I am a big believer in studying migration chains. Your ancestor did not just arbitrarily move from point A to point B. Chances are someone encouraged him to move, or sent him a letter telling him how good it was in the new area, etc. Even if there was not someone from “home” living in his new destination when he arrived, chances are someone from “home” came out to settle where he did after he was there.

My wife and I have over twenty ancestral families who came from Europe in the mid-19th century. All of them (save one) came where they knew someone or else had someone come over from Europe after they did. And even those families moving across the US moved as part of a group of other families. Studying these “chains” has been very informative for my research.

What or who brought your ancestor from Point A to Point B? Take the time to find out. You might learn more about history and your ancestor than you think.



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  1. Good tip! – I have done that also while working on my book. I also started paying attention to the other passengers that were on the ship with them – And WOW did that pay off! After all the years of having my Great Grandfather, Rolf Habbens passenger list I finally noticed that another relative traveled with them – and have since made contact with that family – what a joy!

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