Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pacific Northwest Genealogy

In his article, "Pacific Northwest Genealogy," Alan Smith provides a brief introduction to the research of ancestors in the Pacific Northwest, with a primary focus on Washington and Oregon. The Pacific Northwest region, bounded on the West by the Pacific Ocean, actually covers a much larger area, including the Canadian province of British Columbia, southwestern Alaska, Idaho, western Montana, and northern California. The main point made in the article is the recent history of American settlement, "The family researcher does not have to begin tramping through Northwest records until after 1841, when Americans, who were now part of a sixty-five year-old nation first began trickling into the area." Of course, indigenous peoples occupied the land almost since time immemorial, with European explorations dating back to the late 1700s, and early missionary movements of the early 1800s, all influencing the great Westward Migrations to come.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The National Road, Gateway to Ohio

The National Road served as one of the primary migration routes for thousands of settlers migrating west in early history the United States; it also represents one of first improved highways in the U.S., built by the Federal Government. In his article, "The National Road, Gateway to Ohio," Alan Smith reflects, "Genealogists can appreciate the date coincidence in many family migrations with the building of roads, railways, and canals. Suddenly we find entire families moving by leaps and bounds across America, instead of a few counties."

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Walking Pioneers

In her article, "The Walking Pioneers," Judy Rosella Edwards differentiates some of the various groups that crossed the plains to Utah and reminds us of limits placed on those joining the handcart companies.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Migration Patterns Reflected by Township Government

We've all seen the "Twp" designation in census records, referring to a local township, and unless you are familiar with townships, you may assume a township to be a small, early American community akin to a village. In fact, the subject of townships is a little more complex, sometimes controversial, and even telling when it comes to understanding when and where townships were organized and by whom. In her article, "Migration Patterns Reflected by Township Government," Judy Rosella Edwards focuses on this latter aspect, the genealogical value of township research, clarifying the term and its dual meaning along the way. A study of early townships may be one way to trace your ancestors back in time.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Early missionary "bands" establish churches and colleges

"We have grown up with the image of the little prairie church perhaps without even considering where they came from. Beginning in the mid-1840's, young graduates from East Coast schools of theology began a movement that established both churches and colleges in the new frontier." In her article, "The Missionary Bands," Judy Rosella Edwards provides some background and the names of early members.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pioneer Migration Routes, insights and understanding

"Sometimes it is more important to know how a family relation traveled from one location to another, than it is to know about the final destination," writes Alan Smith is his article, "Pioneer Migration Routes." Knowing the path, truly, can shed much light on the family and may help you find new places to search for records and may help you understand more about the motivations for travel and why people took up roots or moved on. I have learned much about my own family migrating from East Tennessee to north central Texas. One can see from the record where various children were born along the way, not only where they traveled but also about how long they stayed in each place, and why the some of the young men in the family served on different sides and from different states in the Civil War. The history of any country is fascinating, especially when viewed through the lens of relevant family history.


Monday, July 16, 2007

The Wilderness Road

First known as Boone's Trace after the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone, the Wilderness Road was one of the most important migratory pathways in the history of our country. "Today, an estimated 43 millions Americans can trace their lineage to pioneers who migrated along the Wilderness Road," among them many of my own ancestors, making their way from the southeast, ultimately arriving In Texas. For my East Tennessee ancestors, the Cumberland Gap was practically in their own back yard. In her article, "The Wilderness Road," Melissa Slate provides a history of the Wilderness Road and its impact of westward migration.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Family history resources in San Bernadino County, CA

With an area containing more land than nine states, San Bernadino County, California is the largest county in the United States. Early residents included native peoples, as well as pioneers looking for adventure in the West. The Mormons and some other religious groups were among the early settlers. In her aticle, "Genealogical Research in San Bernadino County," Gena Philibert-Ortega helps researchers become aware of available family history resources.

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