Universal York

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Yorkers Invited to Move to Virginia

Did you know people from this area were actively recruited to move to Virginia?
I knew that as the families of Pennsylvania German and Scots-Irish of South Central Pennsylvania grew, parts of those families migrated down through Western Maryland and Western Virginia. As those areas filled up, the progression continued to the south or to the west. That is why so many people from all over the country come back to York County to find their roots.
I didn’t know, however, that Virginians were coming here to extol the virtues of living in their state as late as 1877.

From the October 23, 1877 York Gazette:
“IMMIGRATION TO VIRGINIA.–In compliance to public notice, an intelligent audience assembled at the Court House on Wednesday night, to hear addresses by gentlemen representing the Virginia Immigration Society.
Dr. W. S. Roland, President of the York County Agricultural Society, introduced Hon. John W. Johnston, U.S. Senator from Abingdon, Va., who addressed the audience on the mineral, agricultural, commercial, educational and industrial resources of his State, inviting immigration and showing its advantages. Mr. Borst, Secretary of the same society, also addressed the meeting.”
Abingdon is in the extreme southwest of Virginia, in the same general direction, following the valleys, to which the earlier settlers from York County moved. Perhaps the Virginia Immigration Society was already familiar with the sturdy, hard-working people from this area and wanted more of them.
Do you know if any of your relatives were in that “intelligent audience” and went to explore the “advantages” of Virginia?
Click here to read about a Pennsylvania couple who went to Virginia a hundred years before.