Tag Archives: migration

Naming Patterns

In the  Blair County Genealogical Society Newsletter, Altoona, PA, Septermber-October-November 1987 issue Vol. 8, No. 3, childrens naming patterns were listed as follows:

English in England

1st son-maternal grandfather

2nd son-paternal grandfather

3rd son-father

1st daughter-paternal grandmother

2nd daughter-maternal grandmother

3rd daughter-mother




Overland Migration Routes

The most used overland migration routes were:

Boston Post Road-a mail trail between Boston and New York in the 17th century.

Braddock’s Road- military trail  that was the first overland route through  the Allegheny Mountains.

California Trail: this trail and the Oregon Trail ran side by side until it crossed the Rockies.

Fall Line Road-from Pennsylvania and Maryland to the Carolinas before 1750’s.

Forbes Road- military road from Harrisburg to Fort Dusquesne during the French and Indian War.

Great Valley Road-road used to migrate to western Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee in colonial America.

King’s Highway-old post routes that traveled from Maine to Georgia.

Mohawk Trail-main route for traveler’s making their way west.

Mormon Trail-Mormon’s traveled this 1,400 mile route from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah between 1847 and 1869.

Natchez Trace-only route to Old Southwest that ran from Lexington, Kentucky to Natchez, Mississippi before 1806. 

National Road-ran from Wheeling, West Virginia to Vandalia, Illinois but railroad eliminated the need for it. Also known as the Cumberland Trail or National Pike.

Oregon Trail-pioneers from Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois traveled 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri to the Columbia River area of Oregon from 1841 to 1869.

Upper Road-route from Fredericksburg to the Carolinas.

Wilderness Road-route traveled through Kentucky and the lower Ohio Valley.

Zane’s Trace-settlers used this to cross the Ohio River.

Why Ancestors Migrated

I read an article called Moving On by Barbara Kransner-Khaitin in a 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine that was really good. In the article,  she covered the reasons and migration patterns of our ancestors and states that by studying these patterns, they might provide insight into who are ancestors were. 

People and families often moved in large groups for a variety of reasons. Several migrations or “fevers” as they were known were:

Genesee Fever: in the 1790’s the New Englanders moved into the Genesee Vally region of western New York.

Ohio Fever: Harsh weather forced  many New Englanders to move into the fertile farmlands of Ohio after the economic fallout from the War of 1812.

Michigan Fever: Over 200,000 people from New England, western New York, Virginia and North Carolina migrated to Michigan between 1830 and 1840.

Oregon Fever:  More than 350,000 made the 2,000 mile westward trek to new destinations in the west.

Gold Fever: Around the 1850’s, many pushed westward because of financial hardships and hopes of finding gold easily. Little did they know that it would be very difficult and more often than not, would find nothing but more hardships.

As you can see from the above, the reasons for migrating were often economic and weather related.