Travel

Making a Genealogical Journey to Québec City

Québec City is rich with history, artefacts and documents – all of which make the search for French Canadian ancestry relatively straightforward. Searching records online through the Monastère des Augustines and sites like PRDH are highly recommended, and, of course, so is a trip to Québec City.

Jean-Pierre Gendreau-Hétu did exactly that. Luckily for the rest of us with French-Canadian ancestry, he was interviewed by Pamela MacNaughtan who then wrote about the trip, describing the genealogy journey. If you have French-Canadian ancestry from the Quebec City ancestry and would like to research the archives where those ancestors lived, you might first want to read the article in the Quebec City Tourism’s Website at: https://blogue.quebecregion.com/en/things-to-do/genealogy-journey and also watch the video below or on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/QVt1D4bVl8k.

Uttarakhand Genealogy Tourism Packages Announced

If you have ancestors from Uttarakhand, a state in the northern part of India, you may be interested in the new ‘Gotra tourism’ packages offered to tourists. (Gotra is the Hindi word for “clan lineage.”)

Announcing the plan a few days ago, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, said that the idea is to encourage visitors to come to the Himalayan state to update their family records and also visit places associated with the sages after whom the principal gotras are named.

Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers

Several genealogy cruises take place every year. Cruising genealogists get to enjoy genealogy talks about doing research in different countries, software demonstrations, “how to” presentations describing effective genealogy techniques, good food, gorgeous scenery, and adventurous shore excursions. What could be better?

Occasionally we hear claims that interest in genealogy is declining. These claims are based on the fact that attendance at some genealogy conferences is less than that of a few years ago. Yet everywhere else we look, we see proof of the opposite. The RootsTech conference attracted more than 22,000 people this year. While it is held in the “genealogy Mecca” of Salt Lake City, that’s not bad for a mid-winter event! Who Do You Think You Are? Live! used to be held in England every year and often attracted close to 15,000 attendees. The accompanying Who Do You Think You Are? television series about genealogy, now in its tenth season, remains popular in several countries around the world. Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continues to attract millions of viewers and is now in its fifth season on U.S. television.

Thousands of genealogy web sites also attest to the current level of interest. The number of genealogy programs available for mobile computing devices is increasing faster than ever before, and the latest growth is in cloud-based genealogy programs. Several of the software producers are reporting record sales. Finally, genealogy “theme cruises” attract more and more people every year.

I’d say that genealogy is alive and more popular than ever!

A Report from Unlock the Past’s Genealogy Cruise to Alaska

I returned home early Saturday morning after a 7-day genealogy cruise to Alaska, sponsored by Unlock the Past. I have to say that it was a very successful cruise.

About 160 genealogists from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia (I hope I didn’t overlook anyone!) converged on Seattle, Washington, to board the Explorer of the Seas on Friday, September 7. It was the most international genealogy cruise I have ever attended.

Unlock the Past CEO Alan Phillips extended the cruise with a day of pre-cruise seminars conducted at the Seattle Public Library. Covered topics included DNA testing as well as Irish and general genealogy research. These ten seminars were also offered to non-cruising genealogists in the Seattle area and online. They were also livestreamed and recorded; I will write about this offering in a separate article, but you can see the day’s program at https://www.utpinseattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/UTP-in-Seattle-brochure-v2.pdf.

Unlock the Past CEO Alan Phillips addresses the genealogists on board the genealogy cruise. This photo only shows some of the attendees. I couldn’t squeeze in everyone with My camera lens.

Once underway, we made our way to Juneau, Skagway, and the Tracy Arm Fjord, all in Alaska. On the return trip back to Seattle, we stopped for a day in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

On the Sea Again

Hello from the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Alaska! This is a quick notice to let you know there may not be as many articles as normal posted in this newsletter in the next week or so.

