Who is that GenTraveler?


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:



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


Blog: http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com

Twitter: @ancestorpuzzles

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


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!





GenTraveling in Ireland


Hello GenTravelers!

I have a funny little coincidence story to share…

In this photo, Lisa Louise Cook is interviewing, (who I now know to be Donna Moughty) at RootsTech a couple of years ago.  I’m pretty sure I walked past this sound booth when this was happening.  Little did I know they were chatting about GenTraveling! At RootsTech 2017, the “Media Corner” was this clear glass sound booth box right smack in the middle of the Expo Hall. I remember walking by and noticing Lisa. When I later watched this interview on YouTube I, of course, was VERY interested, because they were discussing research trips to Ireland.  Donna takes a group of researchers to Ireland every October.  You can check out more info about that HERE.  Additionally, Donna shares a lot of great information about researching in Ireland on her site (whether you book to go with her or on your own!) If you have Irish family, be sure to visit Donna’s site and start planning a GenTraveling researching trip! It’s the real deal thrill!

GenTraveling – Friday Finds


Hello! I have some Fabulous Friday Finds to share with you!

All over the internet, there are articles about places where you might want to GenTravel to! Each Friday I hope to share links to some of those articles.  There might be one link, or if my time management skills are stellar that week, and I have time to hunt for more, I’ll link to more than just one. :o)

Here are this week’s:

This fun post from quite a few years ago struck my eye. This blogger writes about their GenTravels to Northern Ireland to their “McCool homestead”.  Really?  How COOL would it be to have that surname?!?!!! :o)  Hop on over and take a peek…especially if you have Irish ancestry!

AND…here’s a post at Turning My Earth that has some excellent tips for when you all go GenTraveling!

Have a great weekend! Best wishes for finding those ancestors.  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 – Archives in the UK


Hello GenTravelers!

Wherever your GenTravels might take you – do yourself a favor and plan a visit to the closest archive in the area!

I recently read an article by Chris Paton in the UK’s FamilyTree Magazine (the August 2016 issues) titled “Why visit an archive” which pointed out the obvious – but sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious! Right?

If you’re traveling to the UK for research, be sure to read the full article.  Here are a few highlights that I appreciated:

“Every record collection that is hosted by an online genealogy site is source from an archive repository somewhere, but the vast holdings….are a mere drop in the ocean compared to what exists in the wider world.”

(That quote really reminded me of our ‘What is Iceberg Genealogy blog post!)

Author, Chris Paton gives especially good details on the three national repositories in the UK and mentions all of them have excellent online catalogs. So, be sure to do your homework!


Make sure you know opening hours and what you need to bring with you to gain access to records you want to look at. Chris writes, “there are different bank holidays in operation across Britain and Northern Ireland” and “in Scotland…there are fair days across the country that may see an archive in Glasgow closed on one day but its equivalent still open in Edinburgh!”

“Finally, bear in mind that the most useful asset in any archive is its archivist…To be blunt, archivists are gods for genealogists.”


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!