Traveling the Oregon Trail

Many of our ancestors traveled west, some just to the Indiana-Ohio territories, others to Missouri, to the Dakotas and some all the way to Oregon on the west coast.

People traveling to Oregon came from many locations, the New England states, the southern states or areas of Tennessee and Kentucky, but took the established trail known as the ‘Oregon Trail’ which began in Independence, Missouri.

This popular trail route with so many people in their covered wagons sometimes had to leave behind some of their belongings on the trail to lighten the load. The term for abandoned belongings was “Leeverites”.

Such a trip of 2,000 miles took at least six months, so a traveler had to pick the right time period during the year to avoid bad weather. It was never an easy trip and many people died along the route. It could be from a disease or accident. One of the worst health problems was the large cholera outbreak which proved very fatal.

People did travel with large groups for help and protection. Many companies actually organized large groups for trips to reach Oregon. This helped the group to also be organized, learn how to camp, settle disputes, carry the right supplies and have a schedule to stick to.

Food to store and cook on the trail was basic. Usually porridge, johnnycakes and bacon for breakfast.

Get credit to any ancestors who made such a journey, it took great sacrifice and hard work. But the reward could be a better life.

Photo: Map of the Oregon Trail

Related Blogs:

Ancestors in Covered Wagons

Head West Young Man

Traveling Ancestors

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