Last week I filled my Facebook news feed with colorful charts showing the birth locations of five to seven generations of friends’ families. The idea was started by J. Paul Hawthorne, author of GeneaSpy and grew as others added different variations including death locations, ages at death, cause of death, religion, and DNA haplogroups. I played along posting a five-generation birth location chart, but it got me thinking that this information should be expanded and compiled into a blog post. So here we are with six-generation birth and death location charts and a quick look at the stats they reveal.
Before this exercise, I knew I was pretty solidly Kentuckian and southern. You have to go back to my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Weeks, to find my first ancestor born north of the Mason Dixon Line. And even she spent most of her life in Kentucky.
Each chart starts with me and expands to my 3rd great-grandparents with paternal line on the left and maternal on the right. A glance at the colors on both charts show both distinct differences and similarities in state locations between the ancestry of my parents. However, except for a period post-Revolutionary War when they both had ancestors in Wilkes County, North Carolina, they were not in the same counties or even the same areas of a state.
My paternal grandfather came to Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1902 or 1903 from Mississippi. His father’s family and his mother’s family lived in the four-county area along the Alabama (Chambers and Randolph) and Georgia (Heard and Troup) border, but they started in different locations.
- Pitt County, North Carolina > old Randolph/Jasper County, Georgia > Meriwether County, Georgia > Randolph County, Alabama
- Rutherford County, North Carolina > old Randolph/Jasper County, Georgia > Meriwether County, Georgia > Troup County, Georgia
- Laurens County, South Carolina > Heard County, Georgia
- South Carolina > Troup County, Georgia
Kentucky roots run deep in my maternal grandmother’s father’s side with at least two families here pre-statehood (1792) but her mother’s family moved to Kentucky after the Civil War.
- Fredrick County, Virginia > Wilkes County, North Carolina > Hopkins County, Kentucky
- Mecklenburg County, Virginia > Clark County, Kentucky > Hopkins County, Kentucky
- Spotsylvania County, Virginia > Fayette County, Kentucky > Hopkins County, Kentucky
- Northumberland & Richmond Counties, Virginia > Hopkins County, Kentucky
- Wilkes County, North Carolina > Hopkins County, Kentucky
- Ohio County, Virginia > Warren County, Ohio > Livingston County, Kentucky
- Bradley County, Tennessee > McMinn County, Tennessee > Whitfield County, Georgia > Logan County, Kentucky > Hopkins County, Kentucky
- Lumpkin County, Georgia > Murray County, Georgia > Logan County, Kentucky
My only New England connection is through my maternal grandfather’s family but you have to go back two more generations from what is shown on these charts to find ancestors born in Rhode Island.
- Providence County, Rhode Island > Washington County, Tennessee > Claiborne County, Tennessee > Hancock County, Tennessee > Harlan County, Kentucky
- Lee County, Virginia > Harlan County, Kentucky
- North Carolina > Lee County, Virginia > Harlan County, Kentucky
Even though they came from different places, my maternal grandmother’s ancestors all settled in Kentucky in the area that today makes up Garrard, Lincoln, and Rockcastle Counties.
- Essex County, Virginia > Garrard County, Kentucky
- Virginia > Lincoln County, Kentucky
- Virginia > Garrard County, Kentucky > Rockcastle County, Kentucky
- Halifax County, Virginia > Wilkes County, North Carolina > Rockcastle County, Kentucky
- Virginia > Wilkes County, North Carolina > Rockcastle County, Kentucky
Obviously, this doesn’t begin to skim the surface of the family migration paths, names aren’t even included. But it made me think and now a migration topic has been added to the editorial calendar for a more in-depth study of several families later this year.