earliest road west started in eastern Pennsylvania, then turned south to the Great Wagon Road through the Shenandoah Valley.  
  
Many of these announcements will not contain an actual date. Those that say a couple were married ‘recently’ (as too many do) are very frustrating for genealogists, but many others will state something along the line of ‘on Tuesday last’. It may be possible to count back from the date on the masthead  to figure out Tuesday’s date.  
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The French and Indian War brought military roads. The discovery of a pass through the Cumberlands in the lower Appalachian Mountain Range resulted in the Wilderness Road. Between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, a huge transportation network developed, including still more roads, river and canal traffic, and ultimately the railroad. As both the cause and the effect of new settlements, commerce was always the trigger for improved transportation.  
  
Many genealogists find it useful to carry a single-sheet perpetual calendar, of the kind that can be found in some telephone books or in many genealogical newsletters, in their research kits. The library reference desk may have one handy, or look for The book of calendars or a similar tool.
+
=== America’s Waterway System ===
  The ‘intimate tone’ aspect of newspaper writing sometimes results in news items which mean very little. An Edmonton Bulletin notice of 23 February 1881 read in its entirety: “A meeting of the shareholders of the Edmonton Milling Co. was held on Tues. last.” With no further details, it does not convey much to us now. The Alberta Star of 18 April 1908 reported: “Messrs. C. F. Harris and W. C. Ives were in town a couple of days last week. There is scarcely any need to tell you the object of their visit.” For the modern reader, the object of their visit will remain forever a mystery.
+
  
The survival rate of the physical newspaper has been affected by the quality of the paper and by the short life of many publications. We expect to find copies of the old newspapers in the office of the ongoing publication, but if the newspaper dies, what happens to the bound volumes? It could be that a succeeding title will keep them for reference, or that an interested local historian or relative of the publisher will store them at home.  
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A few geographical facts about America’s waterways aid the understanding of routes chosen for migration. One must recognize that the Atlantic seaboard rivers were navigable for only short distances.  
  
However, many early newspapers have vanished. Until the microfilming projects of the 1960s ensured that the single surviving copies of some newspapers were multiplied and made available in a number of institutions, there was a danger that others would also disappear.  
+
In the North, the rivers carrying the bulk of the traffic were the Kennebec, Connecticut, Hudson, and Delaware.  
  
This also accounts for the fact that for many publications, only single or scattered issues are left. They were saved by someone because they contained an item of family interest and eventually found their way into a library or archives.
+
In the South, it was the Potomac, James, Savannah, and the Santee. The Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri river system consisted of 4,000 miles plus 15,000 miles of tributaries, touching 20 states between the Appalachians and the Rockies. The Great Lakes had 2,000 miles of navigable water.  
  
A note of hope is possible even if you find that the publication you most need appears to be missing. The current writer once investigated a missing year of the Canada Museum und Allgemeine Zeitung, published in Berlin [Kitchener, Ontario], 1835-1840. The first two years and the last two were in the Kitchener Public Library collection, but the middle year was missing.
+
But there was still a need and a desire for overland travel. This explains why the National Road was so enthusiastically endorsed in the early 1800s. Its earliest sections connected the eastern seaboard to the inner river system, from Cumberland, Maryland, to the Ohio River at Wheeling, (West) Virginia.  
  
In Herbert Kalbfleisch’s history of German-language newspapers in Ontario, he claimed to have seen all five volumes of the paper in the 1950s. Thinking that if the newspapers had survived for 120 years, they might still be around, the librarian involved found Kalbfleisch and asked if he remembered where they were. He did: a private collector had owned the missing volume. The son of the collector said it had been given to the Université de Montréal library. When they were first approached, the library denied having any German-language newspapers, but they agreed to look. They telephoned back a few days later, astonished, to say the bound volume of the Canada Museum was indeed in their collection, unknown.
+
Canals were another link. George Washington was one of many who promoted canals. These man-made waterway feats dominated the landscape in the early 19th century in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.  
Arrangements were made to have it microfilmed, and the complete run, on film, has now been restored to its original home in Kitchener.
+
  
This is probably an unusual story, but it does give hope to any researcher looking for a lost newspaper.
+
Among the largest were the Erie opened in 1825, the Pennsylvania Canal in 1833, the James River-Kanawka, and the Louisville and Portland built to bypass the falls of the Ohio River, 1826-1831, and the Chesapeake and Ohio in 1850. In 1848 the Illinois and Lake Michigan Canal connected the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and in 1853 the Wabash and Erie Canal connected Lake Erie to the Wabash River and down to the Ohio River. But none of these canals were as successful as the Erie Canal. Due to high construction costs, almost all lost money, and they soon lost out to the railroads which were springing up.  
  
