How Did My Pennsylvania Ancestor Get There?: Migration Trails West

How Did My Pennsylvania Ancestor Get There?: Migration Trails West


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by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

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How Did My Pennsylvania Ancestor Get There?: Migration Trails West


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Considering the trails and reasons why your ancestor left Pennsylvania will give you some clues as to where you might search for his origins there. This lecture helps the attendee give much thought to the five W’s and H of migration: • WHO and WHAT: How can you find your ancestors’ migration path? • WHEN and WHERE: migration routes leading out of Pennsylvania to points west using waterways and overland pathways and when they were used • WHY: Push and Pull Reasons for migrating: ethnic, religious, political, land, jobs, families, etc. Military service often led to settlement in areas where the soldier served, or where he settled due to bounty land grants. • HOW: trails, roads, railroads, rivers and canals Several case studies illustrate how awareness of migration paths can solve genealogical problems even from a several states away.


 
 

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Presenter: Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, a western Pennsylvania researcher for over 30 years, is the co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Genealogy as a Profession course coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She was an instructor and module creator for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate program (2008-2016). She was the mentor for ProGen Study’s first and 25th groups and author of two chapters in the 2018 Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice and Standards book. She was the course co-coordinator of the AG/CG Preparation Course at the 2010 and 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She won the Association of Professional Genealogists 2017 Professional Achievement Award. She was honored in 2010 with the NGS President’s Citation in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy. She is a regional and national speaker on such topics as Pennsylvania records, methodology, professional development, and society management. 

 

She was a Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists for nine years, their President (2012-2014), and past Outreach Committee Chairperson for eleven years. She was a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists for six years; taught genealogy courses at the local community college for fourteen years; co-edited a cemetery book series, appeared on the PBS-TV show Ancestors2 cemetery episode and on the Travel Channel’s Dead Files in the 2015 “The Instigator” and the 2019 “Devil’s Advocate” episodes. She is a past-President of two local Pittsburgh area societies and a contributing author to many publications including the NGS Quarterly and the APG Quarterly.

 

An NSDAR member, she is also a lifetime member of the Ohio Genealogical Society; the Medina County Chapter, OGS; and the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society (Greensburg, PA) which was named for her ancestor.

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL