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Migration Patterns 1780-1850 Northeast Ohio

posted Apr 7, 2010, 7:47 AM by James Wise   [ updated Aug 30, 2010, 12:00 AM by Travis Wise ]

Migration Patterns 1780-1850 Northeast Ohio 

The early stages of migration from the east began in large numbers after the completion of the Revolutionary War. There were several paths that people would follow to get to the Western Reserve land. The first was overland and the second was via the Great Lakes.

The eastern portion of the United States during the period after the Revolutionary War was becoming crowded as families grew and more immigrants continued to come to our country. Second sons and later began to look at the west as a solution to the crowding problem. Bounty lands as a result of the war were also common in our area. This was a big draw for families moving to this area. 

The primary route used during this time was coming out of New England to Albany, NY. The period prior to the canal was where this area became a common area to start the journey west. The early route moving west out of Albany was called the Mohawk Turnpike that traveled to the Buffalo area. From Buffalo they would travel down along the eastern edge of Lake Erie on the Seneca Road which stopped in Cleveland.

The turnpike or road as they called it was more of a path. The common route had normally been a Indian trail prior to the Europeans locating in the area. Those brave souls that set out to go west had a challenge in front of them of astronomical proportions. Traveling primarily in groups of your family and neighbors they would set out in their wagons, horses and livestock. The trail was treacherous and difficult to travel. Not to mention the fact that there were Indians in abundance.

After the Revolutionary War a movement west from the east began. Coming out of New England to the Western Reserve Land meant either traveling by the Great Lakes or by the primary route overland. The land route went from New England to the staging area at Albany, N.Y.  

The early route moving west out of Albany was called the Mohawk Turnpike that traveled to the Buffalo area. From Buffalo they would travel down along the eastern edge of Lake Erie on the Seneca Road which stopped in Cleveland.


There were early migration routes out of New England to Northeast Ohio after the Revolutionary War, when lands opened up to the West. The first was overland and the second was via the Great Lakes. The early route moving west out of Albany was called the Mohawk Turnpike that traveled to the Buffalo area. From Buffalo they would travel down along the eastern edge of Lake Erie on the Seneca Road which stopped in Cleveland.

The primary route used during this time was coming out of New England to Albany, N.Y. The period prior to the canal was where this area became a common point to start the journey west. The early route moving west out of Albany was called the Mohawk Turnpike that traveled to the Buffalo area. From Buffalo they would travel down along the eastern edge of Lake Erie on the Seneca Road which stopped in Cleveland.

The turnpike or road as they called it was more of a path. The common route had normally been a Indian trail prior to the Europeans locating in the area. Traveling primarily in groups of your family and neighbors they would set out in their wagons, horses and livestock. The trail was treacherous and difficult to travel.

Tags: Transportation, Ohio, Western Reserve
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