Thursday, April 3, 2014

Go West Young Genealogist!!

 As land became scarce along the Atlantic seaboard people began to move Westward! My ancestors on my dad's side of the family ventured into what is now West Virginia and down the Ohio River into Kentucky. Some headed west thru the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky. Eventually they crossed the beautiful river into southwestern Ohio. And they stayed there.

My mom's side of the family left Germany and crossed the Atlantic. From there they ventured into Pennsylvania and New York. I am not yet sure how they got to northwestern Ohio, But eventually they settled in the Great Black Swamp. And they stayed there.

So I don't have people who moved to the wild, wild west. I wish I did. My family just stayed in Ohio and Kentucky. Granted, they did make the first trip westward. But once they got there they said "this looks good, let's settle here. We can drain the swamp. And we can live on them thar hills."

So I don't have cowboys, varmints, outlaws, cattle rustlers. No western ancestors. And I envy those who do have. I look at the people who settled the west as enduring unbelievable hardships and conditions. Just settling an unknown territory. I just can't imagine what it would be like to leave a comfortable home in Philadelphia and head west all alone. I confess. I watch Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman every night.  

But wait! Maybe I am not giving my ancestors the credit they deserve. My great, great grandfather was a sheriff in the 1800's in Clermont County. Sadly, just not the same as Marshall Wyatt Earp in the 1800's in Tombstone.

Nope! None of my ancestors,  Gone to Texas.

But maybe you are luckier than me. Maybe you have some Civil War vets that went to Texas; ancestors on the orphan trains between 1854 and 1929; perhaps a Mexican War ancestor. Are you wondering if there are Germans in Texas? Is there a rumor in your family about a cousin who fought at The Alamo? Perhaps you know you have ancestors there and need to find their land records. Or maybe you just want to know how they got to Texas in the first place. And, we all know, you just can not pass up the chance to hear J. Mark Lowe talk about Davy Crockett.

You know what I would do if I were you? I reckon I would head to San Antonio, Texas, for the 2014 FGS Conference. (August 27-30, 2014) I have been to several of the FGS Conferences and I highly recommend them. There is much to learn, much to do, and much to see. Always well organized and fun. For more information go to

You won't regret it! 

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