Traveling to bring your Ancestors story to life.
Going on a journey to uncover your family’s roots and trace the footsteps of your ancestors is a thrilling adventure that connects you with your heritage. As a genealogist and wanting to be a better storyteller, I found the absolute thrill in exploring where our past cousins may have lived, loved, and prospered. This can provide invaluable insights into your family history.
Before you start on your ancestral trail, it is an excellent idea to have conducted and completed thorough research on where you want to start your journey. First, begin by reviewing all the information you already have, such as birth certificates, marriage records, family trees, and oral histories. Online genealogy databases, historical archives, and local libraries are treasure troves of information to further enhance your research.
After you have all the locations where your ancestors are from, you need to make a wish list to visit specific areas of your ancestral homeland. Explore particular towns or regions and their significance. Discover long-lost relatives? Knowing what you want to achieve will streamline your travel planning and provide a framework for your journey.
My Wife and I have Scandinavian DNA, and our paths have Viking history. I also have Canadian relatives, so we thought our first destination would be Newfoundland. We would visit the location based on what we read in “The Vinland Sagas” book. It was noted as Vineland and the Viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows; this location immersed us in the local ambiance by visiting the places where our distant ancestors may have lived. We Strolled through the neighborhoods they may have inhabited, saw the amazing sights, animals, and ancestral-style homes, and walked the streets they may have once roamed. These experiences can offer a tangible connection to your family’s past and evoke a sense of kinship with those who came before you.
While traveling, you will want to engage with local communities that can provide invaluable insights and foster connections with relatives or distant cousins. Attend local events, cultural festivals, and historical reenactments to better understand your ancestors’ customs, traditions, and daily life. While on your trip, share your research and discoveries, and you may find fellow enthusiasts who share your passion for genealogy.
Take plenty of photographs of ancestral locations, gravesites, and significant landmarks. We enjoyed keeping a detailed journal and notes of the information you gather and the stories you uncover. Consider creating a travel journal or blog to chronicle your experiences and the emotions you felt with retracing your family’s history.
We found that with a well-planned itinerary, and a desire for connection, you can embark on an enriching journey that brings your family history to life. By visiting ancestral towns, engaging, with local communities, and exploring historical resources, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your heritage and create cherished memories to share that resonate for generations. So, pack your bags, and let your ancestral journey begin!
Please feel free to contact me about how this methodology all comes together. To learn how I can help as a Genealogist to help you with helping you to dig “outside the box” and find your story that can be shared for many generations to come. Feel free to contact me at SouthernShoresGenealogy.com (my website) or SouthernShoresGenealogy@gmail.com.
“We are the Ancestors of tomorrow, so we must ensure we pass on our stories today. ”