THE OXFORD FAMILY MIGRATION PATTERNS
By Linda Oxford
Our first national census in 1790 pictures an America with just about everybody living on or near the east coast. With the successful conclusion of the Revolution the westward thrust began in earnest at first, a trickle of brave pioneer hunters and trappers, followed by an increasing number of family farmers or settlers..Southerners and mid-Atlantic residents looked to greener pastures by heading down the great valley of Virginia, through the Cumberland gap and beyond to Kentucky and Tennessee..Coastal settlers from the Chesapeake tidewaters and coastal South Carolina moved out to the cotton plantation economies of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Other southerners opted to forego the fastlane and moved out to the Appalachians and Ozarks. In the North hardy yanks moved westward across New York to the Mohawk Valley and then on to the upper reaches of the Ohio Valley..
The most popular mode of transportation for early Oxford settlers moving west, was walking, with horseback and covered wagon, riding a close second. Later, with the completion of the Erie Canal and the realization of our intercontinental riverway systems, floating west became popular.and of course later the railroad...By whatever means, these descendents of the earliest colonials joined with newer arrivals and moved west. They settled the valleys of the mighty Allegheny, the roaring Susquehanna and the untamed Monongahel..They floated down the giant Ohio to the Mississippi and many ventured beyond...The 20th century witnessed Oxford's moving to the great cities of lake Michigan to enjoy the newly emerging industrial societies. Many went beyond to farm the black soils of Arkansas, and Missouri...A few settled in the shadows of the majestic Rockies in Colorado...others journeyed a far to the fabled lands of California where their descendants remain to day...To determine the Oxford family migration patterns in my database I found some 900 Oxford birth and death records. I figured when a person died in a different state than he/she was born in, that he/she migrated to that second state. From this point I divided the nation up into eight geographic divisions: 1.New England, 2.Mid Atlantic,3.The South, 4. Great Lakes, 5. Great Plains, 6. Rocky Mountains,7.The West, and 8. any country outside the U.S.A. The areas are self explanatory except for the "Other" usually is another country and is used to count folks who were born or died in another country..Based on 900 OXFORD's The four most popular regions Oxford's came from was "Other", Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, and New England...The four most popular regions OXFORD's went to were: Plains, Western, Southern, Mid Atlantic...
Interpretations: Most of the Oxford migrations moved from the "Other states" or the Rocky Mountain states and moved on to the Western states and the Plains states. We know that there are lots of living Oxford's currently in the Plains, Western, and even the Southern states. Historically, the Other and Rocky Mountain states were generally the stepping off point for Oxford emigrants. Were the New England and Mid Atlantic states "Passing through" states for traveling Oxfords? We can only speculate on these things, most likely, every Oxford family did it a bit differently...