Tag Archives: Genealogy Road Trip Tips

Genealogy Road Trip Tip 27: Supplement your discoveries

Tip 27: Supplement your discoveries. Part of “Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You” — 30 posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo 2016.

A great way to keep your Genealogy Road Trip momentum going when you return home is to supplement your discoveries with additional research.

The New York Public Library. After your genealogy road trip, supplement your discoveries with additional research at local repositories or online. By: Carl Mikoy

By now you should have backed up your photos, duplicated your recording, filed your findings, typed up a your notes and trimmed your family tree with your genealogy road trip discoveries.

The new information gathered on your trip will likely point you in your next research direction. Not only will this keep the good vibes going from your trip, but it will move you ahead in compiling your family’s history.

Here are a few examples.

Follow up on clues. On a pre-Internet genealogy road trip with my dad, Norm Charboneau, we found a clue in the 1865 New York State census indicating that our ancestor Arthur Bull served in the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. So when the trip was over, I went to the New York Public Library to supplement this discovery — and found the pension record number that allowed me to view and copy my ancestor’s file at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C. Today, you could do much of this online — but you get the idea.

Locate copies of key maps and documents. On a genealogy road trip with my mom to her home town (Gloversille Fulton County, New York), we saw a huge map on the wall at a local historical repository indicating land and houses owned by our mutual ancestors. The map was too big to copy or to reproduce with a photo. But when we supplemented our research, we found a smaller version of the map in the Onondaga County Public Library — where the staff was able to make a copy for us.

Search for historic photos and news clips. During your road trip, oral history interviews with relatives, friends, associates and neighbors of your ancestors may have revealed events, locations or buildings of significance to your family history. When you get home, supplement these discoveries by searching online newspaper databases for pertinent news articles — or checking out online photo repositories for pictures of the buildings or locations they mentioned.

Where and what you research will depend on the discoveries you and your travel partner made during your genealogy road trip.

But supplementing your discoveries with new research is a worthwhile next step because it will add to what you learned at your ancestral destination.

Your Genealogy Road Trip is over. It’s been a great ride, and now it’s time to kick back. Please stop back for Tip 28: Reward yourself.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Genealogy Road Trip Tip 26: Store your gear

Tip 26: Store your gear. Part of “Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You” — 30 posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo 2016.

You and your travel partner had such a great time that you are probably already thinking about your next genealogy road trip.

Inspect and store your gear after your trip. Take care of any needed repairs or replacements now so you are ready when your next genealogy research destination calls to you. By: Marc Lacoste

You will be one step ahead if you take the time now to properly inspect and store your gear so it is ready to go when you are.

Here are a few steps to take:

Remove all batteries. If any of your devices  — such as your camera, audio recorder or video equipment — use batteries, remove these when you return. Your next trip might be months or a year away. If you don’t use the equipment in the meantime, the batteries can corrode and cause damage. So pop them all out on your return.

Repair any damage. Did your equipment operate is it should on the trip? Did you drop, shake or break anything? If so, repair the item right away — or replace it if repair is not possible. Do a visual inspection, too. I lost the padding on a selfie stick during a road trip — which I did not discover until it wouldn’t hold my smartphone the next time I used it. Now’s also a good time to clean camera lenses; inspect/replace foam covers on handheld or lavaliere microphones; and replace any chargers that failed during the trip.

Update your storage options. Did it take you a long time to pull your gear together for the trip? Would it be easier next time if everything was in one place? Was it hard to carry or use your gear in the field? At the end of the trip, review your options — both at home and for travel — to see if you are storing your gear in the best way and whether you need additional bags for use in the field.

Develop a cheat sheet for user manuals. I use my digital voice recorder so infrequently that I usually consult the complex user manual before each trip. So my to-do list includes creating a cheat sheet of essential instructions to take with me on the next trip. Alternatively, you could bookmark the online user manuals for your equipment for ready access on your next trip.

Dust it all off and put it away. Once you have all of your audio visual equipment in good working order, dust it all off and store it for the next genealogy journey.

Up next, Tip 27: Supplement your discoveries. Please stop back.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Genealogy Road Trip Tip 25: Share your stories

Tip 25: Share your stories. Part of “Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You” — 30 posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo 2016.

Among the intangible benefits of a genealogy road trip are the stories that you and your travel partner will return with. Sharing those precious stories is the best gift you can bring back from your journey.

Meaningful family stories are the greatest gifts of all. Spend some time after your genealogy road trip reviewing your notes, photos, documents and recordings — then write down or record the stories that emerge. By: alvanman

The people you met during your trip, the experiences you went through together, and the ancestral discoveries you made — these can become part of your family saga if you share your stories after your return.

How you tell your stories is up to you. Are you more comfortable writing them down? Or would you rather record them for posterity? And who will you share them with?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Expand on your trip report and photos. If you typed up your notes as suggested in Tip 21, you can go back over your report and photos to jog your memory about the stories emerged from your journey. How did you feel to find an ancestor’s grave? What were your impressions of your ancestors’ town or neighborhood? Was there an interesting librarian who helped you out? You’ve collected the facts — now is the time to reflect on what they meant to you by journaling about the experience or recording your impressions.

Review your recordings. Set aside a quiet time to listen to an oral history interview you recorded. What did you learn from the family member or an ancestor’s associate or neighbor? Did new family history information emerge? Were humorous or poignant stories shared during the interview? What did the room look like? What background sounds do you hear? How did you feel before, during and after the interview? These are the ingredients that will make your story come to life.

Study those genealogical documents and historic maps. During a genealogy road trip, there is little time to review the documents, historic maps and other items you and your travel partner discovered. But once you’re back home, spend some time studying what you found. Does the documentation fit with the oral history interview you did? Or with your previous research? How does it feel to see an ancestor’s surname on a map indicating where they lived or owned land? Does this animate a census report in your files?

Write or say what comes naturally. If you have never written or recorded yourself before, you may feel awkward at first — but stick with it and just write or say what comes naturally. This is storytelling, like you might do around the dining table — and your family members will appreciate your efforts to share what you learned about your mutual ancestors.

Share in a way that is comfortable to you. Have you longed to put together a family history book — with stories and photos — to share with future generations? How about creating a digital scrap book to be printed and shared? Would a blog work better for reaching family members who live all over? What about a YouTube video or a family-only Facebook group? Even something as simple as a holiday letter with a few anecdotes about your trip offers a way to begin telling your stories.

Your ancestral discoveries are a precious gift to your contemporaries and to future generations of your family. So find some way to share these family history stories — the way you wish your ancestors had handed down their stories to you.

Now it’s time to put everything away so it’s there for your next genealogy journey. Please stop back for Tip 26: Store your gear.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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