10 December 2013

Traveling to Find Your Roots is Now Easier Than Ever!

Map showing where my mom started her nursing studies (Parkside Hospital, Davyhulme, Manchester, UK) 

Whenever the New York Times has an article on a subject, you kind of figure that it must have achieved zeitgeist status – or something close!

A recent example of this was an article Traveling to Find Your Roots.  The article includes the author’s first-hand experience and also presents some good suggestions on how to prepare for such a trip.

I like also that the article talks a bit about those of us who travel to destinations where there no longer are living family members.  So, though some family history research travel might provide an opportunity to meet distant cousins, there is also value to just walking where your ancestor’s once did and seeing places where your family members “lived.”  Many years ago I visited the Salem MA area where my father’s family emigrated to.  I visited churches once attended, homes once lived in, places once associated with, employers once worked for and many other locales in the community with which these family members had an association.  The trip was priceless.
And, this doesn’t apply to visiting the locales of just those who are long-dead.  My last two trips to England with my children were after my mother had died and I spent some of my time visiting those places where she had gone to school, gone to church, lived, etc. Pictured are three modern photos of schools she attended in the 1940s into the early 1950s. It was a way to be reminded that she had had a life before marrying and having children; a life which I did not witness.  It made it easier to imagine the girl who attended school and parties, played the piano, attended church with girl friends and much more.

If you are considering some travel to ancestral locales, check out these resources:

Do you have a heritage travel tip to share?

Has a particular resource helped you prepare to walk where your ancestors trod?

If you have traveled to locales where your ancestors lived, what “one” experience sticks out?

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