Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Families I Write About

A couple of readers commented about this to me privately, so I thought I'd answer here in a slightly more public forum.

The only families that are the subject of Casefile Clues articles are ones that are related to my children. With a few minor exceptions, they are usually ancestors, aunts/uncles, or first cousins of ancestors. It is extremely rare for me to write about someone that is not related to one of my children. This is largely because there is a great amount of variety in my children's ancestry already.

1845-1883 era immigrants
  • Ostfriesland, Germany--1/4 of my children's ancestors came from this area between 1850 and 1883. Main settlements were in western Illinois.
  • Ireland--1/16 of my children's ancestors came from Ireland to Canada in the1850s and 1860s. They were post-famine immigrants
  • Belgium-1/16 of my children's ancestors came from East Flanders to Rock Island County, Illinois, in 1880.
  • Sweden-1/16 of my children's ancestors were from Ostergotland, Sweden, immigrating to Knox County, Illinois in the 1880s.
  • England-1/16 of my children's ancestors were from the Carlisle area, immigrating to Chicago in the 1860s.
  • French-Canada-1/16 of my children's ancestors were from Quebec, migrating into Clinton County, New York in the 1840-1850 era and eventually migrating to Chicago in the very early 20th century. 
  • Switzerland- 1/32 of my children's ancestors were from Graubunden, Switzerland, immigrating to Scott County, Iowa, in the 1850s.
  • Germany-3/32 of my children's ancestors were from Germany, immigrating from Thuringen to Illinois in 1853; parts unknown to Cincannati in the 1840s; and Bavaria to Scott County, Iowa in the 1850s.

I'll work up a summary of the pre-1845 families later, but there are families in every state from New England to North Carolina, including Mayflower immigrants and a few mid-17th century Virginia immigrants.

And there's always the stray aunt, uncle, or cousin who ended up just about anywhere.

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