GenTraveling to Mississippi


Hello GenTravelers!

Who has traveled to Mississippi? I’ve never been there, but I think it’s being added to my GenTraveling bucket list pretty soon!  All I really know about Mississippi is the little ditty that helps me remember how to spell it…M-I-crooked letter, crooked letter….(Ok, I’ll spare you!)

When I introduced Dana McDaniel Britton last week and she mentioned her favorite GenTraveling excursion was Vicksburg National Military Park, I had to go check it out and write this highlight post, in case any of you were unfamiliar with it also!

This national park commemorates the Vicksburg campaign and battle because they were considered to be the turning point of the Civil War.  The victory there gave the Union control of the Mississippi River, so it was open as a supply line for the Army. General Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign is studied as a masterpiece of military operations.

The park has a cemetery that has 18,244 interments – but my genealogical heart is deeply sad at the fact that 12,954 of those interments are unidentified. Your heart is sad too, right?!?

Initially, I was confused at where Vicksburg National Military Park was located.  I thought Mississippi, but then an abundance of references to Illinois popped up in my browser!  Well, let me explain:


The monument above – The Illinois Memorial is located in the park. It was designed by a former Civil War major, W. L. B. Jenney to “preserved in enduring bronze and stone the name of every soldier from Illinois who participated in that memorable and decisive campaign and siege.”[source]  The monument has 47 steps leading to the top and has sixty bronze tablets lining its interior walls, naming all 36,325 Illinois soldiers who participated in the Vicksburg Campaign.

So much history! What a fantastic place to visit!  I’m scheming about how I can add this stop to a larger itinerary…hmmm, it’s about 3 1/2 hours from New Orleans and about 7 hours from Nashville.  Oh! I know – I’ve always wanted to do a Mississippi River cruise, maybe one of those would stop by this site!?!

Let me know if you’ve visited this national park and if you have any travel suggestions.

That’s it for this post, because now I’ve gotta go browse river cruise info.  Have a great day! Good luck with your research and be sure to plan a GenTraveling excursion to where your ancestors actually lived (or died)!


Who is that GenTraveler?


Let me also introduce you to this week’s GenTraveler…


Dana has been doing genealogy for 18 years and specializes in Texas and the American Southeast.

How often do you go GenTraveling?
Not as often as I’d like, but I love visiting extremely old cemeteries and American Colonial history sites.

Do you have any tips on how to make GenTraveling a success?
Make sure that camera is charged and bring a companion to share in the adventure. Top it all off with a drink at the local watering hole, a place which may have its own unique history!

What types of repositories are your favorite to visit while GenTraveling?
Libraries and archives. The older the records the better!

Tell us about your favorite GenTraveling excursion.
My favorite GenTraveling experience by far was a visit to the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was a solemn experience to see the memorials and learn the history. The Battle of Vicksburg was a turning point in the Civil War and it was surreal to walk the grounds.

Be social and check out Dana on these platforms:
Facebook: @heritageresearchtx
Twitter: @researchblog1

Dana is currently taking clients, so if you need assistance with Texas or Southeast U.S. research, here’s how to get in touch:
Anyone may email me at, or call me at (936) 347-3016. Or they may submit a query through my website in the “Get In Touch” section at the bottom of the page. Link to my website:

GenTraveling to Ireland


Hello GenTravelers!

So who has Irish ancestry? If you do, I say you are LUCKY! And that’s not only because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up shortly. I say that because if you have Irish roots, traveling there is probably high on your list and what a beautiful place to visit!!!  I am such a visual person, that when I go GenTraveling and it happens to be a spectacularly beautiful locale, it’s a definite win-win-WIN!

Years ago, I read an article by Joe Grandinetti in the Family Chronicle magazine, called Planning a Family History Research Trip to Ireland? (see the May/June 2014 Issue).  The article made me chuckle, because along with some good advice about preparing for your trip to Ireland, he explains that you shouldn’t wear bright colored clothing, but you should drink the tea and eat the brown bread. He explains what “Craic” is (see Google’s definition below) and warns against discussing politics.  If Ireland is on your GenTraveling bucket list, be sure to get your hands on Joe’s article before you go!


Additionally, here’s a fun video about the history of Ireland and includes great travel tips:

31 ESSENTIAL First Time IRELAND Travel Tips

I suspect my brick-wall family may be Irish, so wish me LUCK in breaking through, because when I do, you can be sure I’ll plan a trip to Ireland ASAP!

