08 October 2014

Family History Month Day 8: Traveling to the Homeland

I know that traveling to visit the places your ancestors lived isn't always possible. Sure, sometimes they just lived in the next town over and you can visit in a weekend, but what about when they are from far away? Not so easy, now is it?

I personally live no where near any of the places my ancestors lived (unless you count my parents). The closest place to me is Utah, a 15 hour non-stop drive away. But, I have been there, and seen some of the places my family comes from. We hope to do a roadtrip next year to visit family that still lives there. But, it will take at least a week, so it'll have to wait for spring break or summer vacation.

Last year I was also blessed to be able to travel to Europe with my family (3 weeks, 4 kids, 9 countries, military aircraft, backpacking...I'm tired just thinking about it). While we didn't stop too long in any one place, we did make sure to visit some of the hometowns of my immigrant ancestors. This probably not something we will get to do again anytime soon, if ever. So we took advantage of the trip and did some genealogy traveling along the way. I didn't do research while I was there, the language barrier and time constraints didn't allow for it, but I did take pictures and just see the sites.

And for those of us who can't just pick up and travel anywhere whenever we feel like it, there is always Google Maps (or other map sites) and Flickr (tons of historic photos on there, even Library of Congress photos). You can find historic photos of the towns, current views of the house they lived in, or see what got built on the old family farm now that it's not a farm. There are lots of cool things to be found on the internet. You can travel the world from your couch :)