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The United States is a nation of immigrants, and there are numerous success stories of them being crucial to the construction of the nation’s culture and identity. Furthermore, many of these immigrants were able to capitalize on the various opportunities bestowed upon them while living in the United States. Using US Census records, ship manifests, land warrant applications, pension records, and newspaper articles, I reassembled my family history from the early-colonial period to the Civil War and connected my story to broader themes in US history, which presented the history in a clearer and more personal way. The Whisenant family is one of many examples of immigrant families who came to the Thirteen Colonies to find a better and more meaningful life. The story begins with Philip Peter Whisenant, who moved his family from Rhineland to the Pennsylvania Colony in 1731, perhaps because of a demand for labor and an abundance of land in the colonies. As their lineage travels through several centuries and numerous generations, my ancestors contributed to American society in some way, while benefiting from opportunities presented to them as citizens of the United States. Evidence of this supporting research includes traveling on a new railway system, voting in an election, moving their entire family after purchasing an abundance of land, and fighting in the American Civil War. The purpose of this project is to understand the significance of connecting an individual’s family history to broader themes in immigration history.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
39 MB



  • Subject
    • History, Anthropology, & Philosophy

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event date
    • 17 April 2020

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dee Gillespie