The quality of the microfilm can occasionally cause difficulty. A great deal of filming which took place in the 1950s and 1960s, when microfilming was still a new process, was done in a substandard way from our point of view.  
+
Robert Fulton’s 1807 steam engine led to steamboats making upstream trips on the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers. This had a very positive commercial effect both on West to East shipping and on Mississippi transport.  
  
There are a number of reasons for these difficulties. The already aged newspapers which were filmed may be slightly out of focus. The poor original print may not translate well to our modern readers’ screens, if the much-used hand-set type was chipped, or did not print clearly. The newspaper itself may be in bad condition. More often, the microfilm reel we are using has been doing its duty for a couple of decades and is reaching the end of its useful life. It may be scratched or faded. Is there anything the reader can do under these circumstances?
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=== Methodology for Exploring Migration Patterns  ===
  
• Ensure that the marks you see are on the film, not dirt on the lens of the machine. Lenses can be cleaned. If the film itself is dirty, it too can be cleaned, with great care. Cleaning of both lens and film must be done by the archives staff.
+
In order to locate one’s immigrant ancestors, one must start where a family’s journey ended and trace the “trail” back, perhaps over several generations. This process educates and provides a glimpse into the values and motivations of forebears. I agree wholeheartedly with atlas compiler Carrie Eldridge who says, “If you truly want to understand your ancestors, take the time to find out where they lived and traveled. It will be a rewarding experience.
+
• Ask the librarian or archivist if there is another copy of the reel that can be used.
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• Look at the film in another institution, whose films may not receive as much use. A local newspaper will be used often in its own public library, while a university library’s copy may be more pristine. Other institutions may also have acquired their reels recently, and the newer reels will be easier to read, having been produced using modern processes of developing.
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• Enquire if the paper has been filmed a second time since that original work. Many inadequate early films have been replaced by later filmings of a higher quality.
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There are times when the newspaper itself is at fault. If there was a flaw in the original printing, this will result in difficulties in reading the film. If the page was wrinkled at the time of filming, a line of type may be illegible, and this is inevitably the line that contains the date you need.
+
Sometimes the newspaper which has been filmed is defective itself. The founder of Oshawa, Ontario was Akius Moody Farewell and his memory is much honoured there. He had a brother who also settled in the area. One of the brother’s descendants worked for the local newspaper in the mid-20th century, and she made it her aim to try to eradicate the memory of Akius Moody, so that her own branch of the Farewell family would seem more prominent.  
+
  
To help this aim, she went through all the back issues of the newspaper in its library, snipping out references to Moody’s family, including his own half-page obituary of 1869. These are the copies which were used for the filming, which does affect any research Farewell family members might want to do in the paper.
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==== Analyze Your Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets  ====
  
If the fault in the microfilm lies with the original newspaper, try to find an alternative version of the original. This may be difficult. If the flaw can be helped by access to the original—the wrinkle in the page could be smoothed, or the defective type made clear by closer examination—use a directory of historical newspapers to find out what library or archive owns original copies, and then approach them to solve the problem.
+
There are questions you should be asking:
  
Most libraries and archives who own original newspapers make them available only in microfilm form. Handling the originals leads to their further deterioration, aside from the fact that it is very messy (from the crumbling pages), and the books are large and heavy to handle.
+
*Ÿ Does it appear that my family settled on or near waterways?
 +
*Ÿ Might they have followed one or more of the old Indian paths?
 +
*Ÿ Did they use rivers and canals as their highways? Railroads?
 +
*Ÿ Did they end up near the end of a heavily-used overland migration route?
 +
*Ÿ Did they move together with an ethnic or religious group?
 +
*Ÿ Did they move with old neighbors or settle near neighbor’s new locations?
 +
*Ÿ Did they live near or with extended family members?
 +
*Ÿ Did their migration come close on the heels of the death of a family patriarch?
 +
*Ÿ Did movement parallel natural disasters, wars, or other historical events?
 +
*Ÿ Does it appear that the family’s migration took several generations?
  
