Thursday, June 30, 2011

CVGS Program Summary - "Migration Patterns" by Susi Pentico

The 29 June 2011 program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society featured CVGS member Susi Pentico's presentation on "Migration Patterns."

Susi started by saying "What we think we are we don't know who we are" and surprised the 26 attendees by describing the prehistoric migration paths out of Africa to all continents, as defined by the extensive DNA testing (see the map at  Some of the unique cultures of prehistoric times, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Roman Empire, the Great Migration into Western Europe, the Middle Ages, and European Medieval times were described with maps and text from online encyclopediae.  The invasion of Iberia by the Berbers and Moors, the Vikings invasion of the British Isles and Brittany, the Black Death in the 1300s, and the religious turmoil of the Reformation were covered.  Susi noted that "every time you have an invasion, you have a mix of ethnicities." 

She went back to the DNA chart and discussing the migration of Asian people into the Americas during the last Ice Age over the Beringia Land Bridge.  Finally, the migration of Africans to the Americas was described as 13 different migration episodes, but only two of them resulted from the slave trade (see, but she did not identify the different episodes.  The concentration of African ancestored people in the USA was discussed based on the 1950 map on the African-American Mosaic website.

In the second part of the presentation, Susi discussed the migration of Europeans to North America,  noting that more Italians immigrated to the USA than any other European group. The migration routes used between the early colonial settlements, over the mountains after the Revolutionary War, and then the westward expansion into the Louisiana Purchase and the far West were shown.  The different colonial and westward roads were discussed, noting that many of them were along the same path as present-day highways.  Travel on rivers and canals, and then railways, were discussed (from and other websites).

Susi's two-page syllabus was emailed to attendees - if you want one, please contact Susi  (

No comments: