Midwest Pioneers, 1600s-1800s

The twelve books on families in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri. The records range from military and land to census schedules and family histories from a variety of states which makes it an especially valuable resource.

Many pioneers who traveled west in the early days of the United States sought adventure and the opportunity to own and cultivate their own land. One of the most influential factors in westward expansion was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, in which the fledgling U.S. government determined the criteria for a territory to become a state and provided new land for its citizens to settle with the promise of support from their government. One of the determinations of the Northwest Ordinance was to afford a territory with more than 60,000 inhabitants the opportunity to petition for statehood. This population requirement for statehood was a powerful incentive for the territories to recruit immigrants and encourage settlement within their borders.

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