Out on a Limb: Genealogists, take note of ethnic clusters
, 2022-10-13 15:34:00,
Whether you’re a genealogist or not, you’ve probably noticed that the calendar is peppered with days devoted to various ethnicities, often with the word “heritage” appended to them.
This month of October is designated “Italian American Heritage and Culture Month,” as well as “Polish American Heritage Month” as well as hosting “German American Day.” It also sports “Leif Erikson Day” (Nordic Americans).
Does any of this noting of ethnicities have value to genealogists of today?
The answer is “yes, it can, if you use these ethnic days as research tools.”
Here’s the bottom line. As each ethnic group arrived in our area from overseas once European-based settlement took place, it tended more often than not to cluster in one or two specific areas, and only in more modern times radiate outward.
A genealogist today looking back as his or her earlier American ancestors (immigrants and first-generation Americans) can often save time with a narrow focus.
If your ancestry is Welsh, for instance, there’s a good chance that your ancestors settled in Plymouth or Edwardsville (though not to the complete exclusion of other areas). The Welsh churches and historical and cultural organizations in those communities will be appropriate for advice on matters like church membership and cemeteries.
There are also social clubs oriented around specific ethnicities, though they are open to all. You might join up and talk with members.
That pattern of settlement…
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