03 October 2006

Migration Chains

Genealogists who focus too much on migration trails might overlook what usually is more important in my opinion: migration chains.

If your ancestor moved from point A to point B, what brought him there? Determing the likely reason lead to new research opportunities. Of my numerous immigrant ancestors in the 1840-1885 era, I thought I only had one who came "alone." Turns out they didn't come alone after all---I just missed the links because the links. The connection was not obvious and involved several degrees of "in-laws." All of my immigrant ancestors during this period (nearly a dozen families) immigrated to where they had family or relatives. Keep looking...there's probably a connection somewhere.

Readers of the Ancestry World Journal will see my story on this migration chain in an upcoming edition.

And if anyone knows what caused August Mortier to be one of the earliest Belgians to settle in Moline/Rock Island, Illinois (they arrived in 1880 which was a decade before significant numbers came to the Quad Cities)...let me know. I have several Mortier descendants living in my house, but am not one myself ;-).