Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Delight To The Eyes

Since the snake offered Eve the apple, " was a delight to the eyes...", there have been those who wanted to sell you something.  Just what would it take to get you to get on a small boat, cross an unknown sea,  and come to this Nova Britannia?

The above flyer is such an offer.  It is "Offering Most Excellent fruites". [Seems like I've heard that before.]
All you have to do is get on this small boat and plant your life in Virginia.  It goes on to say, "Exciting all fuch as be well affected to further the fame."

It was printed in London, in a shop near St. Pauls Church which was the center of the printing business 1609.  Just stop by my shop [Samuel Machan] at the sign of the "Bul-head".   An apple from the bull, an interesting combination.  This sailing ship would certainly be a delight to the eyes...say the spin doctors of the day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Into The Same Boat

For what would you give your life?  This existence as we know it.  For some it may be their family.  For others it may be their country.  An idea perhaps... a belief... or issue that is priority for ones life, may head the list.  We would probably choose not to think about it, but our ancestors often did.

Asking what did our ancestors give their life for, will often help us understand their life, and at times help us get around some of those brick walls.  It was not until I started asking these types of questions to my ancestors, that I got help getting the connections across the big pond.

My genealogy research had led me to the shores of Virginia.  The folks there had made their way across this big pond prior to 1650.   How in the world do you climb out the correct branch across all this water?   Why did they come?  What forces or events made them risk their lives on this difficult and trying adventure. [ I am sure that not all would have considered it an adventure!]

I had also spent years on the other side of the pond looking for connections.  A common bond, a common life event, a common experience that might put some of these folks into the same boat.

The English Civil War was such an event. [1638-1660 depending on who's side you read.]  This complex, social, political, religious, cultural series of events cost many their lives and fortunes.  It was this time in my family that they were basically forced to leave their get on those boats...and cross the great pond.  It was a good thing for me that not all gave their life.

What about your ancestors?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Migration Patterns

  For roughly the first 100 years,  the colonies remained a coastal civilization.  It was Virginia and Maryland that were the first to begin a slow but steady migration westward.  Understanding this migration pattern will often help the genealogist to get around (or over) some of those brick walls.

Roads were being made by chopping out underbrush and small trees in a swath ten to thirty feet wide.  Many times, the largest trees were left standing even in the path just cleared.  Small streams could be bridged with logs, but only fords or ferries on the main traveled routes allowed a passage over the rivers.  Just imagine what fun in wet, wet weather!

The drawing above is my attempt to try and understand the early migration patter into my families' home.  Thick, heavy forest; tall mountains ranges; and fierce ethic groups opposed  to this western expansion, all produced obstacles to this migration.  How folks arrived to a particular area, will often give a direction of origin to the genealogist seeking to climb out a branch of the family tree.

For example, if a family member settled along the Ohio River, it was a good bet that they came down this migration route, thus being from PA or VA.  If they came through "the gap", it would be most likely they came from NC, or VA.  Maryland had both routes available.  In this way, a genealogist may be able to pick a "first" or "second" way to begin their tree climbing.  Finding the migration/immigration route may be a way around some brick walls.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Recognizing Resources

Tree climbing will often take you in many directions.  Out this branch...out that branch...and sometimes falling out of the tree.  Getting up and starting again can be a challenge.  Recognizing resources can be a help when a few of the branches seem impossible.

These resources may come from a variety of locations.  People, places, and things, may be some of them.  A library, a court house, a book store, or any number of things may help.  For me, a University Library was always most helpful.  Special collections, reference rooms, archives, etc...etc... may open many doors.  Every state has at least one university library ready to help. [Parking always seems to be a problem!]

What have been your resources?  Please post a comment to help share your own experiences.  Falling out of long as you haven't broken anything...dust yourself off and look for some resources.