Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     As this column has stated many times, the study of genealogy and history are interwoven. In order to comprehend fully the influences affecting the lives of one’s forebears, researchers need to know about historical events during various eras and the geography of the region in which they traveled and resided. By understanding these factors, genealogists may find helpful clues to help extend their pedigree further back in time. To help family researchers learn about these details, Lloyd deWitt Bockstruck has written am illuminating new book, AMERICAN SETTLEMENTS AND MIGRATIONS: A PRIMER FOR GENEALOGISTS AND FAMILY HISTORIANS.

     Arranged by region and thereunder by state or province, Bockstruck’s volume discusses in varying detail each of the fifty states and three Canadian provinces (Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec)up to the end of the nineteenth century. His focus, however, is on the original patterns of settlement and migration in the states established between the colonial period and the middle of the 1800s. For each, the author examines the reasons for settlement, specific places of settlement (Christopher von Graffenriedt’s colonies in North Carolina and Virginia, for example), the pioneers’ places of origin, ethnic and religious groups, and names of some of the founding families or individuals. In addition, he furnishes a bibliography of books for more detailed background material.

     Bockstruck’s purpose is to show how migration itself and conditions like modes of transportation, proximity of waterways and roads, availability and physical features of land, and wide-ranging historical events like wars, famines, and gold rushes all factor into family history. Any of these components may provide previously overlooked clues for further research. Since like-minded pioneers and religious groups often migrated together, for example, investigation into the background of these “clusters” may point to their point of origin. Or, for instance, individuals sometimes named their tract of land for their previous place of residence in Great Britain or Ireland. Bockstruck highlights a myriad of possibilities like these for researchers to explore.

     In addition, the author contrasts colonial migrations with those following the American Revolution and shows the impact the war had on the divided allegiances of many families, causing some American Loyalists to flee to Canada. Another fascinating analysis concerns the basic distinctions between the North and the South, which began with the different patterns of settlement. Chocked full of information, AMERICAN SETTLEMENTS AND MIGRATIONS: A PRIMER FOR GENEALOGISTS AND FAMILY HISTORIANS will prove to be a classic in the field of genealogical literature. All genealogical libraries and both experienced and inexperienced researchers will want to have a copy of this valuable work for quick and easy reference.

     The 108-page softbound publication costs $18.95. To the book’s price, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #8125) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website ).

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