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Planning a Heritage Trip

My mom always believed that she was a relatively "new" American, with all of her ancestors immigrating in the late 1800s. This is another one of those myths which I have completely debunked. My mom has one lineage that arrived in British America an estimated fifteen years after the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth. There is a second lineage with a likely similar history, however this remains one of my research brickwalls and has yet to be verified.


Through my Cook lineage I have obtained membership with the Daughters of the American Revolution "DAR" and an application is currently in process with The National Society of Colonial Dames of America "NSCDA". The independent validation of my research conducted by these organizations is always gratifying and empowering. (Let me know if you are interested in applying to a lineage society. I may be able to help!)


Three present day towns represent where my ancestors on this lineage lived over the course of eight generations: Salem, Massachusetts; Wallingford, Connecticut; and Saratoga Springs, New York. I've done the math. These three towns hold over 250 years of my family history!


So, we're planning a long overdue heritage trip! Our flights are booked. A rental car is reserved. My brother, who lives in the area, has been told to expect visitors!


Ancestral travel is an area where hiring a professional genealogist can make a huge difference. There is a lot of work that needs to be done before you board your plane. What are your goals for such a trip? What do you hope to see? Some genealogical research should be conducted in advance. Local genealogical and historical societies, research libraries or other repositories, government offices, and cemeteries all should be contacted. A local guide may be located, contacted, and available to help you find locations significant to your ancestor's story.


In preparation for my own trip, I am going to be doing a deep dive back into my own research. For more recent generations I'll be examining documents such as censuses and deeds and contacting local county clerk's offices to help determine present day addresses where my ancestors lived and whether or not the original structures still remain. I will reach out to cemeteries where I know some of my ancestors are buried, to request and obtain cemetery maps and specific plot locations for each of my family members.


For some of the older generations I will work with local genealogical and historical societies to determine what buildings or sites still exist based on my research. I've been told that the tannery built by my 9th great grandfather still exists as a historical site in Wallingford.


Immediately I can tell you, my short list of must-visit locations include the The Burying Point, and Salem Witch Trials Memorial in Salem; my 9th great grandfather's tannery, and The Center Street Cemetery in Wallingford; and the Saratoga Race Course, and Greenridge Cemetery in Saratoga Springs. I can't wait to see what other locations I come up with and whether or not I have to extend my trip to accommodate them all! 😉


Let me know if you are interested in planning a heritage trip. I may be able to help!



 

Disclaimer: Each blog post is created and presented for marketing and entertainment purposes only but are based on larger research which adheres to the standards of The Board of Certification of Genealogists® as set forth in Genealogical Standards (Nashville, Tenn.: Ancestry Imprint, Turner Publishing, 2014).


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5 Comments


Guest
Feb 03, 2023

I love going to the old family sites. Have fun and take lots of photos and video, it will help your memory when you get home and realize how overloaded you are with info.

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Guest
Feb 01, 2023

Great write up and good plans. I wish I had known when my husband and I were in Salem waaaaay back when we were first married, that he had lineage back to Susannah North Martin (since been able to get our daughter approved for Associated Daughters of Early American Witches). Hopefully will get there some day again! Have fun.

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Guest
Feb 01, 2023

Great advice! These are such rewarding trips if you’ve done the work in advance. I have no Salem ancestry, but I’ve lived here for 40 years. Enjoy your visit!

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Guest
Jan 31, 2023

How fun and exciting! I have yet to go on a heritage trip, as money is tight, along with time. I hope one day I can, as it's a dr5eam of mine! Sounds like you have a great trip planned! Enjoy! :)

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Unknown member
Jan 30, 2023

Whoa. You've done a lot of work with the lineage societies. And you're totally right about doing the research before you go. The one thing I would add is that you might want to travel with someone who loves family history and avoid the bored teenager thing, lol. Great post.

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