Population structure in the Connecticut Valley. I. Marital migration



This study reports on an analysis of marital migration among 12 communities in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts during the years 1790–1849. Genetic inferences are drawn, and the requisite assumptions considered. The effect of geographic distance on genetic kinship is predicted using Malécot's isolation-by-distance model. The resulting estimates are discussed in terms of geographic and historical factors. The configuration of communities as predicted by kinship values approximates closely their actual geographic locations. Estimated genetic heterogeneity was low for the historical Connecticut Valley population, and community isolation breaks down rapidly over time. The region thus assumes its place among a number of sedentary, agricultural populations for which the isolation-by-distance model provides an adequate representation. A regression analysis which includes variables in addition to distance indicates that historical and economic factors contribute some additional explanatory power to the distribution of mating frequencies.