In a search for ancestors, it's important to understand the patterns of migration to and within the New World. Not only does this understanding provide geographical clues to aide our search, but it brings a deeper understanding and appreciation not only for how and why they settled the areas they did, but an understanding and appreciation for the lives they led.
My maternal ancestors came from England, Ireland and Scotland.
Let's begin our study of migration with "The Beginning"!
Once the settlements on the East coast were established and becoming crowded with more and more immigrants, the new-comers had to look further to the west for "opportunity". The great move west was about to begin in earnest.
See a map of the settled areas in 1700
The Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountain ranges could not be seen from the shores of the Atlantic ocean and only a few explorers and trappers even knew they existed before 1675. These mountains would play a tremendous role in the western migration of our ancestors and would become home to many of the first brave souls to reach them.
To understand how our pioneer ancestors made it into the moutains, we need to spend a little time on the fascinating road system!
Now, I'm sure you realize the Kentucky we know and love today is NOT the Kentucky our ancestors settled in. In fact, it wasn't even Kentucky at the time. It was Virginia!
The Beginning we learned that in 1585 Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition to the New World named the entire land VIRGINIA in honor of Queen Elizabeth I.
My "recent" ancestors settled in what is now known as Pike County, Kentucky. However, it only became Pike County, Kentucky in 1821. This historical data is crucial for genealogical research.
Kentucky Historical Information