My knowledge of geography of the United States has been enhanced by my continued research. Growing up in Upstate New York, one learns of the Oneida Community as I lived in Oneida County.
The mid-late 1800s saw many families migrate from Upstate New York to the Midwest and Western states. A distant branch of my family moved to Iowa.
While cleaning up my genealogy research, I came upon a town that would not properly fit in the geography references. So I did a quick search for Buxton, Monroe, Iowa. First thing I learned was Buxton no longer exists – okay that explains the geographical misfit (1895-1927). The 2nd thing I learned was that it had been built around coal excavation for the railroads.
And then I learned this – that it was its own form of a Utopian society. Due to the lack of workers (competitors hired away the coal company’s workers), they recruited African Americans from the South to come live in Iowa. The town was 60% African American and 40% white, mostly European immigrants. This community lived peacefully. From Wikipedia: “Even though Buxton had a mix of races and ethnic groups, there was no overt segregation and little racial or ethnic discrimination.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buxton_Historic_Townsite (sourced 4-3-2020).
Learning about new places and why/how people lived is a positive benefit to genealogy research. I love learning more about this country and it’s people. Not all of my family was directly involved, but what they witnessed was amazing.
The family connection here is the Buckingham line. The grandson of Dr. Levi Buckingham, Roscoe Dye Buckingham, moved from Vermont to Iowa. Dr. Levi Buckingham is my 4th Great Grandfather. Roscoe was the son of his youngest of his 14th child. Dr Levi Buckingham’s 1st child is my 3rd Great Grandmother, Mary Selina Buckingham Penfield.
The learning continues!