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Genealogy column: Historic events shifted families into, out of Western North Carolina | citizen-times.com | Asheville Citizen-Times

January 23rd, 2011

By necessity, families were large in recently settled lands in centuries past. But while the land a settler had originally acquired was enough or more than enough to support his family, more often than not, succeeding generations found that their inherited share could not support their family adequately.

As more and more land opened, farther and farther west, succeeding generations moved westward, usually for the same reason their forefathers had moved originally.

Migration through Western North Carolina can be imagined in a pattern to be similar to an hourglass, with the center representing WNC. First the settlers poured into the area from points north, east and south, then the next generations moved westward out of the area, also heading northwest and southwest.

The result is that many people in present day Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and areas west of the Mississippi River can trace at least one family line back to Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia or North and South Carolina.

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