FYI: Here's an interesting cross-post from another e-mail list:
In a message dated 2/27/2006 6:44:05 PM Mountain Standard Time,
circumstances that might have caused them to emigrate. (I am
wondering if the living conditions experienced by my ancestors might have
been comparable to the conditions experienced by the Poles in Prussian Silesia.)
Circumstances that could cause emigration from just about anywhere in the
1. Avoiding military service, expecially if a war was looming. See
historic timelines for when wars occurred.
2. Being sought by the police or creditors.
3. Being from a large family with no hope of inheriting enough property to
make a good living & no other prospects.
4. Other economic circumstances
Multiple crop failures.
Family facing loss of land -- bankruptcy, deep in debt to moneylenders.
Loss of a job as a factory worker / journeyman tradesman.
Crowded conditions at home - successful home farm no longer able to
sustain growing family, someone has to go.
5. Looking for adventure.
6. Looking for better opportunity:
Industrial workers recruiters from the US promising a job and enough
money to bring the rest of the family within a year or two, then buy land.
Advertisements of free land in the US -- large plots europeans could not
hope to ever own.
7. Cheap fares, boat captains willing to accept service for passage -- sell
a service contract for some years of work to pay after arrival in the US --
make it easy to leave.
8. Escaping epidemic while still healthy.
9. Looking for healthier climate.
10. No family left, no point in staying.
Dear Karen May I add a big one? RELIGIOUS FREEDOM !