Friday, July 12, 2013

Marylanders & Delawareans Abroad

This year, I was treated to DNA testing through Although fascinating, it created many questions as I soon learned that most of the people whose DNA match both myself and my Uncle, all come from outside of Delaware. This was quite the shocker as most of my research for my mom's side of the family has shown our roots to go deep within delaware for hundreds of years.

After much tinkering around with different genealogies, I began to see a pattern with those who matched me genetically: most had ancestors from Kentucky, then possibly from Virginia or the Carolinas. But none seem to have Delaware or Maryland links in their trees.

Or so they think :)

Noticing this trend, I began to look into migration patterns and found a man who has published books with such titles as "Marylanders to Kentucky". As it turns out, a great number of people from the Salisbury and Worcester Counties of Maryland, migrated in hoards to first the Carolinas, then to Kentucky/Tennessee border towns, some then moving on to Missouri and/or Illinois.

After finding this particular migration pattern, I began to also notice a common county that most went to in Missouri: Selby County, Missouri, as well as seeing the town name of Palmyra pop up occasionally. In searching through the county history of Selby, I came across multiple family names I recognized that had originated in my ancestral homeland.

Familes from Worcester County, MD that moved to Selby County, Missouri in the early-mid 1800's:

Families from Wicomico County, MD that did the same:

Families from Sussex County, DE who also ended up in Selby CO., MO
Smith (descendants of Marvel Smith to be exact)

Hopefully as I research more, I will be able to add to this list and have it grow. If you are reading this and know of other family names that migrated into KY, TN, MO or IL from the Delmarva area, please let me know!


  1. Greetings Fellow Genie,
    Was your families farmers? That's the normal migration pattern from Maryland as farmers left to find new land. As the West began to open land was plentiful and family members would follow other members and settle. I took the National Geographic DNA test back in 2007 and have not find one maternal relative here in Maryland or Delaware. I did get a contact from someone in Texas who has done considerable research. Although our markers were an identical match; we were not able to link that common ancestor but we were able to link a common name "Carter". The Carter's were farmers and we assume owned many Slaves. We surmised that our family; more than likely was held as slaves by the Carter family. As they moved they took some of their property with them which were my ancestor's as Slaves. The information she had showed the same pattern of migration (Maryland - Virginia - Carolina's - Kentucky - Tennessee and Texas which is where her family ended up. We also have DNA matches in those States. A main source of that information was Joan Horsley's Genealogical Research on her Carter family which can be found at You should take a look at her writings as I would be almost certain that you may find the Carter family had some dealings with some of your ancestor's. The names are indexed at the end of each so you can find names easily. Happy Hunting.

  2. Thanks for posting. Many of my paternal ancestors migrated from Delaware, Southeastern PA and the Northern Neck of Virginia through Northern KY to Eastern Missouri between 1785 and 1830. Some families later moved to Texas. Some had siblings who migrated to Ohio and their children later moved to Iowa and Wisconsin. Land grants from service in the War of 1812 seems to have been a motivator, but there were other factors. Missouri was a slave state which prompted migration from Southern states and the North Central counties of Missouri are still known as "Little Dixie". My Delmarva surnames are: McCoy, Zumwalt, Cain, Burton, May, Bohannon, Rush, Blackburn, Derickson, Hudson.

  3. My ancestor, Handy Handley, migrated to Kentucky and then on to Sullivan Co., Indiana where he applied for a pension from his service in the Revolution. Other relatives followed him to Indiana. All originated in Dorchester Co., MD

  4. Other contributions: The Chipman family moved from Sussex County, DE to North Carolina.

    Ardie Bernard Grimes posted this on facebook: I tried posting, but it's not showing up. My great grandfather, William Mathias Pratt, left Greenwood, Sussex, Delaware circa 1867. In 1870, he was in Doniphan County, Kansas; by 1875 he had migrated further west to Norton County, Kansas. His twin brother, George Alfred Pratt, ended up in Clark County, Ohio, while their sisters remained in Delaware/Maryland.

    Also to note that I found notes in a book about Selby County made in the early 1900's that some of the Melson's went on to Oregon and California.

  5. I believe you are referencing "Shelby" County, not "Selby". I lived in Shelby County for a number of years, but none of the names you mentioned ring a bell for me. Not saying there aren't still descendants there, just weren't in my area around Bethel and Shelbyville that I am aware of.

    My 4th great-grandfather, Littleton West was born in Sussex Co. Delaware in 1755. His family moved to VA (several counties have been mentioned, but with splits, etc, I don't know if they moved or stayed in the same place.) He married in 1781 in Greenbrier Co, VA (now WV). Was in Madison and Wayne Co. KY before migrating to Ray Co. MO by 1821. He died sometime after filing for a Revolutionary War pension in 1833.

    I have tenatively linked Littleton West with a brother, Joseph West, by their pension applications for the Rev.War. Still looking for their parents.

    I know that the Wests, Littletons and Scarboroughs intermarried in the Delmarva region. Having a hard time connecting my Littleton West to anyone else in the area. If anyone has a clue, I'd love to hear it!