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Travel Tip: Preparing for Genealogy Travel

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If there’s one field of tourism that I get asked about all the time, it’s genealogy travel. People want to know where they came from, and track down their ancestral heritage.  But before you book those plane tickets, here’s what you need to do.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but talk to your eldest relatives. I don’t just mean hearing the same stories from Grandpa Joe. I mean ask for specific names, places of births and dates.

Keep records using genealogy software like Legacy Family Tree or Family Tree Maker.

The website Ancestry.com is a great place to search for immigration records, U.S. census records, birth and marriage certificates, and more. Browsing is free, but you have to pay for detailed access.

There are also specific organizations that focus on research for particular regions. For example, the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International can provide you with some of the right contacts, help with translations, and get you access to archives.

If you have Sicilian or Italian heritage, Sicilian Family Tree can help with everything from finding your living relatives to tracking down those hard-to-find microfilmed records.

And when you have all that information at your fingertips, THEN it’s time to look into booking those plane tickets.

For more information, visit the Culture & Travel archives.

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