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: 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

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.

Winter Genealogy Cruise is a Success

Diana and Gary Smith annually organize one of the more interesting genealogy cruises of the year. While a bit smaller than some of the other genealogy cruises, it is noted as being one of the friendliest. The camaraderie amongst the “cruisers” needs to be seen to be appreciated. Luckily, I was one of the genealogists on board and had a chance to talk with most everyone while at sea. This year’s cruise ended last week and the genealogists on board all seemed to be wearing smiles when they departed the Celebrity Silhouette.

Photo courtesy of Harry Benson.
Click on the above image to view a much larger version.

Announcing the Unlock the Past Holy Land Tour and Genealogy Conference

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 8 March 2017 – Unlock the Past announces another innovative event – a Holy Land tour and associated genealogy conference (Israel).

10-day Holy Land tour – 23 October – 1 November 2017

This is organised in partnership with the Israel Travel Centre. It is a general Holy Land tour timed around, and taking in, the 31 October centenary commemoration of the Charge of the ANZAC Light Horse on Beersheba on 31 October 1917.

The general tour will visit many places of Christian/biblical interest, as well as later Christian and general history – Caesarea built by Herod the Great, the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem (2 days and 2 nights), the Dead Sea, Masada (the last stronghold of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans) and Abrahams Well and Visitor Center, Beersheba … and more.

Legacy Genealogy Cruise 2017 announced: Pacific Coast – September 22-29, 2017

Genealogy cruises are some of the most enjoyable trips I have ever taken. Now the long-time cruise experts who produce Legacy Family Tree software have announced they will hold a cruise September 22-29, 2017 along the Pacific coast:

legacy-genealogy-cruise-2017The 14th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise, to be held September 22-29, 2017, departs from Seattle, Washington aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas ship and will feature top genealogy speakers including members of the Legacy Family Tree staff. We will cruise the Pacific Coast and visit the following ports:

  • Seattle, WA
  • Astoria, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Victoria, British Columbia

Genealogy Classes at Sea
While at sea attend classes taught by some of genealogy’s finest educators, Legacy Family Tree webinar speakers, and Legacy developers. In addition to the classes, you will benefit from the small-group sessions and lots of time to learn from each other.

Online Map Guides You On an Epic Tour of Nearly 50,000 U.S. Historic Sites

If you ever wanted to visit every interesting historical site in the U.S., a map created by University of Waterloo professor William Cook and his team of researchers, will guide you on a tour to each one using the mathematically shortest route possible.


It uses Google Maps to figure out the shortest route to see every single site listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It may take you a while to visit each site, however. The shortest possible route covers 217,605 miles—or somewhere between eight and nine laps around the equator.

Check it out at

2017 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise Early Booking Special has been Extended

I wrote earlier (at and at about Gary and Diana Smith’s 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean on February 26 to March 5, 2017. I will be on that cruise and certainly am looking forward to it. I have been on the Celebrity Silhouette before and loved it.

The earlier article mentioned the cruise line’s Early Booking Special for anyone who signs up for the cruise before August 31. The special stated that an early sign-up special was available until August 31st. That has now changed. The special has been extended to October 31, 2016.

You can read a flyer describing the cruise by clicking here.

Take a Genealogy Cruise to Alaska with HB Genealogy Cruises

hbgenealogycruisesGenealogy cruises are very popular and for good reasons. They are educational, they are fun, and they also provide a great experience for family members who are not interested in genealogy. Unlike a genealogy conference in a major city’s conference center, I have never heard a complaint about a cruise from non-interested family members who accompany a family member on one of these family history conferences on the seas.

For more information about the benefits of genealogy cruises, see my earlier article, Genealogy Cruises versus Convention Centers, at

HB Genealogy Cruises, sponsored by Heritage Books, has been in the cruise business for several years under the guidance of Craig Scott. The company is now offering its 4th Annual Genealogy Conference & Cruise, this time from Seattle, Washington, to British Columbia, to several ports in Alaska, and back again. The cruise will take place on September 17 — 24, 2017, roughly one year from now. I will suggest now is the time to start planning!

A Journey of Genealogy on Board the Queen Mary 2

Genealogy cruises are very popular but now there is a new player in the the game: Cunard.

qm2_in_nyA bit more than two years from now, on 4 Nov – 11 Nov 2018, the newly Remastered Queen Mary 2 will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom to New York City. For the first time ever, Cunard has collaborated with, the largest online family history resource in the world, to offer guests the opportunity to trace their family trees while on the remastered Queen Mary 2.