You will find that many libraries keep the newspapers in deep storage, perhaps wrapped in acid-free paper. Presenting the problem of the wrinkled page courteously and allowing the archives time to access the original and consult it, should lead to satisfaction all around.
+
==== Migratory Tracings  ====
  
¬ It is unwise to expect that original newspapers can be produced without previous notice and explanations, however.
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Superimpose a particular family over against a background of geographical history. You will be amazed at how much you can learn simply by compiling a list, or tracing, of a particular ancestor’s movements.  
  
As mentioned above, many earlier researchers did their newspaper work in the offices of the paper itself. The ‘morgue’ or collection of past issues was stored in the office and, in the interest of public relations, outside researchers might use them if they weren’t in the way of the reporters.
+
To form a “tracing” of a particular individual, prepare a chronological listing of events and place names. Indicate places of birth, marriage(s), and death, the birthplaces of children, any military service location, land ownership, along with any additional migration data you can identify. Don’t overlook such data for siblings, an aid to tracking the whole family. And pay particular attention to the oldest member of a family whose movements you may then be able to trace backward.  
  
This has changed. Most newspapers no longer store paper copies of their old issues on site, or use them much in their work. Like the rest of us, they use the microfilm copies, or online resources they have created themselves.
+
When you have a well-developed tracing, transfer key information to a map. Use outline maps such as those sold by school distributors or photocopy maps from your library’s files. Place dots on the map for each event’s location. Then draw a continuous line from dot to dot to establish the sequence of migration. Add a legend of place names and dates. To indicate a couple’s heritage, show with two different colors the migration trail of each family, intersecting at the location of the marriage.  
In addition, the explosion in genealogical research since the 1970s means that newspaper offices were swamped with requests either to view the back issues or to look things up for people who were far away.  
+
  
These businesses are not in the position to provide research facilities or to do searches themselves, and even before the switch to online creation of the papers, they had stopped welcoming people to look at their morgues.
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=== Locality Resources  ===
  
è The local public library or archives is the place to look for old newspapers. The largest collections of these back issues can be found there, and it is easy to determine where they are from the published bibliographies of newspapers which exist for most provinces.
+
Frontier settlers are often difficult to trace to prior origins. Clues can often be found by taking an historical approach to the problem—digging into the history books, learning migratory routes, understanding the transportation difficulties faced, and recognizing settlement patterns.  
  
Another approach which many researchers take to current newspapers is to write asking them for assistance in finding someone or answering a question. In the case of larger, urban papers, this is a waste of time, as they have no interest in publishing these requests.  
+
Beginning at the journey’s end for an ancestor, dig into the local history and records contemporary to the events of that person’s life. Be alert to occupations and church affiliation. Widen the search to include other family members and even take note of neighbors and church associates who may have been traveling companions. Take note of persons’ names for whom your ancestor may have been a witness or an executor. Examine land purchases to determine whether others in the neighborhood purchased or sold land the same day. Look carefully at financial records and note whether someone stood security on a note—a friend or relative?
  
Most of them may well emphasise a larger view at the expense of local information. The publisher of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record in 1981 dismissed the suggestion that his paper, which serves part of southwestern Ontario, was a regional paper. “We consider ourselves a national newspaper,” he said, and so the material published would reflect this.  
+
Probate records not only name administrators, bondsmen, and family who are to inherit, but also they frequently provide tax receipts, unpaid bills, and unfinished business and other records from the former home place.  
  
Small-town newspapers, on the other hand, might welcome a local query, and might print it, considering its news value. The smaller the town, the more likely this will be. If a researcher chooses to approach a small newspaper with a query, it would be wise to remember:
+
Look carefully at marriage records. Usually a marriage within the first five years of settlement was to a girl from “back home.”
  
• Keep the query short, omitting any extraneous explanations.
+
Seek out newspaper accounts and county and town histories; examine old maps and atlases, court records, property records, church and community records. Museums and historical societies may even have unpublished manuscripts, Bible records, obituaries, diaries, or letters. Libraries may have published genealogies, indexes to cemeteries, school notes, mercantile records, or military accounts in their local history collections. If your ancestor lived in a city, you might check City Directories year by year until your ancestor no longer appears. Pay attention to both tax records and delinquent tax records which can flag your attention to the period in which your ancestor may have moved on. Check for military service, pensions, bounty land, and land patents. Remember when you work with New England records to look for town records instead of county records.  
+
• The whole letter with the request should not occupy more than one page.
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• Type the letter, do not hand write it. Sending it electronically (via email) is better, because it does not require retyping at the other end. Most newspapers have websites, which can be located after a simple search using Google, Yahoo! or similar search engines, and a ‘contact us’ email form is often available there.
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• Be sure to include your own name, postal address and email.
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Give attention to place names that might have originated in the area of a settler’s origins. This might be retained in the names of creeks, settlements, and churches.
  
