Wednesday, June 26, 2019


The popularity of DNA tests through, National Geography, and others has created a plethora of talk concerning from where our ancestors came. Their travels explain why we ended up we are. As a person who loves genealogy, history, anthropology, ethnicity, and other subjects involved, this is fascinating. My family took the Ancestry DNA test. 

At the time, I didn’t realize we would also learn migration routes. How interesting. I knew some of that, of course, through my own genealogical research over the past few decades. Still, there were surprises. We have more of some countries and less of others than I expected.

If your ancestors were from Western Europe and/or Britain/Ireland, then they likely entered the U.S.A. through the East coast. Many reasons sent them moving further West. Even before the American Revolution, the quest for land drove families. After living as a tenant/crofter paying large shares to the owner, the chance to own one’s own land must have been irresistible.

On the right, where my ancestors started.
On the left, where they came.
(On the report, a legend is available for colors.)

Other newcomers were displaced from their lands, such as the Scots who were cleared from their homes in 1715 and 1745 and the Irish who were forced to make way for them in Belfast. Then, the terrible potato famine in 1843-45 forced those who could to head for America to avoid starvation. The point is that people were moving westward and willing to tolerate danger and sacrifice to achieve a better life.

For instance, one group of my ancestors migrated after the men in the extended family blew up an English munitions warehouse in the American Revolution. As wanted men, they escaped to Georgia with their families. I suspect they were migrating at a very fast pace, don’t you? Even these gradually inched west until one group came to Texas in the 1870s.

Exciting reading is about wagon trains—starting their trek at St. Louis, Missouri.  Many of us love the stories of romances involving a wagon train across the country. I can’t name them all, but those who have written about the Oregon or Santa Fe Trail include Linda Ford, Rachel Wesson, Patricia Pacjac Carroll, Kay P. Dawson, Kit Morgan, Kathleen Ball, Linda Bridey, and many more. Uh oh, I'll probably be in trouble for those I neglected to mention.

Another route west was by ship and train and took months. That route was used to reach the Pacific Coast via the Isthmus of Panama. I can’t decide which I would have chosen—being confined to ship in a tiny cabin (shared) for months or traveling overland. 

Asa Mercer
Considering this hairstyle, it's probably
just as well he went bald later.

With all the men moving west, women were needed so the men could establish homes and families. One of the past Sweethearts of the West articles was about Asa Mercer, who attempted to bring women west to Seattle via ship but was only moderately successful. He was successful for himself as he married one of the women he recruited. I remember a popular television show from 1968-70 based on this, “Here Come the Brides”. I loved that show.

Front, Joan Blondell and Bridget Hanley
Back, David Soul, Robert Brown
and Bobby Sherman.

Here is my challenge for you, gentle readers. Write down all you know about your ancestors to save for future generations. Don’t just write names—add in family stories, anecdotes, and collect photos. In ink that won't smear through or in pencil, list the names on the back of the photos. Even if you or your children are not interested, get these facts down for future generations so the details won’t be lost! Get your DNA test and you’ll be amazed. 

This is history coming alive!


Caroline Clemmons is the bestselling and award winning author of over fifty titles. Her latest is DEBORAH’S DILEMMA, book 3 of the Pearson Grove Series.

What can Deborah do to protect herself from the devil plaguing her hometown?
Can a young man who’s been away for six years fit into the community he left?
What madman is responsible for the murder and mayhem plaguing Pearson Grove?

Deborah Taber has been concerned by her inability to choose her life’s occupation. That worry was pushed aside when someone shot her brother and fire bombed her family’s newspaper, The Pearson Grove Gazette. She believes Trey Pearson is innocent of attacking her brother—isn’t he? She’s had a crush on Trey since second grade and desperately wants to trust him.

Wade Pearson III, called Trey, is happy to be home on Pearson Ranch after six years in New England. He trained to manage his family’s far-reaching investments. Nothing prepared him to be accused of murder or targeted by a killer. If not for quick action by the sheriff, Trey would have been lynched by vigilantes. He wants to help trap the real villain while protecting Deborah, her family, and his.

Can Deborah and Trey survive the threats against them? Will this clever murderer be caught before he delivers his terrible revenge against those he believes slighted him? 

Here’s the Universal Amazon buy link: DEBORAH'S DILEMMA is also in KU.

Until next month, take care.

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy and often learn from your posts, Caroline. Your newest book sounds great. Thanks, Arletta


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