Here is a link to Wikipedia giving an overview of the topic
The idea of a homeland may have meaning for you, though I personally try to feel at home wherever I may be in the world. It does not really matter to me whether my ancestors experienced life in one place or another, or in several places, though I am quite curious to know about the natural and cultural environments in which they lived.
How does your experience of the world shape your beliefs and your outlook on life? Are you part of a diaspora? Are you part of more than one diaspora, through your ancestors?
Perhaps being a migrant myself has something to do with my ideas about home, beliefs and ancestral origins. I have written on this topic in a few of my earlier blog posts:
We are all related
Taking the best of the past into the future
Connect to your heritage
Today, I thought I would put the links from the right hand column into this blog post:
International Organisation of Migration
Martin Frost - British diaspora
Absolute Astronomy - Italian diaspora
Museum of the African Diaspora
SSCNET - The Indian diaspora
My Jewish Learning - The Jewish diaspora
Ireland Roots - Ireland's diaspora
There are, of course, many other websites and web pages about one sort of diaspora or another. There are also many other topics of relevance.
Another Wikipedia page - List of diasporas
Wikipedia - Passport
Wikipedia - Refugee
Wikipedia - Human Migration
Wikipedia - Immigration
Wikipedia - Immigration history of Australia
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
History of displaced persons in Australia
Have you discovered aspects of your family history relating to displacement or deportation? Were your relatives perpetrators or victims of persecution? Were they slaves and/or slave owners?
Were any of your ancestors, or even yourself, a refugee? Were your family, on the other hand, mostly economic migrants, or seeking to be reunited with loved ones, or seeking a cultural environment to better suit their values and interests?
Perhaps you have Huguenot ancestry. I have not found any (yet) in my own family history. Do you have any Huguenot names in your family?
The Huguenot Society of Australia
Wikipedia - Huguenot
As far as I know, I do not have any French ancestry at all, at least since the time of the Norman conquest (see previous blog post). I do not really know if my Belgian ancestors were only of Flemish origin or if some were Walloon, or from some other group.
From census records, it appears that some of them could probably speak French (the eldest brother of my great grandfather in London was visited on census night, 1911, by a French chef and his wife).
Wikipedia - Walloons
Wikipedia - Walloon names
Wikipedia - Dutch/Flemish names
Wikipedia - Flemish people
Wikipedia - Flemish language
I mainly consider myself to be part of the English diaspora, however scattered my ancestral identity might have been. Like the couple depicted in the painting near the top of this blog post, I migrated as a middle class person rather than a working class one.
Migrating was also my own decision, though the decision to allow me into Australia as a permanent resident was taken by the Australian government. I was allowed in to the country as an "alien" when my husband agreed to be my sponsor for the first two years. I am certainly not a "ten pound pom"!
Whatever people's time and place of migration, whether their departure is forced or voluntary, it has a bearing on their family history. I do not have children of my own, but my decision to migrate may encourage the children of other family members to think about doing so.
Wikipedia - English people
Wikipedia - Ten pound poms
Immigration Museum, Victoria - Ten pound poms
History Compass Exchanges - the hidden English diaspora
Wikipedia - Historical immigration to Great Britain
Wikipedia - British diaspora
New Statesman - 2 August 2004
Exodus: the great British migration
Telegraph UK - 15 November 2007
Emigration soars as Britons desert UK
BBC News - 15 November 2007
Record trends in UK migration
Telegraph UK - 21 February 2008
Why Britain's brightest and best are emigrating
Guardian UK - 26 August 2010
Figures show 20% increase in net migration to UK
UK Office of National Statistics - Migration
Australian - Migration statistics
National Museums Liverpool - Leaving Liverpool 1858
National Archives UK - Emigration and shipping records
Several of my cousins have left Britain permanently since I did, as has my father and one of his sisters. Many of my other relatives have left Britain over the years several times, on a temporary rather than a permanent basis.
Although I have been lucky to be able to afford to travel back quite frequently to visit my family, I am very glad that I no longer live Britain, especially in its cooler months. And I am even more pleased that I am able to escape its crowds.