GEN-NYS-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-NYS > 1998-01 > 0886015141
From: "Steven Lay" <>
Subject: 1810-1830 immigration replay
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 14:19:01 -0500
For those of you interested but missed all the comments, here are my
original questions and the replies I received.
There appears there was a lage movement from New England into central and
western New York in the first half of the 19th century. I have two lines
of my family that came to New York from New Hampshire in that time span. I
realize the Erie Canal opened in 1825 and made movement west easier, but
still you had to get from New Hampshire to Albany and that must not of been
an easy trip in 1825. Anyone know New York and/or New Hampshire history
enough to offer suggestions on why there was a heavy movement west at that
Canal building in New York was on at that time, and finished in 1825.
Soldiers from the WAR of 1812 received land in Central and Western NY.
That's why my SHAW family and ALLEN family came to that part of NY. The
Industrial Revolution was nicely progressing, bringing opportunities in a
new locality for many families of the"old colonies".
I suspect it might have something to do with the war of 1812 and bounty
From my observations of many ancestors...there was the beginning of the
decline in farming in NH and MA early to mid 1800, with a movement West
to New York where there were many mills, especially lumber. However, in
the late 1800'2 there was a big migration east from NY to MA and down
from ME and NH to MA due to the industrial growth, huge factory growth
in MA and the decimation of the NY forests. Of course it's about where
the jobs are. The Museums in Lowell, MA have the story.
The free land for veterans of the Revolution was in
The most proable reason has to do with the act passed by Congress in 1792
regard to land grants made bye the King of England;most of NY in the
half belonged to Mass. originally. They had set up trading posts etc there
back in time;so they were familiar with the territory;note the area around
Cleveland was still considered the Conneticut reserve as well as some ares
northern pennsylvania. This all figures into the equation;plus the ending
the War of 1812 opened this to settlers and not less importantly
which often encluded Landed Englishmen & Dutch who had money to invest.
a land boom bye unknown Land companies who mushroomed quickly after the
treaty was signed.
--Leonard G Wod
A growing population that exceeded the ability of the land in New
England to support it. One could also say "economics."
Families in the 18th century, both New England and elsewhere, were
large with ten, twelve and even 15 or more children (I have some
families in my ancestry with 19!) Most families made their living on
farms with a limited number of acres. If 30 (or whatever the number)
acres could support a family of 12 marginally, counting the parents, it
couldn't support the families of the grown children. The eldest son
usually inherited the farm, but it provided only enough to sustain his
family. The younger siblings had to go elsewhere to make a living. And
since all the land in New England was taken, the best place to go was
west to New York, Ontario, Ohio, and beyond, where land was available
for the taking. We like to think of our 18th century New England
ancestors living an idyllic existence, but it was subsistence farming
and very, very tough. But put one too many people on the land and the
family risked starvation and collapse. So while no one wanted to leave
home, survival demanded they do so. Economics created the pressure to
"Go west, young man [and women]."
The migration began in a small way before the Revolution but grew to
a flood after, probably reaching its peak around mid century although
the flow continued into the 20th century before subsiding.
My understanding is that the reason for the migration was similar to the
reasons found in other places and other times:
The original migrations were from the east coast of Massachusetts, inland,
the Connecticut River valley, the next available fertile land. Land that
been in the family went to the older sons often, which left little for the
younger son(s) within a family. There was little addtional land in the
for sale (i.e. the land in the area was maxed out). So, it was time to
farther west, to New York, and get the land that no one else had bought yet
for less money, for example, from the Holland Land Company (ca. 1813-1825).
That land was fully settled within a generation so the next generation
farther west for the "new lands" (e.g. Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan,
etc.). I believe that's a bottom line explanation that's been given to me.
--John W. Ladwig
Possibly because of the military land grants. When the land was "bought"
from the Indians it was designated for veterans of Rev. War. Also, some
migrated through NY to get to Ohio and the Western Reserve.
-- Marge MacGregor
You can boil this down to BETTER LAND. Rocky, old New England couldn't
hold a candle to the new lands in central and western New York State and
eventually Ohio, Michigan, etc. This is a very common migration pattern
from New England to central & western New York. In fact western & central
New York are more closely connected genealogically to New England than
they are to the Hudson River, NYC or Long Island.
Okay, from the replies I have received land grants from the Revolution and
War of 1812 and dwindling farmland in New England spurred many families,
especially younger siblings that did not inherit farms, to head west. Are
there war land grant records available? Would they be in the National
Archives? What was the Holland Land Co. (?) that controled vast areas of
western New York?
It is interesting how economics played such a vital role in history and
still is the driving force behind what happens today. Not only global
economics but family economics as we move from place to place for better
jobs. History is much more excited when you get beyond the names and dates
and can see the bigger picture of the struggle for survival and power. And
genealogy brings in home when you can see your family in that big picture
of the growth of our country.
Yes, the Land Grants for Rev. War service are in the National Archives.
important to note that a lot of pensioners sold their land to speculators
even seeing the land. The LDS has also got films of these records.
> What was the Holland Land Co. (?) that controled vast areas of
> western New York?
Just as the name applies. It was a Company based in Holland that bought
of western NY and then sold the parcels. Their office was in Batavia, NY.
building still exists as a museum. The original land records are somewhere
museum in the Netherlands. The State University of NY at Fredonia
(www.fredonia.edu) has microfilm copies of many of records. I did a quick
but couldn't find any Internet connection for an overview of the records.
records were also recordedin each county at the time of sale so you also
records of sale. There is also a book that was published a couple of years
Karen Livsey with some early Holland Land Co. tranactions.. It is published
Genealogical Publishing Co. This is their description of the book:
WESTERN NEW YORK Land Transactions, 1804-1824. Extracted from the Archives
Holland Land Company. By Karen E. Livsey. 472 pp., indexed. Balto., 1991.
The Holland Land Company was a stock corporation formed by six Dutch
for the purpose of buying land in New York. By the year 1797 the Company
purchased some 3.3 million acres of land in western New York, west of the
River. Known as the Holland Land Purchase, all this land was sold off by
present work is an index to the records, the Land Titles, of the Holland
Company from their inception in 1804 until the year 1824. Also covered are
transactions in Morris' Reserve and a tract of land known as the
both east of the Purchase.
Nobody today or in cave-man times lived in a world free of economics ..
economics .. finding a job, making a living, going to where you could find
a job .. that's the basics, whether you are talking of white Americans
moving west in the 1800's, black Americans moving north in the 1940's &
50's, Europeans coming here in the 19th century, or Latinos & Asians today
.. all comes down to the same thing ..
and we can't study genealogy w/out history [real history .. not dates &
battles only kind of history].
Thanks for your question .. hopefully it will get people to think that
their ancestors weren't just names in a computer, but people who had to
find a way to stay alive day by day.
Some time ago I submitted to the NY GenWeb all of the Holland Land Records
contained in the book Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase of Western
York by O. Turner. I believe it is listed in the NY GenWeb archives as
records". As the file lost its formatting in the translation to text, I
recommend that you use your "find" function on your browser to search for
particular names. Also, many of the names are not spelled as you would
them to be, so search with alternate spellings.
Again, thanks to all of you who contributed to this discussion. That is
what this mail list should be about, exchanging ideas of how our ancestors
lived, not just collecting names and dates.
|1810-1830 immigration replay by "Steven Lay" <>|