Here are some of my favorite websites:
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids
Ours is an old Canadian family. All four of my children's grandparents descended from pioneers who were settled on Canada's east coast many years before there was a Canada, as we know it. "The Great Migration" (Europeans to America, and Australia & New Zealand) occurred in the last years of a travel facility that today we would say had never existed. There were no airlines in those old days, no rail services, buses or cars. People walked or rode an animal or animal-drawn vehicle; and then in peril--law and order hardly existed outside of settled communities. Most people spent their entire lives within a single village. They were born there, grew up there, married there, raised children there, and died there.
Rail traffic would change that, but rail traffic would not arrive until the very latest stages of The Great Migration and had no influence on it.
Interesting musings for a North American history buff whose family, like so many others', is scattered and settled in the most distant areas of the continent
What overcame large numbers of these settled farm and village folk that they would move to absolutely strange lands, distant, wild, forested, dangerous; and would do so despite the terrifying and miserable circumstances of ocean travel in that day? Some, of course had little choice given religious upheaval, enforced property evacuations, and oppressive standards, but many left for personal opportunity.
It's an intense story of economic hope for some, economic despair for others, and of escape from over bearing government. It's where we came from.