If you have been reading this newsletter for some time, you already know that I often travel to genealogy conferences. I am presently on board the Royal Caribbean cruise line’s Explorer of the Seas for the Unlock the Past’s genealogy cruise to Alaska on September 7 through 14, stopping in ports in Alaska and British Columbia. See https://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/2018cruisealaska/ for the details of the cruise.

Here is a picture taken a few minutes ago from from the cruise ship as we entered the Tracy Arm Fjord in Alaska:

Yes, those are icebergs floating in the water and you can see snow and glaciers up on the mountains. This isn’t a cruise to sun-drenched tropical islands! However, it has been fun.

We have genealogy presentations every day; many presentations are made by a number of today’s genealogy experts.

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the National Genealogical Society’s 2019 Family History Conference

These rooms usually sell out quickly. If you are planning to attend the NGS conference next year in St. Charles, Missouri, you probably want to make your hotel reservations NOW. I made my reservation this morning.

The following announcement was written by the  National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 15 AUGUST 2018—Effective 15 August 2018, you may reserve accommodations for the National Genealogical Society’s forty-first annual Family History Conference, Journey of Discovery, which will be held 8-11 May 2019 at the St Charles Convention Center (SCCC), One Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, Missouri.

The conference will feature more than 150 unique lectures on topics such as census, court, immigration, land, migration, military, and vital records as well as DNA, ethnic resources, government documents, maps, regional topics, technology, and much more.

Announcing the Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise from Sydney to Singapore

Unlock the Past sponsors several genealogy cruises every year with destinations in many different countries. For instance see last year’s announcement at http://bit.ly/2vvXwiR of a genealogy cruise from Seattle to Alaska to be held a few weeks from now. The Alaska cruise is now fully booked with 158 genealogists from all over the world on board, including speakers from several different countries.

Unlock the Past has now announced a new genealogy cruise for next year: from Sydney to Singapore to be held from 29 March to 13 April 2019.

You can learn more at https://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/15th-cruise-singapore/announcing-15th-unlock-past-cruise-singapore-2019/ as well as in the (smaller) announcement below:

Adelaide, South Australia, 2 August 2018 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its 15th cruise – an opportunity to discover more about your family history while in great company and visiting great destinations.

The Singapore cruise, 29 March to 13 April 2019 is a one-way relocation cruise from Sydney to Singapore on Royal Caribbean‘s Explorer of the Seas. The cruise will visit Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Darwin (2 days) during the 15 night cruise.

The conference program will feature 60 talks in a single stream in the main theatre and at least 10 hours of DNA and other workshops and one-on-one help sessions in a second theatre with an international team of 8-10 speakers. No talks will occur when in port.

The featured presenters on the cruise are:

Cayman Islands Search for Ancestors of Welsh Settlers

The search is on for descendants of the first settlers on the tropical Cayman Islands. If your surname is Walters or Bawden it could be you.

If it turns out you’re related to their first inhabitant, the Cayman Islands will fly you to the islands to participate in a celebration of the island’s first settlers.

A Welshman called Walters and a Cornishman called Bawden were the first known people to step foot on the islands in the Caribbean in 1658. Their names subsequently morphed into Watler and Bodden, which remain prevalent family names today.

General Register Building of the National Archives of Scotland

“Every birth, death, and marriage is recorded in these color-coded leather-bound books.”

While you might never get there in person, it would be nice to see what the place looks like. The Atlas Obscura web site has pictures and a description of the building that will be of interest to any genealogist researching Scottish ancestry.

The article states:

“These millions and millions of pages contain MacDonalds, Stewarts, Campbells and Murrays, along with almost as many variant spellings. They may just look like names in a book, but each is a memento of a life begun, ended, or joined to another on Caledonian soil.”

You can view the pictures and description at http://bit.ly/2M3fRdz.

