Friday, April 8, 2011

NERGC - Migration Patterns and the Burpee Seed Catalog

From Burpee Seed online

“What kind of genealogists are you?” bellowed Craig Roberts Scott, when not one hand was raised to his question, “How many of you use the Burpee Seed Catalog in your genealogy research?”

Mr. Scott reiterated several times during his talk that if you want to follow the path of your ancestors in America you need to understand the Plant Hardiness Zone Map, as many of them were farmers who settled in temperature zones that were similar to what they were used to.  We are now believers.

Besides learning to use our Burpee Seed Catalog for something other than ordering tomatoes, this incredibly entertaining and knowledgeable speaker taught the standing room only audience about the effect of various wars on the westward expansion through the granting of bounty lands, and why people settled where they did - back to the Burpee Seed Catalog.

We learned about Fire Lands, which was property in Huron County, Ohio where civilians who were burned out of their towns by the British could settle. In our area residents of Danbury and Ridgefield, CT qualified. We also learned that British military officers retired and came to the colonies, then fought against England. Bounty land grants promoted settlement on the frontier for the purpose of defense, with people who knew how to fight.  An assignee was a person who purchased bounty land from the one it was granted to, and many of these were land speculators. The bounty land distribution ended in 1855 when the Homestead Act began. 

Mr. Scott recommended Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants books on this topic by Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck. 


  1. Very creative idea . . . the "seeds" of genealogy. Will see how it applies to my tree!

  2. Marian: Thanks for stopping by. Many "seeds" were planted during the sessions at NERGC. In fact, one of the last speakers suggested going home, writing down just three things from each session and then puttin it aside for a week!