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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creating A Family Itinerary # 1

In today's emails I received a FREE offer to sign up at New England Historical Genealogical Society. I am only getting a limited search area but a great start to see what I can find on my family lines. And best of all it does not appear to be on a time limit.

I was wandering around there for just a few minutes but I know I could spend hours just reading articles there.

Check out for yourself if you like . My dream is to spend some time this next year traveling and searching for family along with seeing sites of interest and meeting people along the way.

The article that interested me this morning was "Coming Home to New England: Creating a Family History Itinerary" by Maureen A. Taylor

Back in march of this year I wrote on this same topic with the hope of traveling when we got to Minnesota in August. Sadly this never happened for a couple of reasons.

Here is that article..

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.

The New England Genealogical Article goes into more detail and worth the read if you are interested in doing travel research. I really love the part on going on historical tours where family lived but first things first.

The first goal is to start with making a list of all the places your ancestors lived and when.
We can find those place names probably in the genealogical documents we have accumulated—court records, census documents, and more.
Next they should be organize by surname (for a family specific trip) or by place name for a more general family history tour.
These records will depend on where and when our family lived.

This will be my first step: to go through the information I already have and list where my ancestors lived by state then area including which family lived there and when.

First stop is my own state, Minnesota and next will be Wisconsin since they will be the easiest to visit. Now to find my map and grab another cup of coffee.

Hope that you will join me on my plans to travel in search of my family roots. Grace

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