Literary GenTraveling


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.

GenTraveling – Researching Canadian Jews


Hello GenTravelers!  I’m back and now, after a longer than expected hiatus, I’m excited to continue blogging about GenTraveling.  I recently returned home from a GenTraveling trip of my own, and so I want to continue spreading the excitement, knowledge and thrill of  traveling where ancestors actually lived again with all of you!

Today’s ancestral spotlight is on Jewish research – but specifically Canadian Jews.  I recently read Debra L. Doppelt Karplus’ March/April 2014 article in the Family Chronicle magazine entitled, Canadians Exploring Their Jewish Roots.  Debra explained that since there are approximately 385,000 Jewish people currently living in Canada, it is likely they would need to understanding some idiosyncratic and specific characteristics pertaining to tracking ancestors who migrated to Canada. Debra did a good job of explaining some of those idiosyncrasies, such as Jewish naming practices and where to find immigration records. The holocaust, known to Jews as the “Shoah” resulted in records being gathered and organized to document the people who perished during the Holocaust, which sometimes included birth dates and next of kin!  Debra referenced a key source for these records as the Yad Vashem ( But ultimately, Debra recommends planning a research trip to visit the ancestral homeland in Canada or Europe and she points out that ‘…it seems that most people have many ethnicities that make them who they are. Genealogists should not be surprised to discover some Jewish ancestors somewhere in their family tree.”

Personally, I’d be ecstatic to find some Jewish ancestors in my tree.  I think I’ll go hunting for some so I’ll have an excuse to dive into some of the records Debra recommended – and then plan a research trip!


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!

{photo source in public domain – William James (1866-19480}

GenTraveling – Canada


Hello GenTravelers!

Is anyone planning a GenTrip to Canada?  I recently read an article in the November 2013 issue of Family Tree magazine called “Hard Work & Long Days in Canada” by Emily Manktelow.  Although it was somewhat sparse on giving readers family history resources, it did give a general overview of Canadian immigration history – and history of where we’re planning to travel is always a good thing!   After reading the article, I poked around online and found the entire article HERE.

A section of this article also reminded me of the issue of child migration.  I remember hearing about the UK’s official apology back in 2010:

“Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the UK’s role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies where many suffered abuse.

He expressed regret for the “misguided” Child Migrant Programme, telling the Commons he was “truly sorry”.

He also announced a £6m fund to reunite families that were torn apart.

The scheme sent poor children for a “better life” to countries like Canada and Australia from the 1920s to 1960s, but many were abused and lied to.” (source)

If you think you may have a child migrant in your ancestry,  you might want to poke around these sites:

British Home Children

Library and Archives Canada – Home Children 1869-1932


Child Migrants Trust,

Best of luck with your Canadian research! Let me know if you’re planning a GenTraveling trip there!leafbreak

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!

photo source