Have a great week!


So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!





Who is that GenTraveler?


Good morning GenTravelers!

I want to introduce you to some fellow GenTravelers – terrific people who regularly and activity plan trips to where their ancestors actually lived. In this new blog series, some of the people you’ll meet will be family historians – others may be professional genealogists who are especially expert in certain regions.  Today, I’d like you to meet…


Jean-Luc Brebant; who has been doing genealogy for 30 years. He considers himself a “History & Heritage Consultant, Family Roots Searcher, Landmark Finder, Heritage Investigator, Legacy Messenger, History Tracer, Past Hunter, Documents Finder, Archives Collector, Trace Investigator, Places Talker, and Mind-Opener.” (More details about the photo above HERE)

Area of Specialization: France and North America (USA and Canada). All the people with French roots.

How often do you go GenTraveling?

All the time. I go to France twice a year.

Do you have any tips on how to make GenTraveling a success?

Sharing experiences.

What types of repositories are your favorite to visit while GenTraveliing?

Local libraries (besides all the documents online).

Tell us about your favorite GenTraveling excursion.

Tracing my own ancestors in France and finding names on old graves.

Also go {HERE} to Jean-Luc’s instagram feed to read about him finding the location of his grand-grand0father’s bakery in Le Perray-en-Yvelines – Yvelines – Southwest of Paris! The photo on the left is the store in 2018 and the one on the right is the same building in 1918!

Get social and check out Jean-Luc on these platforms:

Jean-Luc is currently taking genealogy clients, so if you have French roots and need his assistance, contact him at









Literary GenTraveling


Hello GenTravelers!

How was your week? I’m happy to say that I went Literary GenTraveling this week!  (I’ve mentioned that I feel like I’m traveling when I read a good book, right?)

I recently heard about this new book and downloaded the audiobook right away.  Being a genealogist, I found it extremely interesting – plus Dani Shapiro is an excellent writer. I heard about this book from listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast – and she is starting a book club and this book will be the inaugural book! (Go HERE if you want to find out more about Gretchen’s book club).

Congratulations to Dani Shapiro. I enjoyed her memoir very much!


What Literary GenTraveling have you been on lately?  I’d LOVE some good book recommendations!  I tend to get transported in time with a good book – especially ones with a genealogy element! My hubby will even tell you of a time when I was so engrossed in a book that I didn’t even hear him vacuum our stairs! (And yes, a wife SHOULD notice when her husband goes to such effort! Haha!)

Have a great week!


So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!

GenTraveling – to conferences!


Hello GenTravelers!

Will you be Gentraveling to a genealogy conference this year?  RootsTech is just over a week away!  Yep, the sea of people in the photo above is what a typical trip to the RootsTech Exhibitor Hall looks like! Crazy huh?

I would highly encourage such GenTraveling!  If you can’t make it to RootsTech, there are plenty of other conferences to consider.  This year,  I plan to attend RootsTech as well as the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference which is being held in Washington DC. this year.  {I’m excited for that!}

Pairing GenTraveling to a conference and a research trip to where an ancestor actually lived is the ultimate win!  Are any of the national conferences this year, anywhere close to where your ancestors lived?  Check out the list below and maybe plan to go!

RootsTech 2019 – February 2 – March 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah

National Genealogical Society conference – May 8-11 in St Charles, Missouri

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree – May 30 – June 2 – in Burbank, California

Federation of Genealogical Societies conference –  August 21-24 – in Washington DC

These are only a few of the major, national conferences; there are plenty of smaller regional or community conferences too.  See what’s happening in the area you want to go GenTraveling to and get busy and plan your trip!

As always, good luck climbing your trees and have a great day!



GenTraveling – It broadens the mind!


Hello GenTravelers!

I’m sure most of you know that Mark Twain is credited with saying:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

I agree…do you?

Travel broadens the mind.  Therefore, I would like to modify Twain’s message as follows:

GenTraveling is fatal to shallow research and brick walls, and many family historians need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, in depth, and reasonably exhaustive research of our ancestors and where they actually lived cannot be acquired by vegetating only in online databases and other online resources all one’s lifetime!

Enough said.  Good luck with your preparatory research via all those wonderful online databases!  Then GO plan a GenTraveling excursion!

Have a great week!