 

Founders, Fishermen, and Family History Cruise Features Genealogy and History

The following announcement was written by Gena Philibert-Ortega:

Sail from Boston to Nova Scotia in August 2019

28 February 2018 – Gena Philibert-Ortega’s Founders, Fishermen, and Family History cruise sponsored by MyHeritage will set sail August 10-17, 2019, from the Port of Boston, Massachusetts. Sailing on the Holland America Line ship ms Veendam, additional stops planned are Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Genealogists Gena Philibert-Ortega, David Allen Lambert, Daniel Horowitz, and Tami Osmer Mize will provide educational presentations, technology demonstrations, and consultations. In addition, a pre-cruise day (August 9, 2019) at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society includes an opportunity to learn more about the Society holdings and allows time for research. Additional events are being planned, including special presentations and a tour at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

NGS Opens Registration for a Guided Research Trip to Madison, Wisconsin

The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 15 FEBRUARY 2018—Explore the Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives—one of our nation’s most extensive repositories—and the Max Kade Institute, a notable source of German and German American research materials. Sign up today for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) guided research trip to Madison, Wisconsin, 6–10 August 2018. Registration is limited to thirty participants.

The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) Library and Archives’ genealogy and history collections are national in scope, including records of people who lived or passed through its territory as well as throughout the U.S. Its collection of newspapers, journals, magazines, and union and guilds publications from around the country is only surpassed by the Library of Congress. The Society’s Draper collection of 491 volumes (ca. 1775-1815) concentrates on the area known as “Trans-Allegheny West,” including the western Carolinas and Virginia, some portions of Georgia and Alabama, the entire Ohio River valley, and parts of the Mississippi River valley.

Genealogy Tours of Scotland Announces a 2019 Celtic Genealogy Cruise

The following announcement was written by Genealogy Tours of Scotland:

Visit Your Ancestral Homeland by Sea
May 4 – 16, 2019
Aboard Crown Princess

Are you ready to learn more about your Celtic Ancestors? Join us for a Celtic Genealogy Cruise, where we combine genealogy travel with research opportunities, chances to consult with local genealogists who can assist you with your brick walls, and loads of fun ways to connect with your Celtic heritage.

The cruise starts and ends in Dublin, Ireland. Ports of call include:

A Brief Update from Beijing

As mentioned in an earlier article, I am now in Beijing, China. I arrived yesterday after what was a very long airplane ride. I am now in a hotel room and have caught up on a lot of missing sleep. This morning (Chinese time) I connected via the hotel’s wi-fi network to the Internet.

As I expected, the “Great Firewall of China” blocks a lot of web sites, including Google, Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, CNN, and many other sites. At first, I couldn’t even check my email for new messages. However, I then enabled a software VPN (virtual private network) that I always use, both at home and when traveling. Voila! Every web site I have tried since then has now worked normally, just as expected. I can check email and surf the web as I please.

Last Chance (?) to Sign Up for an 8-Night Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise

This may be your last opportunity to sign up for an 8-night genealogy cruise, hosted by Gary and Diana Smith. Other speakers will include Donna Moughty, and some guy named Dick Eastman who writes a genealogy newsletter. If you would like to join this fun group of genealogy cruisers, you might want to mark April 15-23, 2018, on your calendar. While 2018 sounds like a long time in the future, it is only 6 months from now. This is the time to be making cruise ship reservations!

The 2018 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise will be on board the Celebrity Equinox and will sail the Eastern Caribbean. It holds 2,850 passengers. The Equinox was voted the “Best Overall Cruise (Large Ship)” by the Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards in 2015. You can learn more about the Celebrity Equinox at https://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-equinox.

Go Ahead Tours, Ancestry Collaborate to Launch New Tour Portfolio

I mentioned this briefly in an article last week at http://bit.ly/2gVcoQs. Now Go Ahead Tours has released an announcement that contains many more details:

This unique portfolio of tours will offer experiences that will take travelers on a journey into their personal histories

September 11, 2017 (CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS) – Go Ahead Tours and Ancestry today announced a new portfolio of tours that will take travelers on a journey into their personal histories. These exciting trips combine Ancestry’s proprietary DNA technology and access to expert Genealogists with Go Ahead’s high-quality international travel experiences. The new portfolio of heritage trips will launch this fall with itineraries in 2018 to Ireland, Italy, and Germany. New tours featuring additional destinations will be announced in early 2018 with first departures in 2019.

