Press Release: Visiting Your Ancestral Town: Walk in the Footsteps of Your Ancestors (3rd edition) Now Available

The following announcement was written by Footsteps Media LLC:

(SEATTLE, April 9, 2019)—Discovering your family roots has become a booming business with the rapid expansion of consumer DNA testing and popular TV shows in which celebrities learn the secrets of their families’ past. “Visiting Your Ancestral Town” (Footsteps Media), will help you dive in to discover your own family history, even if you’re not sure where to start.

Written by Carolyn Schott, veteran genealogist and lifelong traveler, the third edition adds new information on getting started with DNA genealogy (adding to the toolkit of practical research advice in the previous edition) and how to explore the social fabric of your ancestors’ lives through food, culture, and local history in your ancestral homeland. Demonstrating her own passion for travel, Schott’s practical tips and travel stories urge you to go beyond musty files and online images of old records. The book creates an easy approach for finding and visiting the places your ancestors once called home.

To encourage you to embark on this life-changing adventure, Schott illustrates each topic with stories of her own triumphs (such as discovering the grave of a long-lost relative) and her own mishaps (such as breaking her foot in Bosnia). Inspired by the positive approach and strong storytelling, you’ll finish this book knowing that family history is for everyone and how to get started exploring your own family roots.

Reviews from previous editions include: “’Visiting Your Ancestral Town’ by Carolyn Schott is an absolute treasure trove of material for the genealogist who has decided that birthday dates and death certificates are not enough . . .” and “Ms. Schott’s book makes it seem possible to take the plunge [into genealogy].” (Amazon reviews)

Carolyn Schott has more than 20 years of genealogy experience and is one of the founders of the Black Sea German Research group ( Her writing has received awards from the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, and she is a regular speaker on genealogy topics. Follow her blog at


You may want to see if there is a YouTube video for your ancestral hometown, especially if it is really small. My two Sicilian villages were heavily bombed during WWII, with all the housing being replaced after 1947. At least there is a paved road through them. They are half a mile apart. Yes, I was really surprised by this.

My Irish County Leix hamlet has a lovely dirt car path running through it, complete with two deep tire tracks and a skinny strip of tall green grass growing along the center of this sweet little roadway. This urban area now has about 125 people. It used to be a major metropolis of 250 people.


I visited my g-grandfather’s town (Westphalia) in Missouri, named after the German homeland of the early settlers. My father was born there.
I also visited Adams and Jay Counties, in Indiana. It was a beautiful, sunny day, with green farm fields all around me…what a contrast to the murky sepia tones of the few photos I have of that area! You can’t describe the feeling of standing amongst your ancestor’s headstones. In Indiana, I was standing by my gggg-grandmother’s headstone, and in between the headstones of two sets of ggg-grandparents!
I hope to go to Germany, Sweden and N.England some day.
Thanks for the recommendation!


I was fortunate to visit the church in Elsau Parish, Canton of Zurich that my ancestors attended before immigrating to Pa in 1732. It is still in use. The main part was built in the 1200s. What thrill that was! I was not able to locate the village of Rumikon that is recorded as their home. Time constraints and languarge barriers were the deterrent on that.


Yes, I was able to find the Catholic Home for Boys in Fossombrone, Italy and a Cemetery that was managed by my Ancestor’s in Pergola, Italy that showed pictures of the deceased giving me the first glimmer of what these family members looked like!


I have given talks about my visits to a number of towns and cities in Eastern and Western Europe where my family lived prior to the Holocaust and after. They included Eastern Galicia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Vienna, Italy, and Great Britain. Families lived in these places between as far as I know from 1750 to the present. The slides from my talks can be seen at: This talk
focused on the lessons I learned. In retrospect, there are a number of things I could
have done which would have greatly enhanced the trip, some of which is mentioned
in the slides including interviewing residents who were alive at the time of the holocaust.


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