The Boston States Migrations

Resources to track families migrating between the Canadian Eastern Provinces , New England and New York through the centuries.

1990 US Census demographics for Canadian ancestry

Boston States History, Geographic Names and Maps

 

The "Boston States" is a term that Canadians have used to describe the magnet migrations to the New England area.  It hasn't just been Canadians coming to the US . Families in the Northeast have also moved into Canada for more than 300 years. Many have gone back and forth over the generations.

 

Who were they? Many different large groups and chain migrations. If you find one, you will find many in the same family or group.

 

How did they travel? First it was waterways and trade routes. Then there were the well-known trails and roads, followed by the development of canal, railroad and steamship routes. We need historic maps and other geographic tools to help us track the patterns.

Boston States Migrations presentation at the 2006 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference Boston in the Adobe Acrobat PDF Syllabus Outline http://bostonstates.rootsweb.com/FGSBostonStates.pdf

Irish Research Tips in Adobe Acrobat PDF http://bostonstates.rootsweb.com/IrishResearchTips.pdf

Library of Congress Map Samples http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/gmdhome.html

GoldBug.com Map CDs http://goldbug.com/

Readex Archive of Americana, America's Genealogy Bank Resources http://readex.com

French Canadian and Metis Marriage, Acadian and American Revolution Loyalist Resources http://www.bunnellgenealogybooks.citymaker.com

A special Boston States Migrations project for Mariners is summarized in this article: "A Genealogical Goldmine: The Ships and Seafarer's CD from the Memorial University of Newfoundland " http://bostonstates.rootsweb.com/S&SCdstats.htm

To search the Boston States Migrations archives or subscribe to the Boston States email list  

http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/CAN/BOSTON-STATES.html

Recent general topics and URL links include:

Acadian, adoption, Boston Globe archives, Boston States posting address, Canada-Census-Campaign, Canadians Unite for Census Access, cemetery photos list and archives, census, church, Connecticut, Emigrant ships, French Canadian, historic landmarks, Immigration routes, locations URLs, loyalists, Maine, Maritime, Massachusetts, MA/RI /CT Events, Migration, Murder, New York, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, New Hampshire, NE Railroad and Turnpike reference books, New Englanders in Canada, Ontario, Orphans, other newspaper archives, Passenger lists, Prince Edward Island, P.E.I., probate records, Quebec, Railroad Maps, research, genealogy tools, societies, Research trip Exchange, Rhode Island, River routes and history, Rootsweb Search Update, Sailors, SHIPS, Soldiers, Travel, Vermont

You can also enter occupations, religions, ethnic groups or any other phrase that might help you narrow your search in the postings.

Other Rootsweb resources to search:

Rootsweb meta search http://resources.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/metasearch

More Canada Lists! http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/CAN

All Rootsweb lists http://lists.rootsweb.com/

Rootsweb web sites http://www.rootsweb.com/~websites

Surname search'em ALL page! http://resources.rootsweb.com/surnames

Search everything at Rootsweb http://searches.rootsweb.com

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How to place queries in Canadian and other Northeast newspapers

Do not underestimate the resource in newspaper genealogy columns. There are many people in the areas you are researching who are not on the Internet and may be looking for you!

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SAMPLE QUERY

O'NEILL - Who were parents of Mary Ann O'Neill (1840-1912) of Havelock ; married Simon A. Steeves (1840-1909) of Dawson Settlement? Children:Michael C., Lavenia (Eliot), Arezina (Palmer), Margaret (Bishop), Maude (Ackerly), John, Viola "Dolly" (Chapman).

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Email Newspapers in areas of interest to see if they have their own genealogy column:

Canada 's newspapers: http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/canada.htm

United States Newspaper Program Project & Informational Web Sites http://www.neh.gov/projects/usnp.html

Boston Globe On-line archives contains more than  20 years of articles and obituaries http://boston.com/globe/search 

World Newspapers http://www.world-newspapers.com/

Cyndi's List http://www.cyndislist.com/magazine.htm

International Society of Family History Writers and Editors http://www.isfhwe.org

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Boston States History, Geographic Names and Maps

The "Boston States" is a term that Canadians have used to describe the magnet migrations to the New England area. The migration pattern results are reflected in the 1990 census map above.

