If you’ve ever been intrigued by an ancestry commercial, or have spent time looking into your family tree, you might love the idea of ancestry travel.
In doing this, you can learn what your past relatives’ lives were like, what their culture was like, and make some amazing discoveries about your recent or not-so-recent ancestors. There are numerous ways you can do this, whether it’s by travelling across the world or just staying local. Here are five ways you can get started on an ancestry travel adventure.
1. Start With Your Family
Maybe you have a family tree, or a packet of information you can use to start your investigation. Talk to relatives and ask if they have any information about where your family came from, where they lived and worked, and into what families they married. Your relatives may hold a lot of information they didn’t even know they had, so enjoy a visit and try to retrieve some valuable information about your family’s past.
2. Get Your Ancestry Results with an DNA Test
There are a variety of ancestry DNA testing companies like CRI Genetics, which will show you where you came from and can give you an idea of what countries you need to start looking at for a genealogy trip. These tests can be particularly helpful if you were adopted since the results can give you information you might not have known about previously.
3. Have a Look at Public Genealogy Records
You can look at your local courthouse if you want to start small, or go to a genealogy library to gather information on your family heritage. Expert genealogists can help you look into their huge collection to find out more about your ancestry.
4. Check Out Online Genealogy Resources
Online resources like ancestry.com are becoming more popular and easy to use. An at-home DNA test is also helpful since the results allow you to look deep into your ethnic background. Some tour operators have started working with Ancestry to offer itineraries suitable for people to go on cruises with expert genealogists who will give workshops and lectures and work with the cruise passengers to help them learn more about their families.
5. Visit a Tour Operator
Once you have figured out your family’s history, you can visit a tour operator who specializes in ancestral journeys. A knowledgeable tour operator can book you lodgings in the small villages that were home to your ancestors. There are even tour operators in South Africa who offer group tours to take travellers on explorations of certain regions to learn more about their ancestry.
6. Plan a Customized Religious Heritage Experience
For people with deeply religious histories, there are travel agencies that create customized religious heritage itineraries, like one to find relatives of a family who helped to hide your grandparents from the Nazis during World War II. Private journey specialists can help travellers to trace their roots in the Middle East and Europe, and will create highly customized itineraries that will put those interested in their ancestry closer to their family heritage.
7. Do it Yourself
A lot of times, a person can find a lot of information with just their last name. You can go the place where you know your ancestors came from, and get in contact with a historical society to find out if anyone knows of your family who lived in the area at a certain time. You can also hire a local who knows the area well who can drive you around the area looking at architecture and meeting the people who live there, and listen to their stories.