The First Native Migrant?

Those of us with immigrant ancestors who crossed the pond often try and figure out where our actual ancestors fit into the larger migration cluster. This is often done by trying to determine who or what brought our immigrant to the area where they settled. What relatives or former neighbors already lived there? What relatives or former neighbors came after them? Who else was in the migration cluster?

We can sometimes forget to do this for our ancestors who were simply migrating from one part of the United States to another. I was working on a couple who migrated from Coshocton County, Ohio, into Adams and Hancock Counties in Illinois in the late 1840s. The husband had several first cousins who settled in the area. The wife had a sister and brother-in-law who also settled in the area. I’m assuming they all knew of each other’s existence and did not randomly end up in the same general area.

It is important to also remember that others besides our biological family may have been a part of this migration cluster. In my case, the brother-in-law’s family also made the move to the area as well suggesting that the migration was larger than just my one pair of ancestors and some of their biological family members. The cluster might have been larger than you think.