I saw several of these charts posted on blogs and Facebook, which come from an original post by J. Paul Hawthorne. So I decided to follow suit and have created birthplace charts for both myself and my husband.
I went to seven generations (including myself and my husband). It was really interesting to me to look at the data in this way because it really confirmed for me some key things…
My family has been in the United States for many generations, pretty consistently across the various branches of the family.
My husband’s family has much more recent immigrant roots on his mother’s side of the family.
I have more research to do to find the roots of my mother’s family.
I have more research to do on my husband’s father’s side of the family – there are a lot of missing information about that branch of the family.
My father’s family is pretty much Irish and German immigrants to the New York area (mostly Brooklyn). Very strong roots in that region.
My mother’s family is primarily from Georgia and Mississippi, with a little migration from Virginia and South Carolina.
My husband’s mother’s family were all Polish immigrants (even though the birthplaces are variously Poland, Prussia and Germany). I find it an intriguing example of how much the history of Poland has been dictated by the political history of Europe as a whole.
My husband’s father’s family moved around a lot and their roots are largely unknown… They were primarily in the midwest (Missouri/Oklahoma), but it looks like if we go back a little farther, there may be more roots in the area of Illinois/Ohio/Pennsylvania. They were definitely the more migratory of all the branches of our families.
I’ve been focused on my father’s side of the family. There was a lot of great information about my father’s side in Brooklyn. However, they make their earliest appearance in the mid-1840s to mid-1850s. They immigrated to the United States during that period of time, and since they don’t exist in the records much prior to 1855, I figured it was time to turn to my mom’s side of the family.
A sample indexing project from FamilySearch.org is the Wisconsin – County Marriages, 1838-1907
I’ve started to volunteer to help with the Indexing project at FamilySearch.org. In order to volunteer you have to download their free software program. The program is an easy to use tool that coordinates the indexing projects and lets you download batches of documents to your computer for indexing.
I have to admit, the process is a little addictive. I think in my first week, I’ve spent more than 4 hours indexing, adding 249 names and earning 349 points. FamilySearch uses points earned to figure out your proficiency at indexing and make more complicated projects available to you. When you are starting out as a newbie, you are shown easier projects for your preferred batches. As you gain points, more complicated batches will become available to you.