SCHS Header
Link to Homepage
Link to About Us page
Link to Staff & Board page
Link to Ross Center page
Link to Exhibits page
Link to Events Calendar page
Link to Archives page
Link to Online Store
Link to Membership page
Link to Volunteer page
Link to Contact Us page
Historical photo show 100 years ago header

100 Years Ago

Black History
Civil War
Gold Rush
Law and Order

Immigration Index Page

Immigration became the foundation for a nation destined to lead the world. The ‘United States of America’ did not exist in the minds of men in the 16th century, it was just another place that began humbly as a small settlement. With the arrival of more people, another colony of Great Britain was born.

In those early years, almost every resident was an immigrant, but the term had little meaning to the souls that traversed the Atlantic Ocean seeking a better life. Most of them were natives of Great Britain sharing a similar cultural background and language. Their mutual interest in social order, jurisprudence, and the common good, allowed them to concentrate on survival as a colony in their new, often inhospitable, environment.

Although a passive peace existed, for the most part, between the new white settlers and the native American Indians of this vast land, it would eventually erupt in violence. As the years passed, the colonies flourished and grew to control most of the east coast of the North American continent. Families proliferated, producing generations of Americans with allegiances unlike their forebears, less inclined to adhere to the dictates of a people they had not met and a place they had never trod.

The establishment of the U.S. at the end of the Revolutionary War was the beginning of America’s pluralism, the melting pot of the world, and the basis for its greatness. They came from every culture, every socioeconomic level, (most were poor and desperate for a new life), bringing with them a vitality and a faith in God that became a bedrock for America. They came by the millions with skills needed for the nation’s growth.

Many of Britain’s underprivileged continued to come, while her wealthy families poured millions of pounds into the development of the U.S. Germans came with an unparalleled work ethic. The Irish served as laborers building the roads, canals and railroads. Italians came to settle and work in the nation’s largest cities. Danes came as skilled farmers, Norwegians as expert fishermen/lumbermen, and Swedes proficient in mining/working with metals. Blacks were first brought from African countries as slaves and later came as free immigrants, challenging us to live our nation’s basic right that, "All men are created equal." They labored, pouring sweat, building the agricultural base of many states and firing the industrial growth of others. Nationals from around the world arrived with sought after skills from tradesmen to merchants, industrialists to leaders of men. So the experiment prospered and a super power was born.

Why People Immigrated
The Price of Immigration
Port of Entry
The Journey
From Port to Shelby County
1820-1900; 35% of Immigrants were German
Immigrants Became Ohioans
Becoming a Citizen
Shelby County, Ohio Today
Liberty For All
Not Everyone Wants to Stay
Early Settler Surnames

Indenture as Servant
Indenture as Apprentice
Wants Naturalization Papers




In the Beginning
1769-1782/Peter Loramie
1783-1802/Ohio Land Grants/Greene Ville Treaty
1803/Ohio Becomes a State
The Establishment of Shelby County
Land for Settlement, Schools & Religion
1837-1850/Canal Era
1846/Randolph Slaves
1848/Gold Rush
1851-1870/Railroad Era
1870-1893/Industrial Era

Revolutionary War Soldiers
1805 - Thatcher
1806 - Cannon, Earl, Mellinger
1807 - John Wilson
1808 - Jackson, Marshall
1809 - Berry, Phillips, Valentine
1811 - Lenox
1820s - Fergus, Roberts
1820 - Sidney Founder was Irish Immigrant

Sidney Named after Englishman
1820 - Sidney's First Home Owned by John Blake
Early Settler Surnames

Surname Patterns
Irish Immigrant Skilled Craftsman
German-American Bank is Formed
Foreign Language Newspapers


[ Return to Archives Home Page

Article Footer
SCHS footer Link to Home page Link to About Us Information Link to the Ross Center Information Link to our Events Calendar Information Link to our Archives Information Link to our Online Store / Products Information Link to our Membership Information Link to our Volunteering Information Link to our Contact Information Link to Staff & Board Information Link to our Current & Upcoming Exhibits Information Link to our Donation Information