By Shannon Combs-Bennett, Student
Through my research I have learned that my ancestors never stayed in one place too long. Some of you may be among the small few that had ancestors arrive on these shores and stay put, but for the majority of people, that didn’t happen. There was always new places, new adventures, new land, and new opportunity just waiting over the horizon.
Understanding why people moved once they arrived in America can be critical to unlocking a few of those pesky brick walls. I have studied a lot about why people immigrated to the US but not as much time on why they then kept moving west.
For those of you who have read my blog posts before you know that my family is mainly from the state of Indiana. They came there from Europe and from eastern United States. While my direct line stayed in Indiana (for over 100 years until my parents left) many of their extended family kept moving west. Some landed along the Mississippi. Others made it all the way to California. In this course I hope to learn more about why they moved, how they got there, and any other motivations that may have gone into that decision.
By looking at the introduction for the course US: Migration Patterns I see that we will cover everything from Colonial American migration through the 20th century. Then there are the mention of maps. I love maps! They really drive home what was physically done when combined with text and I think that will help me learn more about the routes and migration patterns we are learning.
It is never an easy decision to uproot your family. Even today moving long distances is an arduous task that most people only do it if there is a job or family motivation. We have trucks and pavement after all and if we think it is a massive undertaking imagine what our ancestors thought!
So wish me luck on my migration adventure and I will see you online!