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Migrations: Emigration

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The motives for emigration - the act of leaving a home country for good - can be multiple:

  • Economic: people seek good fortune or a better quality of life elsewhere.
  • Social: people flee political or religious repression and persecution.
  • Forced: communities are displaced or people are enslaved. Whatever the motive, from a genealogical perspective, we're talking about families being split and often assuming new identities elsewhere.

The Emigration subprojects are organized around continents as this is how the major migrations in 1600-1800 occurred. For each continent, these projects aim to pull together information and sources that are relevant from a genealogy perspective. This includes...

  • Colonizing Powers (Background: History of Colonialism)
  • Merchant Companies
  • Religious and Ethnic Groups
  • Ports of Departures
  • Ships
  • Genealogical Sources


Objectives of the Migrations master project

  • Provide a framework for 'border-crossing' family trees.
  • Identify migratory connection points (ships, ports, settlements...).
  • Inventorize sources for genealogical exploration at these connection points.
  • Encourage global collaboration within the Geni community. The focus of the master project is on the period 1600-1800 - covering the first large-scale migration waves on the back of global colonization. Systematic record-keeping was in its infancy, and thus particularly challenging for genealogists.