Friday, April 05, 2013

ancestral geography

I've not been working on this too much, but I took a couple of hours yesterday to fill in another space in my records, and then I got the idea to make the figure you see here. The tree plot is a map of all my known ancestors, with their distances from the center scaled to their birth years, relative to my birth year of 1979. Red lines are women, blue lines are men. The rings are labeled as to year.

The colored backgrounds indicate - by correspondence with the geographical map on the right - where these people were born, or at least where they spent their early lives. Where they combined to produce the next generation tells you, more or less, where they wound up.

The dominant region is clearly West Tennessee, whence hailed my mother's mother's people and my father's father's people, going back to before the Civil War (the double ring). My mother and many of her father's people came from Southeast Tennessee, part of the crimson. My father's mother's father came from Michigan, just across the border from the source of most of his family in northern Indiana, indicated by the magenta.

There's a lot of northern South Carolina, in the region of Spartanburg and, just across the border in southern North Carolina in Mecklenburg county, indicated by the yellow. A branch of my mother's mother's family had come through Kentucky, the light green.

Middle Tennessee, the olive green, has generated a number of us, including a part of my mother's father's family (the ill-fated Lewis Morgan and his mother Nancy Sewell, who must have been in the first generation born in Nashville), and my father and myself at the center.

If you follow this further out (I stopped 6 generations back, at the four-greats grandparents level), everyone that I know of is in Virginia (you can see those touches of orange in the periphery), South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, or Ireland. It is amazing what you can learn from the internet!

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