ENGLAND 

CORNWALL
    Callington, Menheniot, Quethiock, Henwood villages

DURHAM
    Gateshead
    Hendon
    Jarrow
    Ryton
    Southwick
    Sunderland

HAMPSHIRE
    Portsmouth

LANCASHIRE
    Camp Hill, Woolton, Liverpool
    Liverpool
    
NORFOLK
    Antingham, Southrepps, Trimingham villages

NORTHUMBERLAND
    Alnwick
    Dinnington

SUFFOLK

WORCESTERSHIRE
    Bromsgrove 
    Licky
   
IRELAND 

ARMAGH

DUBLIN

MAYO
    Aughagower

TIPPERARY

TYRONE

SCOTLAND

PERTHSHIRE
    Abernethy


UNITED STATES

KENTUCKY
    Breckenridge County
    DeKoven, Union County

OKLAHOMA
    Oklahoma City
    Wilburton, Latimer County
    
WISCONSIN
    Winneconne, Winnebago Countyryton_history_1200_2000.htmlsunderland_history_55BC_1500.htmlliverpool_woolton_camphill.htmlliverpool_1200sto1600s.htmlalnwick_history_1300_1900.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2shapeimage_3_link_3shapeimage_3_link_4

The daily existence of our ancestors was inseparably bound not only to the times in which they lived but also to their sense of place.



















  The Places

Where they called home was by far the biggest factor in determining how they lived their lives, because for the individual farm laborer or coal miner it was always the pursuit of work and the need to put bread on the table that was paramount. If the rural land on which they lived was productive and could support a few animals and crops, it might easily sustain even a large family as long as the weather cooperated. English or Irish families might remain in the same area for hundreds of years, never venturing beyond the local markets in surrounding towns and villages.


If the land became unproductive, or if the family had no land of their own, migration to other areas often followed. In the Industrial Revolution in Britain, thousands drifted to the cities in search of more rewarding work. These industrial workers were much less attached to traditional homelands, often moving from mine to mine as new pits opened, or following the fortunes of new industries, from making nails to building ships.


The places themselves - whether rural hamlet or booming sea port - saw their own fortunes rise and fall depending on the broader economic and social trends of the nation and world.


These broader trends were like great rivers. Sometimes the current would be broad and fast and pull along everything in its path, as in the Industrial Revolution or the Great Famine in Ireland in the mid-1800s. At other times there would be brief periods of rapids and white water, such as foreign wars that would drive up agricultural prices and create shortages.


Sometimes our ancestors would be caught in these currents, and their sense of place became not a coal mine in County Durham but a battlefront in Flanders or the Crimea, or a foreign port in the Caribbean or India. Sometimes they were caught in little eddies - far enough removed from the great sweep of history that life began and ended within the confines of a few square miles.


In the United States, there was much less attachment to a specific piece of land, village or town. As the nation pushed its frontiers westward, especially in the 19th century, the eyes and fortunes of immigrants followed, and we find people moving vast distances and attempting entirely new ways of making a living that they never would have contemplated in the “old country.”


The index on this page is the key to understanding more of these many and varied places around which the lives of our ancestors were entwined. The underlined place names, in white, are active links. The other place names, in yellow type, are places of significance on this website for which pages will be added.

Top (title background):  Rolls of silage ready for storage, western Ireland. The feed will keep animals alive during winter.


Above, clockwise:


  1. BulletCoastline at Portsea Island, Portsmouth, England. For centuries the naval base at Portsmouth protected the southern English coast and provided the navy with rapid access to the English Channel.

  2. BulletStreets in Liverpool, England, early 1900s, familiar to many of the families on this website.

  3. BulletCliffs of Moher, County Clare, western Ireland.