Despite recent advances, critical areas in the analysis of European migration remain underdeveloped. We have only a limited understanding of the consequences of migration for migrants and their descendants, relative to staying behind; and our insights of intergenerational transmission is limited to two generations of those living in the destination countries. These limitations stem from a paucity of studies that incorporate comparison with non-migrants – and return migrants – in countries of origin and which trace processes of intergenerational transmission over multiple generations. This paper outlines the theoretical and methodological discussions in the field, design and data of the 2,000 Families study. The study comprises almost 50,000 members of migrant and non-migrant Turkish families across three family generations, living in Turkey and eight European countries. We provide indicative findings from the study, framed within a theoretical perspective of “dissimilation” from origins, and reflect on its potential for future migration research.