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Birthplaces of children as recorded in census records may guide your ancestral search back in time and place. At each locality, repeat the search for evidence of your ancestor’s presence there.
  
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Recognize that a family may have stopped along the way for a generation or more before reaching the destination you recognize as “home.”
  
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Whenever possible, conduct a portion of your research in facilities located in the areas your ancestor passed through. When travel isn’t possible, substitute correspondence with a person living in the locality of interest and try to obtain photos of the area. Even travel literature will give you some insight and connectivity.<br>
  
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__________________________________________________________ <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]&nbsp;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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____________________________________________________________ <br>
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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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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 18:12, 5 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 ($).

Contents

History and Geography: Keys to Understanding Migration Patterns

One cannot separate the history of an American family from the history of the nation itself, beginning with its colonial roots. Wars, treaties, native Indian tribes, slavery, immigrants, economic rise and fall, epidemics, agricultural problems—all had such an impact that it is useful to study these in chronological order, comparing them to your own ancestral timelines.

Use caution as you identify place names. Remember that location names and boundary lines changed. Prepare a dated list of counties through which your ancestors may have passed; this prepares you to seek records appropriately.

A knowledge of geography is as essential to the genealogist as is a strong background in history. Climate and topography, navigation routes and trail— all these influenced the decisions and lifestyles of your ancestors. As you combine a study of history and geography, you will encounter an assortment of migration patterns that impact upon your family tree.

Likewise, it is impossible to separate a study of migration patterns from a study of American transportation. Early colonial settlement depended almost exclusively upon water transport along the Atlantic coast and along the rivers that ran toward the coast or its bays. As inland settlements grew, the need arose to connect these areas with roads such as the King’s Highway (also called the Boston Post Road). But these early roads had abominable roadbeds. As settlers pushed still further inland to the break between the coastal plains and the piedmont area, the Fall Line Road was built, and later the Upper Road. The earliest road west started in eastern Pennsylvania, then turned south to the Great Wagon Road through the Shenandoah Valley.

The French and Indian War brought military roads. The discovery of a pass through the Cumberlands in the lower Appalachian Mountain Range resulted in the Wilderness Road. Between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, a huge transportation network developed, including still more roads, river and canal traffic, and ultimately the railroad. As both the cause and the effect of new settlements, commerce was always the trigger for improved transportation.

America’s Waterway System

A few geographical facts about America’s waterways aid the understanding of routes chosen for migration. One must recognize that the Atlantic seaboard rivers were navigable for only short distances.

In the North, the rivers carrying the bulk of the traffic were the Kennebec, Connecticut, Hudson, and Delaware.

In the South, it was the Potomac, James, Savannah, and the Santee. The Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri river system consisted of 4,000 miles plus 15,000 miles of tributaries, touching 20 states between the Appalachians and the Rockies. The Great Lakes had 2,000 miles of navigable water.

But there was still a need and a desire for overland travel. This explains why the National Road was so enthusiastically endorsed in the early 1800s. Its earliest sections connected the eastern seaboard to the inner river system, from Cumberland, Maryland, to the Ohio River at Wheeling, (West) Virginia.

Canals were another link. George Washington was one of many who promoted canals. These man-made waterway feats dominated the landscape in the early 19th century in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

Among the largest were the Erie opened in 1825, the Pennsylvania Canal in 1833, the James River-Kanawka, and the Louisville and Portland built to bypass the falls of the Ohio River, 1826-1831, and the Chesapeake and Ohio in 1850. In 1848 the Illinois and Lake Michigan Canal connected the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and in 1853 the Wabash and Erie Canal connected Lake Erie to the Wabash River and down to the Ohio River. But none of these canals were as successful as the Erie Canal. Due to high construction costs, almost all lost money, and they soon lost out to the railroads which were springing up.

