Tag Archives: Genealogy Road Trip Tips

Genealogy Road Trip Tip 1: Pick your destination

Tip 1: Pick your destination. Part of “Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You” — 30 posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo 2016.

Picking your destination may not seem like much of a Genealogy Road Trip Tip. After all, most folks choose a location for their vacation every year.

Aug. 1992: Looking west across Otter Lake. Dad and I didn't know it when this photo was taken, but a few miles beyond the tree line, as the crow flies, is where Moose River Settlement once stood -- home from 1875-1880 of my great, great grandparents Arthur and Mary Elizabeth (Blakeslee) Bull and their family. Photo by Molly Charboneau
Looking west across Otter Lake in Forestport, Oneida County, N.Y. (1992). My first genealogy road trip was with my dad, Norm Charboneau, to his childhood home on Otter Lake. He shared stories from his youth, I saw his hometown for the first time, and we found church, cemetery and vital records for a number of our shared ancestors. Photo by Molly Charboneau

But these tips are geared toward bringing family or friends along on your genealogy journey.

And destination plays an important role in having your loved ones come away with a treasured family history experience.

With this goal in mind, here are a few things to consider when choosing a genealogy road trip destination:

Should you plan a local/domestic trip, or will you go abroad? This decision affects the cost and length of the trip as well as the type and amount of advance preparation needed.

In what location have you already done the most research? A trip abroad might be more frustrating than fruitful if you don’t yet know the town, region, county or parish your ancestors haled from. But you could gain a wealth of new knowledge on a local trip to a town where you have already documented your ancestors through census and other records.

Will research at the location yield new genealogy information? You want to pick a location where you are reasonably sure of making some research discoveries when you get there, so your travel partner(s) can share in the ancestral finds.

Does the location resonate with your family or friends? Whether it’s a journey to hallowed ground for a U.S. Civil War reenactment or a visit to an ancestor’s home town, the ideal destination should hold some special meaning for you and your travel partner(s).

And remember, a research destination is only one component of a successful genealogy road trip. Bonding with your loved ones during the journey there and back will also create lasting memories and make your road trip that much more worthwhile.

Please stop back for Tip 2: Find a Travel Partner

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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NaBloPoMo 2016: Genealogy Road Trip Tips

Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You will be my theme as I head into this year’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) challenge — which begins today.

Throughout November 2016, if all goes well, Molly’s Canopy will feature 30 posts in 30 days on how to plan, embark on and reap the rewards of a family history research trip to an ancestral location — and how to entice your loved ones to join you on the genealogy journey.

But isn’t everything online now?

“Road trip?” you may ask. “Isn’t everything online now?” Well, actually, no.

Despite the regular digitizing and indexing of records — from military, census and land records to older probate records and obituaries — the majority of family history documents still exist in paper form, and often at the location where they were generated.

Of course, there are many ways to access them. Copies of records can sometimes be ordered through archives and other repositories. A local genealogy society may have volunteers willing to do look-ups. Or a professional genealogist can be hired to conduct research on your behalf at the locality.

Yet there are intangibles beyond the records that only a genealogy road trip can deliver — including the joy of sharing your heritage quest with friends and family members who come along for the ride.

The road trip experience

If your ancestor’s home is still standing, wouldn’t you love to see it? How would it feel to sit in your ancestor’s house of worship? Or at a desk in the school your ancestor attended? What about hearing the water cascade over the falls near their ancestral home, which formed a natural backdrop to their lives?

This blog was launched during a 2014 road trip with my friend Jane Latour to U.S. Civil War reenactments of battles my Union Army ancestor fought in — which I had long studied. But no amount of research and reading could fully capture the sounds of battle or the drifting gun smoke that clung to our clothes long after the fighting ended — shared experiences she and I still treasure.

You just had to be there.

And you can get there, too, with Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You — 30 posts in 30 days for National Blog Posting Month during November 2016

Please join me tomorrow for Tip 1: Pick your destination.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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