Migrations into Kentucky

John C. Campbell, The Southern Highlander and his Homeland (Russell Sage Foundation, 1907).  Re-issued, 1969, with a new Foreword by Rupert B. Vance and in Introduction  by Henry D. Shapiro, by The University Press of Kentucky.

This is a remarkable book.  And it contains two very important maps of Kentucky–

  1. The Southern Highland Region–including the Blue Ridge Belt, Greater Appalachian Valley, and the Allegheny-Cumberland Belt.  The map includes modern-day counties within these three area.  Unfortunately, the map stops at the Pennsylvania line–probably because the book talks about the Southern Highlands.  The Highlands continue without a break through Pennsylvania and into western New York.  The Great Valley also continues between the belts, adding a few smaller areas of importance too.   (Facing page 1)
  2. Early Routes of Travel–including Reservoirs of population, the Wilderness and tributary routes; the Old National Pike; the Blue Ridge Belt, Greater Appalachian Valley, and the Allegheny-Cumberland Belt with major routes and rivers.  Specific cities where populations are concentrated are also shown.  And on this map, a portion of southwest Pennsylvania are present.  (Facing page 32)

Kentucky is placed within its context in these two maps–something rare for learning about the migrations of the people and how they could travel.

Chapter III:  “Pioneer Routes of Travel and Early Settlements.”  Many, specific migration patterns and who followed them are described and carefully footnoted.

Appendix C:  “Boone’s Trail.”  Taking the information from historical markers, the Boone’s trail is marked across North Carolina (10),  across Tennessee (9), across Scott and Lee Counties, Virginia (9), and into Kentucky (14).

Although I have talked about this book before , in both my Kentucky and Scots-Irish blogs, I want to re-recommend it again and again.  Reading how your ancestors came into Kentucky may be the only evidence of their origins.

Your family members may not survive until the 1880 census tells you where the father and mother were born.  Your family members may not be recorded in the 1820 census where one of the questions has to do with foreign birth. And the county and town histories, family traditions, tombstone inscriptions, place of residence in the first deeds and court records may not survive or been shared by someone who knew.

This book can be found in most libraries with collections for the southern states; for collections dealing with the individual states–Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky–and general collections of American history.

You will find it in used bookstores, on sale shelves at recent public libraries who have no idea what the value of the book is and seek its space for books of fiction. If the library you sue doesn’t have a copy–HUNT for one.  If you have Kentucky ancestry, you cannot afford to overlook this important resource! Your favorite Kentucky genealogist, Arlene Eakle   http://arleneeakle.

PS  The ties into Pennsylvania and Delaware were ties strong enough to help keep Kentucky from seceding from the Union during the Civil War.


About Arlene Eakle

I trace your family tree; or, teach you how.
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