Hamrick software has provided another tool by mapping surname distributions with the US 1850, 1880, 1910 and 1990 census information at http://www.hamrick.com/names The color coded population densities show you where a family name was concentrated and spread over the course of 140 years.

It hasn't just been Canadians coming to the US . Families in the Northeast have also moved into Canada for more than 300 years. Many have gone back and forth over the generations. See Sandra Devlin's East Coast Kin series for some of the patterns:

"Boston-States" Lured Maritimers In Droves - Part I http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazsd/gazsd19.htm

"Boston-States" Lured Maritimers In Droves - Part II http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazsd/gazsd20.htm 

My own family lines include Micmacs in PEI; 1600s French settlers in Quebec; 1600s settlers in MA, VA and RI becoming 1700s Planters in NS; Swiss Foreign Protestants in the 1700s NS; Loyalists in New York, Quebec, Ontario, NS and PEI; 1800s UK settlers in PEI, NS and NB. Then a convergence began in Massachusetts as the Industrial Revolution created a magnet for Boston . The emerging industries caused migrations, as well as disease (tuberculosis killed three of my great grandparents) and a bad year for the potato crop motivated my PEI farmers to try New Hampshire farming.

These families include sailors, farmers, fishermen, constables, ministers, millers, shoemakers, stone masons, chemists, ferry boat captains, laborers, loom builders, foremen, teachers, carpenters, chauffeurs, truck drivers, controllers, assembly line workers. I'm sure there are more I haven't found yet.

Perhaps yours were the businessmen, tool craftsmen, shipbuilders, wagon and carriage builders, politicians, textile workers, quarry workers , canal and railroad laborers, professors, postal workers, millwrights ...

How far back does your family line go in North America ? Why did they travel so far? What kept them moving? There are many motivations for the migrations that occurred so frequently. These migrant groups had religious, family, economic and political associations that converged and split over the generations.

How did they travel? First it was waterways and trade routes. Then there were the well-known trails and roads, followed by the development of canal, railroad and steamship routes. We need historic maps and other geographic tools to help us track the patterns. This article about Essex county MA migrations has numerous leads for the region's migrations http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ma/state/main/migleads.html

 You can go to John Robertson's Genealogy & Maps page at http://jrshelby.com/genmap/ for many, many general map and charting tips. These pages include such items as England, Scotland and Wales county maps at http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Britain.html Scottish clan maps at http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/index.html  and http://www.clan-mackenzie.org.uk/graphics/map_scot_clan.jpg Irish provinces and counties at http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Ireland.html to help you see where earlier family alliances were formed in the UK. There are many other links to maps throughout the world and a "roll your own" set of map making tips.

Several historic maps of eastern Canada can be found at http://www.nfld.com/archive

Hundreds of historic maps of the US are available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/Libs/PCL/Map_collection/americas.html and http://www.lib.utexas.edu/Libs/PCL/Map_collection/map_sites/hist_sites.html

These maps show, for example, early Indian territories in the US .

 

Many country, state, county and town borders moved back and forth between French, British, Canadian province and United States governments. Go to http://jrshelby.com/genmap/ for US state and county historic border changes, including boundary disputes.

Many location names are hard to find or have changed. You can do interactive lookups for the US at http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic

and Canada at http://geonames.nrcan.gc.ca/index_e.php

Ancestry Maps and Gazetteers at http://www.ancestry.com/

Don't forget to check World GenWeb pages http://worldgenweb.org

 

Many Links to History, Travel and Museum Aids for research: general topics include Railroad , Canada , US, Religious, Ethnic, Migration Resources  http://bostonstates.rootsweb.com/BostonStatesindex.htm

 

 

Copyright 1999-2011 Sharon Varnum Sergeant ssergeant@usa.net