In Their Words: Old Northwest Territory

Have research in the states of the Old Northwest Territory? With registration for the six June 25-30 courses opening on Wednesday, February 22 at Noon Eastern, you won’t want to miss out on this never-before-offered course that will have you researching in those states in no time, and more importantly, understanding what you find.

Join Rev. David McDonald, DMin, CG, of Wisconsin, and Peggy Clements Lauritzen, AG, of Ohio, for a week of learning and interactive discussion about how Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were influenced by New England, New York, French-Canadians, migration from the south, wars, religious movements, European ethnicities, industrialization and urbanization. Or as Dave states:

Problem Solving with Church Records with Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG

2015 class on Church Records with Rev. Dr. David McDonald, DMin., CG

“A new course offering at GRIP in 2017, ‘Research in the States of the old Northwest Territory,’ coordinated by Rev. David McDonald, DMin, CG, will include an overview of the factors which led our forebears to move inland from the Atlantic seaboard in the years following the American Revolution. Of course, native inhabitants and French explorers and soldiers pre-dated these arrivals by centuries and generations. This survey course will evaluate who was here, from whence they came, the cultural, political and social “pulls and pushes” that created the upper Midwest over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries; and the forces that pushed many to remove further west and, in the present day, south.

Ethnic groups, particularly Europeans, and the internal Great Migration northbound for African-heritaged persons of enslaved ancestry changed the New Englandy and (in some cases) Southern-influenced “American” settlement of the region. Land records and acts of the mid-19th Century encouraging settlement inland, the Civil War, and the manufacturing juggernaut of the Golden Age all played important factors in our people’s choices and opportunities. We’ll look at those causes and influences.

The states of primary discussion will be Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin & Minnesota. Feeder states, and places with substantial numbers of natives of the region will be part of the conversation as well.

Prerequisites: No formal prerequisites, but a willingness to learn and a love for family history will help!

Consider taking this course when making your selection for the June GRIP week, held at La Roche College in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For a detailed description of the 18 sessions, please see

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