Welcome to The Firelands History Website

Emigrating to New Connecticut

The Firelands History Website

“Sufferers’ Land.”
“Firelands.”
These evocative and descriptive phrases refer to a region in northern Ohio set aside by the state of Connecticut for “Sufferers” burned out of their homes by the British during the American Revolution. Part of the Western Reserve, it covered present-day Huron and Erie counties.
After the War of 1812, a flood of emigration erupted out of crowded New England, the result of a pent up desire for new land that had been held in check by the threat of Native Americans defending their homes, and the spur of economic hardship engendered by the catastrophic “Year without Summer” of 1816. Most of these pioneers were bound for the Firelands.
Thus began one of the great migrations of American history: a flood of humanity that poured out of New England and settled lands stretching along the southern shores of the Great Lakes from upstate New York to Illinois and across the Mississippi River into Iowa.
These settlers greatly impacted the history of the United States. In the 1850’s, some of them entered Kansas and clashed with the leading edge of another great migration that had settled the South — a tragic foreshadowing of the Civil War. The grandchildren of the settlers of the Old Northwest formed the backbone of the Union Army of the West during that war and made possible the Republican majority that ruled the nation the remainder of the century.
This website presents histories of the Firelands and genealogies of families that settled there.

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