European Ancestors – Migration Series (17) – Push Factors of Nordic Migration

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

Until the middle of the 19th Century migration from the Nordic region was reasonably small. I have divided the topic into what I have called “Push Factors” and “Pull Factors”. Some of those elements will replicate across other European countries, and that might be variable across different time periods.

The image below is taken from my notebook where I focused on specifics for this series.

© Julie Goucher, 2022

Looking at the “Push Factors” it is easy to see why the option to migrate was appealing.

Land grants in countries around the world – United States, and Australia as two examples, made it possible for migrants to quite literally build a future for themselves. In the migrants native countries there was low wages and little opportunity to diversify their occupations or skills, coupled with limited  alternatives to agricultural work. Furthermore, there was also population growth, which, when coupled to the other elements, added to the “Push Factors”. There were restricted intolerance to religious practices and freedoms. Many did not like the political structures and conscription requirements to military service.

The choices of the individuals of this region were relatively limited; either remain and deal with the challenges of daily life, or take a risk and seek a new life. As we have already seen, millions decided on the latter.

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (16) – Migration Numbers for the Nordic Region

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

Migrational figures from across the Nordic region are interesting. Migration to other parts of Europe, North America, South America and Australia during the period 1830 – 1939 are as follows:

  1. 300,000 from Denmark
  2. 300,000 from Finland
  3. 800,000 from Norway
  4. 15,000 from Iceland
  5. 1.3 million from Sweden.

There were a number of examples and situations  that fall into Push and Pull factors, and more on those in subsequent posts, but there are some examples relating to early migration from this region.

In the early years, migrants tended to go in groups, here is a few examples:

  • Movement of people to Nordic colonial lands in 19th Century
  • Norwegian settlers that migrated to New York State 1825
  • Followers of Erik Jansson founding the colony of Bishop Hill, Illinois.

Migration later on, became more individual and these were likely migrating for work, and often intending to return home., though whether they did or not is a different matter.

Image created by Julie Goucher, 2022

The fictional four volume series, known as the Emigrant Novels  by the Swedish author, Vilhelm Moberg captures this beautifully.

  • Book 1 – The Emigrants
  • Book 2 – Unto a Good Land
  • Book 3 – The Settlers
  • Book 4 – The Last Letter Home

The series is available for Kindle.

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (15) – Nordic Region

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

The next couple of posts are going to be about migration from and within the Nordic region, but what countries are reflected in this region and what is missing?

Essentially, the countries included are Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.  Faroe Islands are an archipelago of islands that are part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Greenland does not strictly belong in this group, but hopefully this next map illustrates why you might think it should. Look how close it is to Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Courtesy of FanPop.com

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (8) – Internment

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

Internment is an interesting element of migration, and relates to citizens, rather than those involved in military service, which we will discuss in other posts.

During a period of war, it is not just the Countries that are at war that intern citizens, it is also the Axis powers, those associating themselves with one of the parties, and those other countries that are linked – Let me provide an few examples from the Second World War:

  • Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, as did Russia, though two weeks later, on 17 September 1939. Polish citizens were taken by both Germany and Russia to work and support the regime that had taken them. That did not necessarily mean that Polish citizens interned by Germany, actually experienced their internment in Germany. Internees could be held anywhere in the wider German area, which in the early days of the war included Austria, and eventually included other territories taken through war. It was also not outside of the realms of possibility that those interned could be moved from one location to another, and doing so in an enforced manner. Furthermore, life events were still continuing – effectively births and deaths.
  • On 3 September 1939 the United Kingdom declared war on Germany in response to the invasion of Poland. That declaration of war included a number of countries that fell under the auspices of the Crown and meant that those countries were also at war with Germany, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and many, many other countries. Equally those countries who were allies of Germany were also at war with countries under the Crown.
  • After 1941 we see a further shifts of allegiances, and those shifts meant that some  internments were not the most obvious, and we will look at some of those in the coming months.
  • What about German and Austrians living in Britain and other countries under the auspices of the Crown? Well those that were of German, Austrian and later on Italian heritage were viewed as possible threats. For some they had been in Britain or her territories for many, many years were seen in a favourable position, for those that were not, they were interned whilst individuals were assessed – more on this later on in the series. Those that swore allegiance to the Crown through the formal process of Naturalisation were not under review.

There are a great many elements at play here, enforcement, migration and the wider history of the time period, added to which that life events still took place and it is easy to see why those undertaking One-Name Studies or Surname research need to research on a global level, albeit gradually. As we research, whether that is our individual families or a wider project, it is important to realise and remember that our ancestors or those we research did not exist in isolation of history.

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (7) – Following Military Service

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

There are several examples of migration to the United Kingdom from parts of Europe in the years following the Second World War.

Firstly is the Polish military and others who, following the Resettlement Act of 1947 were able to remain living in the UK.

Second is the Ukrainian Prisoners of War who were forced to fight with the German soldiers. Following the Victory in Europe, and the subsequent liberation by the Red Army many Ukrainian POWs did not want to go back home, for fear of reprisals, thus a great many chose to remain in the United Kingdom or went to other Commonwealth Countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere.

