When I drew the regional map to express the convergence of ironworkers in 1700 Germany, the results didn’t satisfy. Although its scale offers the proximity of villages and forges, it doesn’t give a larger national context. To adequately tell the story of these industrious ironworkers is to show the regions that contributed its pioneers. Zooming in too close on the map destroys an immediate geographic recognition; the setting in central Europe must include the borders of France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland to be most understood. So, this new design shows the region, its continental position, and still emphasizes its centralizing migration.
In “Ore and Origins,” I profile these ten pioneering families (their progenitors are 9 and 10 generations removed). The managers of Züscher-Hammer were primarily local German professionals. But half of the skilled workers were imported from Belgium, hired by Hauzer. Their trades included blacksmiths, tool-makers, carpenters, developers—all those needed to build infrastructure and industry. The ten ancestor families represent a successful diversity of origins and blend of contributions.
Data from these family groups reveal a larger story of innovation, perseverance, and independent thinking. The decisions of siblings, cousins, and in-laws mirror the history that eventually contributed to American culture. Their continuing skills were fundamental to pioneering. Though the Belgian workers in 1700 may have only moved hundreds of miles versus the thousands of miles their immigrant descendants would undertake 150 years later, the change for them was as dramatic and challenging.
Map illustrations have always been some of my favorite projects. From years of commissions, I have a library of original global, regional, and town locations. I adapted my European Master for this Immigration Map, making it efficient to create. So, I can offer map illustrations to fit customer data very affordably. Please see samples of illustrative maps that can be used to enhance family legacy. —always inspired, Liane
Liane Sebastian wears an artist’s hat, designer’s coat, and editor’s shoes.