So many times when we locate an ancestor they have migrated from where they were born or married or built a home, to another area possibly a great distance away. What prompts these moves? What was it they were searching for or hoping to gain by moving?
There are many web sites dealing in reasons including: California Gold Rush, Oregon Trail, the Dustbowl of the 1930s, the Homestead Act of 1862, immigrating from another country in search of a better life, religious persecution, and more. Today many people move from one locale to another due to a change in occupaton or a relocation, stationed at different spots due to military service, to get out of small towns or big cities, to go to school, and more.
I thought I would detail some of my ancestors’ migration patterns. I don’t have enough proof to document the reasons why they moved – just that they did.
Frederick Goul (5th great-grandfather)
Frederick took his wife, son, and daughter by ship (possibly the “Rawley”) from Frankfort, Germany to America in the mid-1700s. By the time they reached Philadelphia, his wife and daughter had died.
Adam Goul (4th great-grandfather)
Adam married Elizabeth Lutz in Pennsylvania and several of their children were born there. They moved to Rockbridge County, Virginia by 1804 and by 1817 had migrated west to Goshen Twp, Champaign County, Ohio. Adam and Elizabeth are buried at Treacles Creek Cemetery in Champaign County.
John Goul (3rd great-grandfather)
One of Adam’s and Elizabeth’s sons, born about 1802, in Philadelphia, he was with his parents when they moved to Ohio. About 1823 he married Martha McManaway. John and his wife didn’t move from Champaign County.
Malissa Goul (great-great grandmother)
Malissa met Franklin Blazer in Champaign County and they married. The couple moved west to Madison County, Indiana before 1860 and most of their children were born there. One son, John, and one daughter, Martha (Mat), remained in the area. Daughter, Katie, grew up in the County and only moved in 1930 with her husband to live with their son in Greene County, Indiana. Daughter, Rachel, moved west to Missouri and Kansas. Son, Wesley, moved to Champaign County, Ohio where he married, brought up children and died.
Glen R. Johnson (maternal grandfather)
My grandfather (son of Katie Blazer and John L. Johnson) was born in Anderson, Indiana and never moved away until he was in training for WWI at Ft. Omaha, Nebraska and then on to Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas. He went to France toward the end of WWI and then returned to his wife, son and home in Anderson. During his career in the Army Air Corps (later the Air Force), he and his family moved East to Greene County, Ohio. This is the place they considered home for the remainder of their lives. Yet they also moved according to the military to Wiesbaden, Germany. My grandfather also spent some time in Washington D.C., Tullahoma, Tennessee; Finschafen, New Guinea; Orlando, Florida. Returning to the Dayton area before 1960, he and his wife lived out the remainder of their lives in that area.
Jacob Johnson (3rd great-grandfather)
Jacob was born in New Jersey in 1787. He moved (probably with his parents and family) by 1816 to the Southeastern section of Ohio in Brown County, Ohio. His wife’s family (Ann Shields) has also been located in that area. By 1840 Jacob and family were living in Center Township, Rush County, Indiana, where he spent the remainder of his life.
James Wilson Johnson (great-great grandfather)
He was born in Ohio when his parents, Jacob and Ann, lived in Brown County. As a child he moved with them to Rush County, Indiana. In the 1880 Census James and his second wife, Margaret Gordon, are living in Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Indiana. James spent some time in Michigan in his later years living with each of his daughter’s and their families. He moved one last time – when he was buried in Little Blue River Cemetery in Rush County, Indiana.
John Mullis and Dolly Stanley (3rd great grandfather and mother)
In-laws of James Wilson Johnson, they moved from Wilkes County, North Carolina before 1838 to Rush County, Indiana.
Perhaps as I continue with my research, I will discover the reason why these people moved from one area (or country) to another. It has just been quite interesting to see their migration patterns.