SNGF: Where on the map?

Randy’s latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge asks us to create maps using the interface at showing where we’ve lived and where we have visited.  Then, we’re supposed to do the same for our ancestors.

I have only been in two US States.  I’ve lived in California all my life and I’ve been to Nevada.  That’s it.  I’ve just never had the money to travel and now arthritis prevents me from doing so.

So, my map is pretty plan…


I simply do not have enough generations of ancestors in the US to do anything elaborate.  My people didn’t start arriving until about the 1840s.  So, this map shows all the places where my ancestors lived.  All of them ended up in California by 1907 (except for my step grandfather from Iowa who came here about 1940ish).ancestor map 1

This next map shows the ports where my ancestors arrived in America.  This covers migrations from the 1840s until the last ancestor arrived in 1908.  I still do not know where my great grandmother, Brigitte (Breilh) Mazeres arrived.  Some day I hope to be able to add her to this map.

ancestor migration map1

Looks about the same as the states where they lived map.  The only difference being that each line (Kelly, Dolan, Lassalle, Mazeres, Breilh, Jones, Pacheco, de Mello, and de Braga) made California their last stop.  Once they settled there, they never left.



My Migration Map

A few years ago, for Family History Month (which is this month!) I decided to make a migration map.  I found a library online with historical maps.  I chose one sort of in the middle of the time frame for my many migrations (the first being in the 1400s).  Then, I mapped out the migration roots of the families from Ireland, Australia, England, France, the Azores, and Portugal.

Since I created this map, I have firmed up my data.  Looking at this map, I can’t help but think of all the factors that had to come into play just so I could be born.  A whole lot of people had to get the itch to migrate in order for me to be born.

Unlike other genealogists, my ancestors were only in other states briefly (Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts).  They all converged on California, the San Francisco Bay Area to be exact, as their final destination.  Once they got here they lived primarily in three places:  San Francisco, Oakland, and the Salinas/Spreckels area.  They began arriving in California in 1855.  My last ancestor arrived in 1907.

It seems crazy to think that if one of these families had decided to go to Iowa or stay in their home country, I might never have been born.  Or, I might be speaking Portuguese, French, or some other language right now.

Have you created a migration map?  Does yours look like mine with all lines eventually ending up in the same place?

migration map528resize

Credit:  Perry-Castaneda Library, University of Texas.  The World: 1772.

More world maps in the Perry Castaneda Collection:

World Historical Maps






Where do the Portuguese Speakers live in the US?

Someone from the Portuguese American Review sent this link my way and I thought I would share it.  It’s a map of Portuguese speakers in the United States and is based on the 2000 Census.

I was surprised to see that Merced County has the highest concentration of Portuguese speakers in California.  I would have expected it to be Alameda, Los Angeles, or Monterey Counties.  Shows what I know!  My perceptions are obviously influenced by early immigration patterns.  Hawaii falls into the low range.  That doesn’t surprise me since the wave of immigration from Portuguese lands to Hawaii ended about a hundred years ago.

If you click on the map, you can see different views:

Portuguese Speakers in the US, 2000

For those interested in California, here’s a map with county names for reference.