Wednesday, April 5, 2017


This map from a blog post on combines my love of maps and genealogy. Back when I started learning about my ancestry, I knew little about where I came from. But as I started tracing their routes, the bulk of my ancestors came through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois into Iowa, essentially the light blue swatch shown in the map above. There were a few exceptions that came up from the red and purple swaths representing Appalachians and Upland South but they were definitely in the minority and as near as I can tell, moved north due to a force known as the Civil War over slavery.

Although completely in control of my destiny, I think, I see this map and can't help but feel like a lemming just running with the herd. I'm not sure what the term for a group of lemmings would be called but if there isn't one I would vote for a "slice" of lemming.

Back to seriousness, I'm guessing these swaths of color are dictated by geographical and climates more than geopolitical reasons. I also guess a lot of it has to do with sentimental reasons as well. I have lived outside my "zone" and traveled even further away but I always get a sense of belonging and home when I return near to where I grew up. I would be interested to see this same map in another few centuries to see how these zones progress but alas, I will be merely some dust, probably somewhere in that swath of blue.


Kelly said...

That's an interesting map. Based on some of the information I have, I think many of my ancestors made that purple journey. I seem to remember NC or SC popping up in some places. There were others farther north, too.... maybe PA?

You made me curious, so I googled and "slice" is exactly what I found! Good call!

Ed said...

Kelly - "Slice" as in a slice of lemon/lemming was just my poor attempt to be humorous. If they are actually referred to as a slice, call me amazed!

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

I like maps too and data, but I'm having trouble understanding what this is showing. These "communities" are based on people who have done the DNA tests and have similar make ups?
Have you done the tests on ancestry? Was the information you received a surprise or confirmation? I've heard of people who have taken the tests and have been completely blown away, often supposedly not having ancestors from wherever they always thought they were from! I find that baffling!

Ed said...

Pumpkin Delight - I'm going to answer your questions in a separate post that will be up in a few minutes when I'm done writing it.