Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Blog about doing Genealogical Research in the Midwest

I have decided to add a blog to my websites. This blog will contain general information about researching in the midwest, short blognotes about the midwest, news of genealogical events happening in or about the midwest and other items of interest. The blog is also open to others who would like to share what they know about researching in the midwest. It can be used to post questions and share ideas. I hope you will find it a welcome addition to my websites.

As an opener let's define what is considered the "Midwest" ~ The United States Census Bureau divides the United States into 4 geographic regions:
  • Northeast
  • South
  • Midwest
  • West
The Midwest consists of 12 states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. For more information describing the Midwest see this wikipedia site. The order of entry of the Midwestern States into the union is shown below:

  • Ohio - 17th state admitted in 1803
  • Indiana - 19th state admitted in 1816
  • Illinois - 21st state admitted in 1818
  • Missouri - 24th state admitted in 1821
  • Michigan - 26th state admitted in 1837
  • Iowa - 29th state admitted in 1846
  • Wisconsin - 30th state admitted in 1848
  • Minnesota - 32nd state admitted in 1858
  • Kansas - 34th state admitted in 1861
  • Nebraska - 37th state admitted in 1867
  • North and South Dakota - 39th & 40th states both admitted in in 1889

Early settlers began coming into the area known are "the Old Northwest Territory" at the turn of 19th century. Settlers of Scots-Irish origins poured into the area from Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania to purchase land. Another stimulus to settling the area were land warrants issued to Revolutionary War soldiers, who were mainly from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey. The construction of the Erie Canal and later the railroad helped to bring new settlers into the area.

Some major factors affecting the settlement of the midwest include:
  • Northwest Ordinance in 1787
  • Establishment of roads such as the National Road, Braddocks Road, Cumberland Gap,
  • Louisiana Purchase in 1803
  • Building of the Erie Canal
  • Steamboats
  • Building of the railroads
  • Platte Purchase of 1837
  • Trails west including Oregon, Santa Fe
  • Gold discovered at Sutter's Mill in California 1849
  • Homestead Acts of 1862 and 1866
  • Treaties with Native Americans

This is just a brief synopsis of the opening of the Midwest to settlers and those who are our ancestors. If you want to learn more about this there are many many links on the internet that can help you.
Some links I find helpful include:

If you would like to share any sources of information you have that would help others learn more about the settlement of the Midwest please feel free to add a post to this Blog!
Stay tuned -- more about the Midwest to come in the future.
Sharlene Miller, CG
CG and Certified Genealogist are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists used under license by those who have passed BCG's periodic examination process.

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