For 2012, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has republished The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865. Lois Mathews wrote and originally published this history in 1909. Many of today’s historians and genealogists have overlooked this valuable history. However, NEHGS recognized the value is this volume, and so have made it available again.
In this manuscript, Mathews seeks to explain where and why people migrated, first to early coastal settlements, then throughout the region as families moved inland and northward during the colonial period. The author continues this historical examination of migration through the 1850s and people moved up and down the Hudson River, and then on into central and western New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the northern counties of Indiana and Illinois.
Mathews examines reasons behind migration movements, including, socio-economics, religion, and war. She also evaluates the relationships between Native Americans and settlers. Even the formation of new states is reviewed.
Ralph Crandall, Executive Director Emeritus for NEHGS provided the foreword for this most recent publishing. In it, he outlines the value of this book to genealogists. He suggest that first, taking the larger migration patterns into consideration can help genealogists potentially reverse trace a families origin in the American colonies. Second, Crandall notes that Mathews thoroughly examined the printed literature available in her day; namely, town histories and other works that covered specific migrations. These smaller migrations were usually small clusters of families. These groups and the sources are cited through the book. Genealogist can identify specific works for further reference and reading.
Of course, just knowing a bit of history, and understanding the driving forces of the day, can help researchers make deductions about their own ancestors and their likely movements throughout New England and beyond.
Chapter I Introduction
Chapter II The Beginning of an American Frontier
Chapter III The Influence of Indian Warfare Upon the Frontier
Chapter IV Forty Years of Strife withing the Wilderness
Chapter V The Frontier in War and in Peace, 1754-1781
Chapter VI The Beginning of the Great Migrations form New England Toward the West, 1781-1812
Chapter VII The Planting of a Second New England, 1787-1865
Chapter VIII The Joining of Two Frontiers: Indiana and Illinois, 1809-1865
Chapter IX The New Englanders as State Builders: Michigan and Wisconsin, 1820-1860
Chapter X Two Centuries and a Half of New England Pioneering, 1620-1865
Find The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $17.59.