“We are thrilled to team up with Ancestry to introduce this special way for travelers to experience a destination in a new light,” said David Henry, VP of Marketing at Go Ahead. “So many of our customers travel to connect with their heritage, and this was our inspiration to collaborate with the team at Ancestry. These trips will help our customers explore their family story with even greater insight and visit the places where their ancestors once walked.”

Genealogy Travel with Go Ahead Tours and AncestryProGenealogist

Genealogy cruises have become quite popular and several have been described in this newsletter in recent years. (See http://bit.ly/2gNhMbL for some of my past articles about genealogy cruises.) Now a new player is has partnered with Go Ahead Tours to launch heritage-geared tour offerings, led by an expert genealogist and based on your own DNA test.

AncestryProGenealogists and Go AheadTours will offer tours of Ireland, Italy, and Germany in 2018 to start. AncestryProGenealogists’ experts will lead the personal history charge, which is based on an AncestryDNA kit travelers take before departure. Each tour’s genealogist will discuss travelers’ DNA results with them before the trip, and can assist in building a family tree to use on the tour. During this consultation, travelers will have the option to add on site or home visits to specific villages or towns their ancestry searches lead them to—for an added price.

You can read more about these DNA tours at http://bit.ly/2wbpq1M.

Announcing an October 2018 Genealogy Research Trip to Dublin or Belfast, Ireland

The following announcement was written by Donna Moughty:

Sarasota, FL — Donna Moughty, a professional genealogist and specialist in Irish research, will again be taking a group of researchers to Ireland in October of 2018. The Belfast Research Tour from Oct 7-13 will visit the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Historical Foundation, the Linen Hall Library and the Ulster American Folk Park and Mellon Library for Emigration Studies. The Dublin Research Tour from October 14-21 includes the National Library of Ireland, National Archives, General Register Office, Valuation Office and Registry of Deeds. In both cases, other repositories can be scheduled as needed.

Announcing the 14th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise (Alaska 2018)

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 17 May 2017 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its 2018 cruise – an opportunity to discover more about your family history while in great company and visiting great destinations.

The Alaska cruise, 7-14 September 2018 on Royal Caribbean‘s Explorer of the Seas will leave from Seattle, visiting Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia over 7 days.

The conference program will feature 40–45 talks in three streams from an international team of 12–15 speakers. No talks will occur when in port or during scenic cruising. An optional full day extra seminar is being considered the day before the cruise to offer additional value to the many who will travel from a distance. This will feature leading North American speakers and a different program.

The featured presenters on the cruise are:

On the Road Again

By the time you read these words, I should be either en route to or have arrived in Massachusetts. I will be attending the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium’s conference in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The event is sponsored by a long, long  list of participating genealogy societies. You can see the list at: http://www.nergc.org. Past NERGC conferences have attracted 800 or more attendees. I suspect this year’s event will be at least as popular.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live! Show at the NEC in Birmingham, England Next Month

One of the largest genealogy events in the world will be held in a few weeks in Birmingham, England. I believe it is the largest genealogy conference in the UK and is the second-largest in the world. (RootsTech in Salt Lake City appears to be the largest.) This show typically attracts about 13,000 family historians and others with an interest in history and in researching their family trees.

You can see my report from last year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event at http://bit.ly/2nFrBXm.

Who Do You Think You are? Live! will be returning to Birmingham’s NEC from Thursday April 6 to Saturday April 8, 2017, and budding genealogists as well as experienced family historians are invited to attend. They will have the chance to discuss their family history research with a range of genealogy experts and industry leaders.

The event will also see more than 130 of the top exhibitors and local family history societies descend on the NEC from all over the world to share their expertise and provide access to their billions of genealogy records.