Who is that GenTraveler?

whoisthatgentraveler

Hello GenTravelers!

Let me introduce you to this week’s GenTraveler, Nick Cimino…(and thank you Nick for the excellent travel tips!)

Nick Cimino has been doing genealogy for 30 years!

His area of specialization is advanced genealogy problem solving.  He is also adept at finding records that are hidden beyond the indexes at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.  Other areas of specialization: African American ; Cartography (maps); Emigration & Immigration ; Historical Sites ; Lineage Societies ; Heir Searcher ; Naturalization ; Scots-Irish ; Irish American ; German American ; Italian American

How often do you go GenTravelingA minimum of once per year but usually more frequently.

Do you have any tips on how to make GenTraveling a success?  Finding the exact locations of residence, employment, church, social groups and burial places and mapping them before you go makes it easy to make a spiritual connection with your ancestors when you get there.  Also make a list of historic sites and record repositories in the vicinity and map those too.  Make a list of people that you want to contact including other descendants who still live in the area.

What types of repositories are your favorite to visit while GenTraveling?  Libraries, courthouses, historical museums, and archives are my favorites.  In Northern Ireland, my favorite was the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast.  In Canada my favorite was the Public Archives of Canada in Ottawa. Visiting the homes of distant cousins who stayed in the same location as the ancestors can be repositories unto themselves.  Church records can be found in the churches themselves or in the homes of the church historian. Sometimes church records are in  held at the diocese or at a denominational archive.  For example, I visited Ohio Weslayan University for the Methodist archives of Southwest Ohio and found records of my great grandfather who was a United Brethren minister.

Tell us about your favorite GenTraveling excursion.  My most memorable genealogical travel adventure was Northern Ireland in 2008.  I wrote about it on my blog briefly here: http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com/2015/02/my-dilemma-with-lord-of-manor-uk-and.html

and in greater detail here: http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com/2017/03/chain-migration-from-ulster-case-study.html

The Fairbanks family is one of my most intriguing families which dates back to a colonial Massachussetts immigrant, Jonathan Fairbanks of Dedham, Massachusetts.  AKA Jonathan Fairebanke  1594–1668

BIRTH 1594 • West Riding, Yorkshire, England

DEATH 5 DECEMBER 1668 • Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts

My 10th great-grandfather

My visits to two Fairbanks family houses on the East and West coasts are also favorites and I write about them here:

http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com/2015/12/rich-and-not-so-famous-kin-fairbanks.html

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Are any of you related to the Fairbanks as well? Be social and check out Nick on these platforms:

https://www.apgen.org/directory/search_detail.html?mbr_id=5336

Blog: http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com

Twitter: @ancestorpuzzles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AncestorPuzzles/

 

GenTraveling to Ireland

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!

craic

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!

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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!

RT

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 – Should we travel to unpleasant locations?

andersonville

Hello GenTravelers!

If you’ve traced family members back to the nineteenth century, odds are you have some ancestors who fought in the Civil War. I hope you are planning a trip to where they actually lived.  But what about where they actually died?  Many family historians have ancestors that died in places like Andersonville Prison in Georgia.  Do you have any desire to visit there? Nearly 13,000 prisoners died there. Were any of them your ancestors?

Conditions in the Andersonville Prison were atrocious. Understandably, prisoner Robert H. Kellogg wrote, “Can this be hell?” because scenes like this were common:

andersonville2

There are many such historic sites that conjure up unpleasant feelings. Do we visit these locations in order to firmly remind ourselves of the horrors that occurred there, and to do all we can to never allow those horrors to be repeated?  I hope so.  Just be sure to plan some other wonderful (and uplifting) locations on the itinerary for that GenTraveling trip as well!

Where have you GenTraveled to, that you would consider ‘unpleasant’?

Good luck for successfully researching your ancestors – and be sure to let me know where you are planning your next GenTraveling adventure!

GenTraveling to Guernsey Island

guernsey

Hello GenTravelers!