 

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (6) – Creating a Better Life

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

This is a much less specific migration move, in terms of reasons, locations and even purpose. Migrating for a better life is very personable.

Let us look back at the position of Europe. Between 1550 and 1770 there was significant exploration to other parts of the world, with Spain and Portugal leading the way. In addition to Spain and Portugal, the Netherlands, France and Britain began exploration and claiming territory as their own.

That claiming of territory meant that nationals of that country had the scope of being able to migrate, either in with a permanent aim, or even in part, though that depended on the employment that was being undertaken. Some commonality between all five countries above, was the establishing of colonies in the Americas, or what we would class now as north America (Canada included), and south America or what is seen as Latin America.

North America provided the opportunity for migration; establishing communities who wanted more opportunity and more freedom. Over the decades there were many migrants to America, whether that was to the New England region or elsewhere in the country. Some were tempted by religious freedom, others by acquiring land through Land Grants, or just the ability to achieve something that was better than in the native country.

Over the coming weeks as this series develops and expands, we will examine some specific reasons, or migration groups.

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (5) – Enforced Migration

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

Probably the most obvious example of enforced migration is that of the Jewish population through the Nazi years. Moved to locations at the whim of a regime that did not look upon, nor treat those of different faiths, or lifestyles, the same as those deemed “perfect’. Those taken to other parts of Europe during the Second World War as “slave labour” are also included here.

Another significant example is that of those enslaved, taken from their countries or locations and moved to other areas or countries, many of those locations governed by European Empires.

There are other examples, where intolerance to a way of life, such as that of the Roma or Traveller community forcing a group of people, on a mass scale to choose between adapting to the norm, or moving on. I will be covering Roma and Travellers and many others later in this series.

Border changes, are often the catalyst for enforced migration, through a demonstrative way of intolerance – other examples are the mass movement of peoples following the independence of India from Britain, or the treatment of the Greeks, following border changes with Bulgaria, and there are many other examples.

Providing a group of people with a choice of conform or imprisonment (or worse), is not inclusive, and whilst on the face of it, it does not seem to be enforcement, it is.

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (4) – Terminology

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

Migration has lots of terms that are often interchangeable, even though some of them are not aimed at the particular migration group.

  • Emigration – Leaving a country of which you are a national.
  • Immigration – Immigrants are those who have migrated to a country.
  • Alien – A term used to reference those who are foreign nationals.
  • Naturalisation – Someone who is swearing their allegiance to a country that they are not a citizen of.
  • Denization – A term granting limited Naturalisation to those who were recorded as an alien.
  • Internees – Those who were segregated because they are deemed to be potentially enemies of the country in which they live.
  • Prisoners of War – Those captured during a war situation, whilst serving in a military service.
  • Refugees – Those who are fleeing their home location, but remaining within the borders of their own Country.
  • Repatriation – Those who were held during a war, and subsequently returned to their home soil.
  • Displacement – Those fleeing their home, but moving across their Country borders.
  • Enforced Migration – This is where we see citizens of one country forced to migrate elsewhere, which might be across Country borders.
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European Ancestors – Migration Series (3) – Migration Tips

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

Todays post is about Migration Tips:

  1. Be open minded, people were more migratory than we think.
  2. Whilst many migration journeys were forever, not all were, some migrants returned home, or migrated elsewhere. Others made repeat trips. Some of the movement was planned, others were made as plans changed or events made further movement necessary.
  3. Occupations can be a good way of establishing where someone went to, or what region they came from.
  4. Migration is the reason why surnames appear in a variety of places, and that is why One-Name Studies have a global focus.
  5. Be creative with how the surname of your ancestors might be spelt. Accents and unfamiliarity with names can play a part in how people are documented.
  6. Families may have scattered, migrating to more than one country.
  7. Migration might not have been direct, arrival may have been to a port in another country, then travelling over land, or arrival in the destination country, but the journey continuing over land.
  8. Global migration policies often impacted and influenced where migration took place.
  9. Where people did not migrate to, is just as important as where they did.
  10. Understanding the context of our ancestors is vital, as it provides a framework from which we can research

© Julie Goucher, 2016

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European Ancestors – Migration Series (2) Reasons for Migration

European Migration Series
© Julie Goucher, August 2022

This post is part of a series about European Migration. You can read the complete series HERE.

Regardless of the timeframe for the migration, the basic reasons haven’t really changed very much.

  • Fleeing Persecution
  • Escaping wars, of varying scale
  • Creating a better life
  • Enforced Migration
  • Migration Schemes
  • Work opportunities
  • Prisoners of War & Internment
  • Following Military Service
  • Refugees

Over the next few posts, I am going to take each of the points above and give some examples, some of which might overlap other points listed above. Furthermore, some of the examples might develop into a more specific posts as the Migration Series progresses.

Think of migration as an umbrella 🌂 , and once opened ☂ each spoke becoming one of the points above, some of which will develop into mini umbrellas. Migration is so much more than passenger lists.

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