Sunday, February 23, 2014

Plotting Migration & Immigration Routes

Table 1 Family Migration of Walls Family (father, son, grandson), 1748-1880

Levi Walls, Sr. 1748-1827
About 1748-1795
Unknown location, Delaware
About 1795-1809
Morgantown, Monongalia County, Virginia (present-day West Virginia)
1809-1815
Mifflin Twp., Ross County, Ohio
1815-1819
Sunfish Twp., Pike County, Ohio (possibly no physical move, only new county of Pike formed in 1815 from Ross County)
About 1820-1827
Brush Creek Twp., Scioto County, Ohio
Levi Walls, Jr. 1778-1863
About 1778-1795
Unknown location, Delaware
About 1795-1809
Morgantown, Monongalia County, Virginia (present-day West Virginia)
About 1809-1815
Mifflin Twp., Ross County, Ohio
1815-1821
Sunfish Twp., Pike  County, Ohio (possibly no physical move, only new county of Pike formed in 1815 from Ross County)
1821-1863
Pebble Twp., Pike County, Ohio (possibly no physical move, only new township of Pebble formed in 1821 from Sunfish Twp.)
Elias Walls 1811-1880
1811-1815
Mifflin Twp., Ross County, Ohio
1815-1821
Sunfish Twp., Pike  County, Ohio (possibly no physical move, only new county of Pike formed in 1815 from Ross County)
1821-about 1880
Pebble Twp., Pike County, Ohio (possibly no physical move, only new township of Pebble formed in 1821 from Sunfish Twp.)

Sometimes you just have to plot it out.  I have started using a chart similar to the one above to plot out the whereabouts of my targeted ancestors.  This places them along a "route" and allows me the opportunity to guess where they may be during times they go "missing".
             When a chart is completed with whatever information you are able to find, you can begin to fill in the missing pieces by answering questions like:  What might have caused the family to decide to leave?  Were there new lands opening up somewhere?  Was there a mass migration for religious purposes?  If the family did leave, how might they have gotten to their new location?  What routes were popular for travel at that time?
                Using the chart above, I could speculate that the family started out in an unknown location in Delaware.  They probably took portions of the Braddock Road and what we would call the National Road today.  The National Road was built starting in 1811 and our family had already completed their move into Monongalia County, Virginia by then.  Perhaps it was not much of a road at that time and travel was difficult and slow.  The Levi Walls, Sr. family would have also been traveling with several children.
                Once in Monongalia County, Virginia, they settled for about 14 years.  It was here that Levi Walls Jr. married his step sister, Susan Harmarson.[1] 
                When the decision to move to the Ohio Valley was made, they most likely enjoyed the new Zane’s Trace which was widened and cleared for wagon travel in 1803.  They would have made their way south into Chillicothe and then on into Mifflin Township in Ross County sometime around 1810.[2]  What was the reason for their move to Ohio?  Viewing other records led to finding another relative had moved into the area a year or so before.  Perhaps he had encouraged them to come to Ohio.
   Elias Walls (son of Levi Jr.) was born in presumably Ross County, Ohio in about 1811.[3]
   It is unclear if their physical location changed.  Pike County was formed in 1815 and both Levi Sr. and Levi Jr. are found in the tax list for Pike County in 1816.[4]
                About 1820, Levi Sr. moved down the creek into Scioto County.[5]  He lived here the remainder of his life.  About that same time, there was another boundary change and in 1821 Pebble Township of Pike County was formed.  It is possible that Levi Jr. and his family did not move, but rather the boundary changed and they were then found in the Pebble Township records instead of Sunfish Township.
                Levi Jr. and son Elias Walls lived the remainder of their lives in Pebble Township, Pike County, Ohio.
                On a visit to the Garnet A. Wilson Public Library at Waverly, Ohio in Pike County, I was fortunate to find a newspaper article in which a re-run of a column in the February 20th, 1874 issue of the Pike County Republican was on hand.  This article was an interview of my forth great- grandmother, Susan Harmarson Walls (spelled “Wall” in the article).  In it, she tells of her history and the history of the Walls family moving from Delaware to Ohio.  She literally tells the migration route of her family...what a find!
                Her story matched the records I had found.  She might have been “off” a bit in her years according to census records and tax lists, but for the most part, she was right on.
                By using Susan's interview and learning the history of American Migration in the time frame of these people, I was able to piece together their likely route and could envision some of their difficulties in the trek.
                This same technique can be used to trace an immigration route.  This is another example of creating a timeline.


                  Further research could find information on why the family left Hungary at this time and settled first in Loraine, Ohio.  Why did they decide to leave and go to Virginia?  If there was a question as to where Joseph's children were born, we could view this chart to determine the family's likely location at the time of the child's birth.
                  You never know what you might see when you take a different approach at family history.  I encourage you to try new ways and new techniques and see what new things you learn about your family!

[1] “Leeth Creek Lady Subject of Interview”, (Ohio) Waverly News, 4 July 1973, newspaper clipping in Walls Family Scrapbook, Garnet A. Wilson Public Library, Waverly, Ohio.
[2] Esther Weygandt Powell, “Early Ohio Tax Records:  Reprinted with “The Index to Early Ohio Tax Records,” (Clearfield; Revised edition June 1, 2009), page 351; digital images, Google Books, (books.google.com:  accessed 8 Nov 2012).
[3] 1850 US Federal Census, Pebble Twp., Pike Co., Ohio, population schedule, page 951 (penned), page 375 (stamped), dwelling 1604, family 1604, Elias Walls; digital images, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com:  accessed 24 May 2011); from NARA microfilm publication M432_721.
[4] Esther Weygandt Powell, “Early Ohio Tax Records:  Reprinted with “The Index to Early Ohio Tax Records,” (Clearfield; Revised edition June 1, 2009), page 307; digital images, Google Books, (books.google.com:  accessed 8 Nov 2012).
[5] 1820 US Federal Census, Brush Creek, Scioto, Ohio, population schedule, page 131A, Levi Walls; digital images online, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com:  accessed 30 Oct 2012); from NARA roll M33_95.

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