Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CVGS Seminar Review - "British Isles to America and Migrating West"

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Spring Seminar on Saturday, 31 March was very informative and entertaining for the 100 attendees.  The Family roots Publishing book sale, the opportunity drawings, the door prizes and silent auction were highlights throughout the day.  An excellent served luncheon, plus morning and afternoon snacks, provided energy for the audience to enjoy the four presentations throughout the day.

The picture above shows Bill Dollarhide, CVGS member Randy Seaver and Leland Meitzler (photo courtesy of J. Paul Hawthorne).

After a brief introduction by CVGS President Gary Brock, Susi Pentico gave a brief keynote "Making New Friends" talk and introduced the two speakers.  Bill Dollarhide and Leland Meitzler made four presentations:

1)  The first presentation by Bill Dollarhide, a well-known author and conference presenter, was titled "British Migrations America, 1629-1775."  Bill framed his talk around the four main migration groups described in the book Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer.  There were two main parts to this talk:

*  A dissertation on the Kings and Queens of England and how the royal, civil, religious and social events in England influenced migration from England to America.  The disputes between the Catholic Church and the Church of England, the English civil War (1649-1660) were covered in significant detail.

*  The folkways of the East Anglia Puritans (1629-1640) of about 21,000 immigrants, who settled in New England, and of the Cavaliers and their servants from southwest England to the Chesapeake Bay region (1641-1675), about 45,000 immigrants.

2)  Leland Meitzler's first presentation was "American Migration Routes of Our Ancestors."  He described, using maps and text, the early American Post Roads (e.g., the Boston Post road, the King's Highway, the Fall Line road, etc.), Early American Colonial roads (e.g., Cumberland Road, Wilderness Road, Mohawk Trail), Roads to the Midwest (e.g., Chicago Road, Midwest Road) roads to the Ohio Country (e.g., Zane's Trace, Nashville Road), and roads to the Old Southwest (e.g., Natchez Trace, Federal Road).  Because of time constraints, he could not cover the Roads to the West (e.g., Santa Fe Trail, Trail of Tears, Oregon Trail).

After the delicious lunch, which included time to buy books from Family Roots Publishing and bid on the Silent Auction items, the program continued with:

3)  Bill Dollarhide's second presentation dealt with the Quakers and German Palatine Settlements (1675-1725) and the Scots-Irish Borderers (1717-1775) migrations.  The Quakers and German Palatines settled in the Delaware Valley (Pennsylvania and New Jersey) and had about 23,000 immigrants.  The Scots-Irish  settled west of the Fall Line Road east of the Appalachian Mountains, and had about 250,000 immigrants.

4)  Leland Meitzler's second presentation was "Newspaper Research in the 21st Century."  He described the history of American newspapers, with many visual examples.  He noted that three developments changed newspaper production and distribution - the invention of the power printing press, the railroads expansion to the West, and the increasing demand for news resulting from increased literacy.  Leland listed items to look for articles and notices about family members for birth, marriage, death, anniversary, insurance firms, etc. events.

All in all, this was an excellent day-long seminar by two well-known and dynamic presenters on subjects of interest to American researchers.  Many attendees took advantage of the books offered by Leland's company.

1 comment:

J. Paul Hawthorne said...

That was a double hitter, having William Dollarhide & Leland Meitzler in the same day! I learned so much and got a better perspective on migration patterns, not only in the U.S. itself but from the British Isles too. I also enjoyed the massive amount of great genealogical books available for purchase, of which I bought several. Thanks to the great people at CVGS for putting on a great seminar.