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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Planning A Trip to Our Ancestor's Home Tips

I have been enjoying the TV show . Who Do You Think You Are?Have you been able to catch it yet.
Today's email from http://www.ancestry.com/ gave me an article on tips for a road trip to ancestor's home.
Great ideas and I hope to do some traveling this summer as we head home to Minnesota to visit the kids and grandchildren.
Here is what was on http://www.ancestry.com/

Be sure to pack the following tips when you visit your ancestor’s home so you can hit the ground running when you arrive.

Before You Leave:
Jot down addresses.
Use city directories and street addresses from census records (you’ll find these in the left-hand margin in 1880 and beyond) at Ancestry.com.

Copy photos.
Look through the Ancestry.com postcard, newspaper, and yearbook collections to add to the collection of photos of the neighborhood you already have.

Get oriented.
Pull up a map online or select the town name from your ancestor’s profile in your Ancestry.com family tree. Use street views, when available, so you can see what the street looks like now – and when you get there. Keep in mind that street names and numbering may have changed over the years. Local libraries, historical societies, and municipalities may have this information. For example, the Chicago Historical Society has posted street address conversion guides from 1909 and 1911 here. City directories can also contain this information.

In Person:
Find an expert. Visit the local library, visitors’ bureau, or historical society to ask questions about the neighborhood. See if historic tours are available.

Learn what’s available.
If finding in-person records are your goal, ask about what’s available at the library and the historical society. Visit the county courthouse to search for land and probate records.

Take in everything.
Use your camera to recreate scenes from the old family photos you brought along. Follow the paths your ancestor would have taken to school, to church, to work.

Get the real story.
Stop by the local diner, sit at the counter, and start asking questions about what life used to be like there. Name drop – someone might have known your family.

Make notes.
Pack a diary or start a blog (where you can also upload photos) and write about your experience. Note who you met, what you saw, and where you went. You’ll want to revisit everything when you return home.

Pinpoint answers.
Snap photos at the cemetery of your ancestors’ tombstones and other ones you might find interesting (maybe you’ll discover you’re related one day your family is connected to them, too). Have a GPS phone, camera, or other device? Jot down GPS coordinates of the places you’d like to visit again.

Great ideas to keep in mind if a trip is planned in the near future.

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