Ancestry’s experts will demonstrate how data drawn from the largest online collection of family history records can help trace your family’s past. Find out how AncestryDNA can introduce you to living relatives you never knew existed and reveal your ethnic mix across 1,000 years.

2017 and 2018 Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Cruises Announced

If you have never been on a genealogy cruise, you have missed a lot of fun. (See my earlier article at describing the advantages of cruises.) I believe Unlock the Past Cruises is the most active organizer of genealogy cruises. Based in Australia, Unlock the Past Cruises sponsors cruises in nearly all parts of the world, attracting genealogists from many different nations.

The following announcement was written by Unlock the Past Cruises:

utplogoSignificant international genealogy conferences at sea

Adelaide, South Australia, 2 September 2016 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its latest cruise schedule for the next two years.

2017 cruise (now booking) – Papua New Guinea (13th cruise)
This exciting 10 night cruise out of Brisbane to Papua New Guinea and its islands opened for bookings earlier this year. It is a completely different kind of itinerary to one of the emerging and exciting new cruise destinations. It offers a great balance of conference (during the 4 days at sea) and places to visit during the 5 days in ports and/or around islands – great sightseeing and fascinating shore excursions.

It will feature a special WWII Pacific war stream within our usual wide ranging conference program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Pacific war coming to Australia and New Guinea in 1942. The war in this region was very much part of the greater Pacific war. American ships were sunk in Australian waters. Almost 1 million American and Canadian service personnel, including 100,000 African-Americans, passed through Australia from 1941 to 1945.The conference program will be headed by Dr Tom Lewis, one of Australia’s foremost Pacific war historians and authors, supported by other recognised experts.

For details see the PNG cruise at

2018 cruise (provisional) – Alaska (14th cruise) NEW

British Airways and are Offering Sweepstakes Travel to London

Want to travel to do some genealogy research? If you have British ancestry, a new offer from British Airways and Ancestry may be just what you need.


British Airways and are teaming up to offer a sweepstakes to London. British Airways launched the advertising campaign about the joys and importance of air travel. To celebrate the way families are reconnected on a daily basis thanks to aviation, the airline has partnered with to give away a pair of business-class tickets, a year-long membership to the website, and four nights at the Sheraton Grand Luxury London Park Lane hotel, now showing the newest incarnation of the Sheraton brand. Sheraton is investing big bucks in hotels around the world, and this is one of the showpieces. Enter the contest between now and Aug. 26, along with two more opportunities in September.

UPDATE: Click here and scroll down the next page to find the entry form. It is well hidden otherwise.

Barbados Considers ‘Roots Tourism’

I wonder if more governments should think about this. Promoting genealogy tourism can add millions of dollars/pounds/Euros/ or other local currency to local businesses’ income:

Barbados Today:-Local officials have identified genealogy tourism as a niche area on which they will seek to capitalize.

Manager of Innovation and strategy at the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) Terry Vanterpool-Fox said Barbadians locally and abroad had a keen interest in learning about their family history.

2017 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise Early Booking Special

I wrote earlier (at about Gary and Diana Smith’s 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean on February 26 to March 5, 2017. I will be on that cruise and certainly am looking forward to it. I have been on the Celebrity Silhouette before and loved it. Now the cruise line has announced an Early Booking Special for anyone who signs up for the cruise before August 31.

The option for unlimited Internet access is unusual. Internet access from cruise ships is usually very expensive. I will be signing up for that option!

Here is the announcement:

Celebrity Solstice - Aerial at Sea Miami ShorelineEARLY BOOKING SPECIAL
Genealogy Cruise

7-Night Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette
February 26 to March 5, 2017

Reserve: Oceanview, Balcony, Concierge, or Aqua Class Stateroom* by August 31, 2016 and receive your choice of two (2) of the following amenities:

Ancestry Tourism

The New York Times has an online article that will interest many genealogists: A Personal Sort of Time Travel: Ancestry Tourism by Amy Zipkin.

America is a nation of immigrants, and as many people age they grow interested in tracing their family heritage and group traditions back to their origins. Zipkin’s article describes the experiences of several genealogists who visited the home towns of ancestors, whether in the US or in “the old country.”

Travelers usually combine such trips with other forms of sightseeing, but along the way they may gain a greater appreciation of the obstacles their ancestors faced and a deeper sense of who they are and where they come from.

