Family History Tours:
Arranging Your Own

Have you ever felt the desire to visit the village where your ancestors lived?

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Family history tours are becoming more and more popular, as we family historians increasingly express the desire to return to our ancestral homelands, see the local villages where our forefathers lived, see some of the local landmarks that would have been there in their day, and experience the culture as it is today.

When I did my own self-styled family history tour in 2005 (see Family History Tours: Visiting the Village of your Forefathers), I was not aware that I was part of a growing trend. However, it appears that I was not alone in my quest, and many others are doing the same!

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Flag of France

Many tour companies, aware of the increasing demand for these excursions, are beginning to add family history tours to their list of offerings. Some simply advertise a tour of a particular region, which, if it happens to be your area of interest, and you are looking for a general overview of the region, might "fit the bill" perfectly.



Some of the same companies offer tours of a particular region, with private excursions into your ancestral village for a day or two, along with a bilingual tour guide, who can act as an interpreter. Again, this is an option which might prove beneficial to some.

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Flag of Poland

Another option is a private tour, set up to meet your particular interests. Usually when this option is offered, you provide the tour company with information regarding your ancestors and where they were from, and which villages you wish to visit or concentrate on. They will contact the appropriate persons in that village and make arrangements beforehand so that, when you go on your tour, you will get the maximum benefit from it.

They may arrange visits to homes in which your ancestors lived, and introduce you to distant cousins, who likely can fill in some details of family history that you have not heard before.

Flag of the Ukraine. Public Domain.
Flag of the Ukraine

This could also involve a visit to the local archives, where records are stored, so that you can search for additional records pertaining to your ancestor. Graveyards with family headstones can be visited. Most will provide you with a tour guide who speaks the local language, if you do not.

Some tour companies even employ genealogists on their staff or among their tour guides, so that you get the best possible “bang for your buck” when booking such a tour!

Many people do this kind of personalized family history tour with a number of family members, although it certainly is possible – although likely more costly – to do it alone.

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Flag of Spain

Would you like more information? Would you like to plan a family history tour to the UK, or another area? Click on the appropriate link below for the country you wish to visit, and a tour company from that region will get back to you.

Norfolk and Suffolk, England

England

Scotland

Ireland

Wales

Germany

Austria

Switzerland

Slovakia

the Ukraine

(Please note: as of March 3, 2011, I have arrangements in place with companies conducting tours in the above countries. In the UK, any combination of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales can be arranged. I will be adding further regions as I am able to make arrangements with tour companies).

Also, you may need to make flight, accommodation, and/or car rental arrangements, depending on how you structure your visit to the ancestral village. See my page Low-Cost Airfares, Accommodations, and Car Rentals for links to a number of travel sites in this regard.



Websites which may be of interest

For those planning such a visit, or for those who are unable to do so at the present time but would like more information about the land of their forefathers, the following sites may be of interest.

France-Travel-Info-Paris-Break
Discover France with experienced travelers
who share with you a decade of travel tips, information about specific regions and sites and language helps. Come with us as we explore the hidden gems, cycle the Loire Valley, explore chateaux, and sip wine in the Burgundy region. Let our favorite country become your favorite country.




Or how about a trip across your native land, to trace your roots there? For example, here's a quote from Nova Scotia’s web page entitled “Research My Roots”:

Curious about your family's history in Nova Scotia? Ever wanted to visit the places where they lived, walk the streets that they walked, and find out more about them? Start planning your next... or maybe your first... Nova Scotia vacation by exploring NS Tourism's newest online product, Routes to Your Roots @ www.novascotiaroots.com.

A unique new approach to family history, this interactive trip-planning tool will guide you right to the part of the province where your ancestors lived, and will help you build an unusual and rewarding vacation that you won't soon forget.




Go to "Family History Tours: Visiting the Village of your Forefathers"

Go to "Low-Cost Airfares, Accommodations, and Car Rentals"

Go from " Family History Tours: Arranging your Own " to familyhistoryalive Home Page




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Visit to where my ancestors lived in 1778 
I am so lucky living in the same area where my ancestors have lived for centuries and, one of my most special finds was when I located the actual cottage …

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"Big Ben", London, England
Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

The Matterhorn, Switzerland
Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Licence.
The Matterhorn, Switzerland

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
Wikimedia Commons.
Used with permission of owner Kilnburn.
The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Brandenburg Gate, Germany
Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Licence
The Brandenburg Gate, Germany

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, Austria
Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Licence
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, Austria