Monday, July 15, 2013

Mappy Monday – Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735 – 1815

I recently received William Dollarhide’s book, Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735 – 1815. It was a Mothers’ Day gift from our daughter & son in law. Published by HeritageQuest in 2000, it is not a new book but it is new to me and I am enjoying it.

Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735 - 1815

This book includes maps and interesting details about our country’s oldest roads. The Table of Contents includes: Colonial Roads to 1750, Colonial Roads, 1750 – 1775, Roads to the Ohio Country & Roads to the Old Southwest.

The intent of the Map Guide is to show the routes over which migrating families could travel overland in America before the industrial revolution.

I know some of my early families packed up their children and moved from one part of our country to another. I wanted to learn more about what that move was like. What route did they take? What were the dangers? How long did it take? This book made its way onto my wish list in hopes of answering some of these questions. I started by using the book to discover more about John Brumfield.

My 4th great grandfather was John Brumfield [c1768 – 1834 LA] who married Margaret Kelly [1772 NC –LA]. They were married 23 October 1788 in Wake, NC. Eleven of their children were born in York, SC between the years 1790 – 1811. Then, according to Luke Ward Conerly’s Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi, John moved his family to Washington Parish, Louisiana.[1] With further research I found the family in Dorothy Williams Potter’s Passports of Southeastern Pioneers.[2]

On 8 November 1811 Georgia issued a passport for John Brumfield, his wife and 11 children to travel through the Indian Nations to the Western Country.[3]

William Dollarhide’s book tells me:
In 1805, the United States Government signed a treaty with the Creek Indians which redefined their boundaries and, incidentally, gave the U. S. the right to build and maintain a “horse path” through the Creek lands. The treaty recognized the tribe’s autonomy and provided for “passports” to be issued by any of the governors of the U. S. states which would allow whites to travel through this “foreign nation”.

The book paints a picture of the Upper Road & the Federal Horse Path which John and family would have traveled on. The horse path crossed many wetlands where raised causeways had to be built. The Creeks operated inns and waystations for travelers. I’ve learned a little more about what it was like for John, Margaret and their 11 children to relocate. Once they settled in Washington Parish, LA they had two more sons.

Additionally this book tells the readers how to follow our ancestor’s routes today, which highways follow the general path of those early paths. I can retrace the Brumfield’s footsteps by driving the routes mapped out in the book. Sounds like fun!

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[1] Luke Ward Conerly, SOURCE RECORDS FROM PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI 1798-1910; 1798-1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989.
[2] Potter, Dorothy Williams. Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770 - 1823. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002.
[3] Ibid.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good book. I keep meaning to revisit the history of westward expansion to see precisely what prompted so many of my ancestors to leave Virginia in the early 1830s for Ohio/Indiana. Having old maps compared with modern highways would make it really fun to trace their travel.

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    1. It would be fun to travel where they did & blog along the way.

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  2. Colleen, thanks for the recommendation. I'm trying to gather together map resources for a post on my local genealogical society's blog and newsletter. I'll have to check this book out!

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