Robert Fulton’s 1807 steam engine led to steamboats making upstream trips on the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers. This had a very positive commercial effect both on West to East shipping and on Mississippi transport.

Methodology for Exploring Migration Patterns

In order to locate one’s immigrant ancestors, one must start where a family’s journey ended and trace the “trail” back, perhaps over several generations. This process educates and provides a glimpse into the values and motivations of forebears. I agree wholeheartedly with atlas compiler Carrie Eldridge who says, “If you truly want to understand your ancestors, take the time to find out where they lived and traveled. It will be a rewarding experience.”

Analyze Your Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets

There are questions you should be asking:

  • Ÿ Does it appear that my family settled on or near waterways?
  • Ÿ Might they have followed one or more of the old Indian paths?
  • Ÿ Did they use rivers and canals as their highways? Railroads?
  • Ÿ Did they end up near the end of a heavily-used overland migration route?
  • Ÿ Did they move together with an ethnic or religious group?
  • Ÿ Did they move with old neighbors or settle near neighbor’s new locations?
  • Ÿ Did they live near or with extended family members?
  • Ÿ Did their migration come close on the heels of the death of a family patriarch?
  • Ÿ Did movement parallel natural disasters, wars, or other historical events?
  • Ÿ Does it appear that the family’s migration took several generations?

Migratory Tracings

Superimpose a particular family over against a background of geographical history. You will be amazed at how much you can learn simply by compiling a list, or tracing, of a particular ancestor’s movements.

To form a “tracing” of a particular individual, prepare a chronological listing of events and place names. Indicate places of birth, marriage(s), and death, the birthplaces of children, any military service location, land ownership, along with any additional migration data you can identify. Don’t overlook such data for siblings, an aid to tracking the whole family. And pay particular attention to the oldest member of a family whose movements you may then be able to trace backward.

When you have a well-developed tracing, transfer key information to a map. Use outline maps such as those sold by school distributors or photocopy maps from your library’s files. Place dots on the map for each event’s location. Then draw a continuous line from dot to dot to establish the sequence of migration. Add a legend of place names and dates. To indicate a couple’s heritage, show with two different colors the migration trail of each family, intersecting at the location of the marriage.

Locality Resources

Frontier settlers are often difficult to trace to prior origins. Clues can often be found by taking an historical approach to the problem—digging into the history books, learning migratory routes, understanding the transportation difficulties faced, and recognizing settlement patterns.

Beginning at the journey’s end for an ancestor, dig into the local history and records contemporary to the events of that person’s life. Be alert to occupations and church affiliation. Widen the search to include other family members and even take note of neighbors and church associates who may have been traveling companions. Take note of persons’ names for whom your ancestor may have been a witness or an executor. Examine land purchases to determine whether others in the neighborhood purchased or sold land the same day. Look carefully at financial records and note whether someone stood security on a note—a friend or relative?

Probate records not only name administrators, bondsmen, and family who are to inherit, but also they frequently provide tax receipts, unpaid bills, and unfinished business and other records from the former home place.

Look carefully at marriage records. Usually a marriage within the first five years of settlement was to a girl from “back home.”

Seek out newspaper accounts and county and town histories; examine old maps and atlases, court records, property records, church and community records. Museums and historical societies may even have unpublished manuscripts, Bible records, obituaries, diaries, or letters. Libraries may have published genealogies, indexes to cemeteries, school notes, mercantile records, or military accounts in their local history collections. If your ancestor lived in a city, you might check City Directories year by year until your ancestor no longer appears. Pay attention to both tax records and delinquent tax records which can flag your attention to the period in which your ancestor may have moved on. Check for military service, pensions, bounty land, and land patents. Remember when you work with New England records to look for town records instead of county records.

Give attention to place names that might have originated in the area of a settler’s origins. This might be retained in the names of creeks, settlements, and churches.

Birthplaces of children as recorded in census records may guide your ancestral search back in time and place. At each locality, repeat the search for evidence of your ancestor’s presence there.

Recognize that a family may have stopped along the way for a generation or more before reaching the destination you recognize as “home.”

Whenever possible, conduct a portion of your research in facilities located in the areas your ancestor passed through. When travel isn’t possible, substitute correspondence with a person living in the locality of interest and try to obtain photos of the area. Even travel literature will give you some insight and connectivity.

__________________________________________________________

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 5 August 2013, at 18:12.
  • This page has been accessed 498 times.