April 13 2014

Migration of Our Ancestors


Ours is truly a diverse family.  If America is the “melting pot” we are a great example.  My father’s family is of Scots-Irish ancestry, migrating to America prior to the Revolutionary War. Finally settling in North Carolina.  There they married with descendants of Pennsylvania Dutch (Germans from the Palatine Region) and Native Americans (probably Cherokee).  My mother’s family comes from England and Ireland, emigrating to America (Virginia) prior to the Revolutionary War, and then migrating to Tennessee and eventually Arkansas.  My Parish line is also rumored to have some Cherokee blood in it.  My great grandmother Rebecca Parish was thought to be one quarter Cherokee.  My wife’s family is from England, even including some links to English royalty.  Emigrating to Virginia prior to the Revolutionary War, then on to Tennessee and finally Arkansas, after the Civil War.  My children have married persons of African-American, Hispanic, and Vietnamese ancestry.  As you can see our family is truly diverse.

martin3.gif (2134 bytes) My Martin ancestors descended from Scots-Irish stock.   They migrated from Scotland in the early 1700’s, remaining there for a couple of generations, then coming to America from Ulster, Northern Ireland.  They arrived prior to 1750.  Originally settling in Pennsylvania, then migrating to North Carolina.

haile.gif (1936 bytes) Janet’s Haile ancestors descended from English stock.  There is even linkage to British Royalty. They emigrated to the tidewater area of Virginia.  Later generations migrated to Tennessee and finally Arkansas.

jackson.gif (2039 bytes) The Jackson’s came from England to Virginia.  They then moved into eastern Tennessee, then Arkansas and were there prior to the Civil War.

parish.gif (1916 bytes) The Parish name is of English or Irish descend.   Although originally Celts from France (Paris) most spread to England and Ireland after being defeated by the Romans.  My Parishs probably came the route of most southern English, Virginia to Tennessee, then to Arkansas after the Civil War.

kever.gif (1841 bytes) The Kever name is of German origin.  These ancestors came from Germany during the Palatine Migration. Settling first in western Pennsylvania, then migrating to North Carolina.  They followed roughly the same route as the Scots-Irish Martins.

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Click on USA or Europe for a larger view

My ancestors were of basic European stock.  Coming to this country from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany.  Most arrived here prior to the Revolutionary War with the remainder coming soon after.  They came for a multitude of reasons, some to escape persecution, others to escape the feudal systems of Europe.   But mainly they came looking for a better life and increased opportunity.   They were hard working and industrious, mainly from the then emerging middle class (known as middlin in the British Isles).  Listed below are some of our surnames and the places of origin.

Both the Scots-Irish emigration and the Palatine German emigration followed roughly the same course.  Many of the Germans were assisted in their migration by the British, first coming to Ireland then to America.  The most familiar landing spot was Philadelphia.  From there they traveled westward across Pennsylvania, through the Susquehanna River Valley, looking for land.

Great Valley Road

The Great Valley Road was a product of geography and history. It followed the contours of the Appalachian Mountains from southeastern Pennsylvania to the Carolina backcountry. For centuries Native Americans used it and called it the Great Warrior’s path. During the 18th century the Road was an expanding network of paths and trails that carried thousands of white settlers down the Valley of Virginia into Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas. At the same time the Road was a center of commerce, carrying goods and livestock between frontier farms and the towns that sprang up along the route. For over a century, the Great Valley Road was a vital lifeline that connected regions like western North Carolina to a larger world.

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Although they traveled the same route, they seldom traveled or settled together.   In some areas one side of the river, or the road, was Scots-Irish and the other was Pennsylvania Dutch.  The Dutch (Germans) considered themselves to be more cultured and peace loving that the Scots-Irish.  The Dutch got along with their neighbors much better, especially the Native Americans, often taking them as brides.  The Scots-Irish on the other hand were much despised by the Indians.  They had a notorious reputation as great Indian fighters and were known for giving no quarter.

Both these cultures were forced ever westward and finally southward as each succeeding generation needed land.  The migration moved through the Susquehanna River Valley, then southward down the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia into North and South Carolina.  The Martins arriving prior to the Revolutionary War, the Kevers shortly after.

There Samuel Martin garnished a reputation as an Indian fighter and Revolutionary War Captain of Militia.  All this while raising a family and building a profitable farm.

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There also, Jacob Kever took as his bride an American Indian woman (probably Cherokee).  The history of North Carolina  tells how it was common practice for the Pennsylvania Dutch emigrates to marry with the Native Americans in the area.  Photographs of the Kever family clearly show the Native American features.  I assume Cherokee since it was the predominant tribe in the area.

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Posted April 13, 2014 by Tom Martin in category "Genealogy", "General Information

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