In honor of Netflix releasing Guernsey today, I wanted to post about GenTraveling there. (I apologize if any of you haven’t read the book and aren’t excited as I am about the movie coming out! Haha!)

Are there any readers out there that are LUCKY enough to have ancestors from Guernsey? If I had family lines from Guernsey, visiting there would be on the tippy-tippy-top of my GenTraveling bucket list!

One lucky guy,  author George Matheson, wrote about his GenTravels to Guernsey in the March/April 2015 edition of YourGenealogyToday magazine. It is an excellent article with lots of tips and advice for anyone planning a visit there.  His excitement about the island is contagious and he begins his article explaining the thrill of finding his ancestral farmhouse:

“Holding an 1878 sepia photograph, I strolled along a quiet ruett (or country lane) until there in front of me was the same image: the old farmhouse in which my grandfather was born, with the steeple of the church in which he was baptized rising in the background.  That was in 2009. It was my first trip to Guernsey and my first taste of the excitement of what is widely referred to as “Genealogical Tourism” or as I prefer to call it “Ancestral Tourism”. It’s a curious notion — this idea of going back to a place where someone on the family tree once lived.”

If you are planning a visit to Guernsey Island, be sure to go read this excellent article.  Mr. Matheson included an entire page of resources, travel tips, accommodation recommendations etc.  I believe he mentioned he’d been back 5 times, so I’d say he is somewhat of an expert.  His closing words sum up many GenTraveler’s feelings as well:

“Genealogical/Ancestral tourism is, for me, not just about finding a farmhouse or a tombstone, but about exploring and enjoying the ‘world’ my ancestors lived in and seeing what that ‘world’ has become.”

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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 near Montreal

lachine

Hello GenTravelers!

Sometimes GenTraveling takes us to sad but significant historical sites. When my husband and I traveled to Canada a couple of months ago, we visited an area where, 329 years ago, was the site of the worst massacre in Canadian history.  The Lachine massacre happened on August 4-5, 1689. Reports vary widely regarding the number of deaths that occurred.  The Lachine Massacre monument website states 200 settlers were killed by 1500 Iroquois (link HERE).  Wikipedia states there were 72 deaths. Whatever the number of casualties, this terrible event is obviously included in many family histories.  My husband’s ancestors were involved – some were killed and some were captured. Fortunately his 6th great-grandmother, after being held captive for about 12 years was released after The Great Peace Treaty of 1701 and returned to her husband and subsequently began their family – in which my husband descends from.

The plaque pictured above on St. Joseph Street, Lachine, Quebec says:

During the night of the 4-5 August 1689, fifteen hundred Iroquois landed at Lachine and placed themselves in small groups near all the houses along the shore. At a given signal the massacre began; two hundred persons perished and one hundred and twenty were taken into captivity. The year 1689 was long known as “The year of the massacre”.

GenTraveling, and genealogy in general, uncovers both the happy and the sad, the precious and the terrible. History doesn’t (or shouldn’t) have a filter.

What sad but significant sites have you GenTraveled to? Or plan to travel to?

 

Literary GenTraveling

fall

Hello GenTravelers!

In previous posts (for instance THIS post) I’ve mentioned that when I can’t be off GenTraveling, I like to read and escape on literary travels – especially if they are historical or genealogy-themed stories. I was NOT expecting my book club’s pick this month to be anything of the sort (just look at the cover – it does not scream ‘historical’, right???)!  :o)  But I was pleasantly surprised that a major part of the book was about Ellis Island. Just as GenTraveling gives me a greater sense of where and how my ancestors lived, this book gave me a better sense of how it would be to immigrate to the U.S. in the early 1900’s.  The author, Susan Meissner, was an award-winning journalist before switching to novel writing and you can tell she had done her historical research.

The book’s story-line jumps from the tragic 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire to the 10-year anniversary of the tragic 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack.  I enjoyed this particular literary escape quite a bit.  Let me know if any of you have read it.  AND, as always, please send any book recommendations my way! Have a great day.