Announcing the 2017 Eastern Caribbean Genealogy Cruise

Gary and Diana Smith would like to invite you to join them on their 3rd annual genealogy cruise to the sunny Eastern Caribbean for a week of great fun and learning aboard Celebrity Silhouette. The cruise will take place February 26 to March 5, 2017. A Solstice Class ship, the Celebrity Silhouette encompasses all the amenities and grandeur of a 5 star resort hotel while sailing to some of the most interesting destinations in the Caribbean. Indulge in five course gourmet dining, marvel at spectacular nightly entertainment, and ashore, explore the uniqueness of each port-of-call.

Gary and Diana are internationally known professional genealogists who have also organized several genealogy cruises in the past. On the 2017 cruise, they will be joined Donna Moughty and by some fellow named Dick Eastman. Both Donna and Dick will be teaching throughout the cruise, and available for one-on-one consultations to address your individual genealogy questions. Topics such as technology, Internet, Ireland, Scandinavia, Britain, census records, family health, organizing, immigration, land and more than 20 hours of discussion and learning are proposed for the agenda. All the genealogy activities take place in private meeting rooms both in the morning and afternoon on the days at sea. We will have meeting rooms available each evening after dinner for those who wish to continue their genealogy discussions. Join Gary, Diana, Donna, and myself and all those who love genealogy and cruising as much as you!

Genealogy Cruise by Cruise Everything is a Success

Another genealogy cruise finished on Saturday. A group of genealogists on board the Celebrity Reflection arrived in Miami, full of new genealogy ideas to try. I was fortunate enough to be one of the presenters on board the seven-day cruise, along with Gary and Diana Smith and Donna Moughty. We made several genealogy presentations during the days at sea. We also had informal in-person discussion periods, one-on-one consultations, and group dinners. There was a LOT of genealogy discussed on this cruise!

2016_Cruise_Website_Header (1)

The Celebrity Reflection made stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and and unscheduled stop in Nassau, Bahamas. The unscheduled stop occurred because the weather was a bit too rough to stop at our planned day in Coco Cay, Bahamas. Nassau was a last-minute substitution. Actually, I have been to both places in the past and preferred Nassau over Coco Cay anyway so I was pleased. I also did not hear any other passengers complaining.


It’s Not Easy Typing on a Train!

Today’s newsletter articles come to you from on board the Amtrak Auto Train. It is the world’s longest train (according to Amtrak).

autotrainIt also is a mixed-use train, transporting both passengers and freight. In this case, the “freight” is limited to automobiles and motorcycles that belong to the passengers. It operates non-stop service for 855-miles (1,376 km) from Lorton, Virginia (near Washington, DC) to Sanford, Florida (not far from Orlando) and return. See the details on Wikipedia at

As I write these words, I am in a two-level Amtrak passenger car and my mini-van is (hopefully) safe and sound in a specially-designed auto-carrying freight car a few hundred yards behind me. Right now we are all traveling at about 75 miles per hour through the Virginia countryside, southbound to Florida.

2016 Genealogy Cruise by Cruise Everything

It is getting late. Most cruises need to be booked 6 to 12 months in advance. However, cabins are still available for the 2016 Genealogy Cruise by Cruise Everything. The 7-night western Caribbean cruise will start January 16, 2016, in Miami, then make stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Coco Cay, Bahamas. The cruise on board the Celebrity Reflection will end in Miami on January 23, 2016.


The presenters on this cruise will be the hosts, Gary and Diana Smith, along with Donna Moughty and myself. Combined, these speakers have more than 150 years experience with both writing and teaching in the genealogy field.

Announcing the 3rd Annual Heritage Books Genealogy Conference and Cruise

I have to admit that I love genealogy cruises. They are both fun and educational. Besides that, cruises are one of the few genealogy events where the entire family would love to come along! Now Heritage Books, Inc. has announced the company’s next cruise will be held on September 18 to 25, 2016. Here is the announcement:

Click on the image below to view a larger version.

My Trip to Indianapolis

I must say that I had fun on Saturday in Indianapolis, Indiana. I spoke at an all-day session sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Marion County. I found the society to be a very active and enthusiastic group. It was fun.

The Genealogical Society of Marion County has offices in the former offices of Memorial Park Cemetery. The building is on the grounds of the Cemetery at 9370 East Washington St. The offices have been expanded and now offers an accessible library, as well as the ability to host educational programs, special interest groups and educational meetings. The Genealogical Society of Marion County publishes both Indy Lineages, a bi-monthly newsletter, and Family Quest, a quarterly journal.

If you have ancestry in Marion County or if you live in the county, you need to check out this society! You can read more at