Migrations 2: North Carolinians on the Move – Reconstruction and Early 20th Century Migration

Photo of migrants with a map

Diane L. Richard, MEng, MBA

Throughout history many of those who stepped foot in North Carolina migrated into, across, and out of the state. Reconstruction and the early 20th century accelerated certain types of outmigration from the state. The economic devastation created by the Civil War and the needs of those formerly enslaved to reconnect with far flung family members resulted in many leaving North Carolina. Increasing discrimination against African Americans, World War I, and the depression fragmented many more North Carolina families.

Some members moved to the Norfolk-Portsmouth area, New York City, or locations with robust factory-based economies – either as part of the “Great Migration” or just seeking opportunities elsewhere. We’ll explore the factors leading to out-migration from NC, efforts to replenish the workforce, and ways we might link “back to North Carolina.”

(Image source: “Florida migrants studying road map before leaving Elizabeth City, North Carolina for the state of Delaware”, via PICRYL, Public Domain)

Available in the NCGS online store is North Carolina Research – Genealogy and Local History, the text for the NCGS Webinar Series. For more information about the speaker, please see our flyer (pdf file).

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