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As we delve into genealogy, many of us find that our ancestors came not just from England, but other countries as well. One finds that a New England settler has a descendant who later marries a Swedish person and suddenly one has a multi-faceted background. In my case France, Germany, Sweden, England, Scotland and Ireland.

Further, and as it relates to England, the immigrants in the 17th and 18th centuries came not from what might be considered a unified, similar country, but one with distinct regional characteristics as though from different countries.

I found the following book a terrific read in itself but also a major assist in understanding the regional differences four periods of immigration brought to America from England. 

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer. This cultural history explains the European  settlement of the United States  as voluntary migrations from four English cultural centers:

•   Families of zealous, literate Puritan yeomen and artisans from urbanized East Anglia established a religious community in Massachusetts (1629-40);

•   Royalist cavaliers headed by Sir William Berkeley and young, male indentured servants from the south and west of England built a highly stratified agrarian way of life in Virginia (1640-70);

•   Egalitarian Quakers of modest social standing from the North Midlands resettled in the Delaware Valley and promoted a social pluralism (1675-1715);

•   And, in by far the largest migration (1717-75), poor borderland  families of English, Scots, and Irish fled a violent environment to seek a better life in a similarly uncertain American back-country.

These four cultures, reflected in regional patterns of language, architecture, literacy, dress, sport, social structure, religious beliefs, and familial ways, persisted in the American settlements.

I highly recommend this book to you. It helps to put an historical background onto your research.

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