Family Migration Essay

820 words - 3 pages

The United States is a country known for its variation of nationalities and ethnic races. After extensive research, and questioning I discovered that my ancestors originated from Norway and Switzerland. My family migrated to the United States in the late 1800’s from Norway due to social, economic, and religion reforms as well as, a surplus in the population. Learning of my ancestor’s migration to America has very much influenced my views on the existing immigration problems that the U.S. currently faces.
Like many Norwegians in the late 1800’s my ancestors made the expedition from Norway to America in pursuit of a better life. The most common route that most Norwegian natives would voyage was from Norway to New York, and then they would colonize in the Great Plains in the upper Midwest. Which encompassed states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, or the Dakotas. Most Norwegians preferred to settle in rural a area, which was what these states offered, as well as the possibility to stay in close proximity with other Norwegian immigrants.
Succeeding the traditional Norwegian migration patterns my Great Grandfather traveled from Norway to America. He arrived in New York then journeyed to Minnesota. My Great Grandfather stayed in Minnesota for the remaining of his life. As a young boy my Grandfather, Christian Olaf Johnson migrated from Minnesota to Karvel Colorado in the early 1900’s during the homestead era, and became a first generation homesteader. After living in Colorado for approximately 30 years, the Dust Bowl hit and due to the harsh effects that the drought had on their living conditions such as starvation my Grandfather made the decision to migrate to California, which is where my family is settled to this day.
This migration branch traces my father’s side of the family. After interviewing my father, he explained that the reason behind my Great Grandfather’s migration was his aspiration to be free, and to escape the social, economic, and religious reforms in Norway. Which were caused by approximately a 50% increase in the population that resulted in unbearable living conditions for the Norwegians. The increase in population left the majority of the people landless, and starving fueling the need to move to America. With the perpetual talk of opportunity that was accessible many Norwegians believed that moving to America would be their best chance at a better life. Although obstacles such as leaving family, and the cost of migration...

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