Pioneers traveling west in search of new opportunities and their own land has been the history of America for centuries. Beginning with those who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to settle along New England to Virginia shores then later moved more inland and eventually to the Smoky Mountains were early pioneers.
One well documented time period of pioneers moving west were those who traveled the Oregon Trail in the first half of the 1800s. They went from Missouri to not just Oregon, but to Washington, Idaho, Montana, what was the Northwest region. You may have had ancestors who were part of that cross country series of wagon trains. As emigrants beginning in the 1830s they traveled 1,000 to 2,000 miles from east to west, taking 10 to 14 months to reach where they settled. Many kept journals of the travels and other wrote of their experiences years later. During the 1830s to 1870s this was when the northwest region was developed by the pioneers.
In an online collection of 671 biographies, the stories are told of the men and women who went west and helped shape the future for these areas. The listing is in alphabetical order, so it is easy to see if an ancestor is on the list of biographies. Some have a great deal of information, including their descendants and other are brief in the data. Many of the biographies were done in the 1880s, so they are closer to the life time of the person.
Some of the surnames are: Baker, Ballard, Brooke, Elliott, Frazier, Gleason, Imbler, Marsh, McFarland, Noland, Thomas and Wade to name a few of those early pioneers. Keep in mind they could have been in the northwest region anytime between 1830s to 1880s. So check out the list, all names in your database, you never know who you might locate.< Return To Blog